At the time, importing fruit into the United States was just breaking ground, and had not yet been done on the West Coast. Jim recognized the opportunity and progressive impact that imported fruit could have on our community. Since then, it has been made the mission at Bengard to bring only the safest, freshest produce to customers with honesty and integrity.
In 1978, Bengard established the West Coast’s first import program with Chile and was incorporated as Bengard Marketing, Inc. in 1985. A few years later, a program from Argentina was added and most recently, a program from New Zealand. In 1991, Jim’s son Broc joined the company after completing his Agriculture Business degree at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Simultaneously, a Bengard office in Santiago, Chile was formed which established a permanent Chilean program coordinator. This transition allowed a coordinator to act as a liaison between Bengard and our Chilean growers. Approval was soon after received from the Chilean government for Bengard Marketing Chile S.A. to export quality control services into Bengard – U.S.A.
In 2010, Jim began to transition ownership and control of the company over to his son Broc who has taken what his father started and continues to build on its integrity and honest relations with buyers and suppliers. Bengard believes if you give the customers the straight story, they may be challenged but they know they can count on you looking forward. This approach sustains long-term relations in an industry known for its unpredictability and high turnover. This the core of what has taken Bengard through the good and bad years. Bengard has grown from a 200,000 package import program in the early 1980’s to around a 1 million package today and has plans to continue to grow wherever suppliers and buyers need an honest, hardworking partner.
Today, Bengard is looking forward to the next generation of reliable service by continuing to work with excelling companies within the industry and developing new relationships for many years ahead. Thank you to all who have been a part of the Bengard journey and to all those yet to be a part of our growing future.
“Bengard puts utmost importance on honesty & integrity in our business relationships. If you feel you have not been treated as such, please contact me and I will do my best to correct the situation based on the circumstances. If you don’t succeed, neither do we.”