Thread: Toma Verde
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Old February 4, 2010   #11
brokenbar's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Of The Border
Posts: 1,169

Originally Posted by Mjdtexan View Post
You guys must have a 99 year lease on that property or something like that or one of you has citizenship rights in that country.

Your sun-dried business, what is that all about? You sun dry tomatoes? People like that? Sounds very interesting.
Mexico changed the rules and you can now buy land/houses/businesses. Actually, in Merida, The government just released nearly 200 houses in the Colonial District for sale. They want Foreign owners to restore them. Most were built in the late 1800's and have the 20 foot beamed ceilings and original pasta tile floors. Because of our economy, Mexico is struggling. They changed the rules to bring in more foreign investors.

Sun-Dried business..."Sun-Dried" is now the term for dehydrated tomatoes. While I do actually "sun-dry" about 1/3, I dry the others with conventional dehydrators. I sell to chefs at upscale restaurants in Billings Montana and Cody, Jackson Hole, Cheyenne Wyoming. I mail deliveries.
I dry anywhere from 1000 to 2000 pounds per year. I soak mine in red wine for 24 hours prior to drying and then dust them with my grown herbs, oregano, basil, parsley and garlic powder and sea salt. I only grow dry, meaty, few seeded and large varieties (because large is faster and easier.) I grow 500+ (and it is ALWAYS "+" it seems!) plants.

Unfortunately...the Chef's are now reading about sun-dried tomatoes and varieties and are starting to ask me to grow particular varieties. They read that Principe Borghese is supposed to be "The Ultimate" drying tomato and harangued me into growing them. I charge nearly triple because they are small, seedy, a pain to keep picked and it takes so many to get a significant amount of finished product. They don't care and will pay whatever I charge. Same with the "Black" varieties...they read about the ALLEGED "smokey-salty-earth" flavor of Blacks (which is a crock if you ask me) and now I grow those for them and charge double...

I took me about 2 years to develop a good client base. I drove "door-to-door" to every upscale restaurant around. I gave away a lot of samples at first. I have also collected hundreds of recipes and I printed up a collection that I gave to Chef's as well. Once they discovered how much flavor sun-dried tomatoes can add to a recipe and the eye-appeal they provide, the tomatoes sold themselves.

As we are leaving for Mexico for good in May, my Son, who is taking over the ranch/cattle operation here will take over that business as well (his girlfriend will actually.) It has been a great little business and I really enjoyed it. Heck...I was going to grow tomatoes anyway!!!!
"If I'm not getting dirty, I'm not having a good time."
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