Take a peek at the family photo album in this narrated history of LoBue.
In 1914, Philip LoBue migrated from the small fishing village of Trabia, Sicily with the dream of sharing America’s opportunities with his wife and children. For many years, he supported his family on a 10-acre orchard near San Jose, California, where he grew, packed and sold cherries, prickly pears and vegetables. But he had always been intrigued by the business of citrus farming, the occupation of his ancestors on the shores of Sicily.
In 1934, he made a down payment on a 40-acre orange grove near Lindsay, California. Shortly thereafter, illness forced him to turn the property over to his sons, Mario, Fred, and Joe. The two older brothers reluctantly moved to the Lindsay ranch to manage the grove.
In 1938, after having been defrauded out of two crops, the brothers bought some used packing equipment and began packing their crops in a shed on the ranch. In the beginning, the entire citrus crop was sold in the San Francisco and San Jose produce markets, through contacts their father had developed over the years. Friends and neighboring growers saw the LoBue brothers’ success, and asked them to pack and sell their oranges. A growing enterprise was born.
Today, LoBue Citrus is one of the largest independent commercial packer and marketer of citrus in the industry. Distribution has kept pace with the company's increasing volume: LoBue-packed products now reach markets in the North America, the Pacific Rim, Australia, Korea, and beyond.
LoBue Citrus is a living testament to the strength of Philip LoBue's dream.
1914: Philip LoBue migrates from Sicily to the U.S., eventually settling in San Jose, California, where he farms, packs and sells cherries, prickly pears and other produce.
1934: Philip LoBue makes a down payment on a 40-acre citrus grove in Lindsay, California. Shortly thereafter the farm is turned over to his sons Mario, Fred and Joe.
1938: The LoBue brothers purchase packing equipment and start on-site crop packing. The fruit is sold to customers in the San Francisco/San Jose area.
1946: Construction is completed on a new packing house in Lindsay, incorporating the most modern equipment and packing techniques.
1958: The LoBue brothers incorporate their operations as separate entities: the packing and marketing operation as LoBue Bros., Inc., and the farming operation as LoBue Farms, Inc.
1968: The Lindsay plant burns to the ground on December 14, less than a month after completion of a full-scale modernization project.
1969: Operations begin in a new facility, reconstructed on the same site using the most up-to-date and efficient equipment available.
1972: LoBue Bros. joins with several of its competitors to build a juice processing plant in Lindsay. The venture significantly increases juice prices paid to growers.
1978: LoBue Bros. is recognized as an innovator in employee relations within the citrus industry. Field workers are included as company employees. Providing regular employment and benefits previously unavailable to these workers helps LoBue attain a stable and dependable harvesting work force.
1980: LoBue Bros. acquires Lindsay Groves, Inc. packing house. After extensive renovation, the new facility is labeled the "East" packing house, and provides additional capacity needed to meet increased volume.
1982: LoBue Bros. again joins with a group of competitors to gain control over packaging costs, becoming part owner of Harvest Container Corp.
1988: The "West" packing house undergoes another major equipment renovation. The pre-grade and packing areas are restructured to include state-of-the-art packing house technology.
1990: A brutal freeze on December 23 destroys all fruit yet to be harvested.
1991: As a result of the freeze, LoBue Bros. is shut down for most of the year. When it becomes apparent that government employment programs are woefully inadequate in relation to the needs of unemployed workers, the LoBue staff and management secures both private sector and additional government assistance to help workers obtain food and shelter until the next season's crop. LoBue Bros. receives statewide recognition for its efforts on behalf of suddenly stalled workers.
2000: Acquisition is completed on an additional citrus-packing facility near Exeter, California. Even before the purchase was concluded on the 30-year old building and grounds, plans were in process to incorporate up-to-date and cost-effective packing equipment into existing infrastructure.
2010: To better reflect both its services and staff, LoBue Bros. changes its name to LoBue Citrus.
2017: LoBue Bros., Inc. retires from the packing business.