Califonia Bountiful

Fun in the sun

California family bottles success.

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When Justin Traina and his family moved to California from Italy in 1926, they began doing what other farmers in the San Joaquin Valley were doing: drying produce in the sun. From that fateful decision, the family business has become one of the largest driers of fruits and vegetables in the country. And now it's up to Justin's children, Willie and Vickie, to keep these dried fruits and vegetables fresh in people's minds!

During harvest time, it is a sea of red in Traina Foods' drying yards, with more than 30,000 trays of tomatoes drying over 12 acres. And although these tomatoes are dried, they still are some of the freshest around. That's because the fruit is picked at the peak of ripeness and rushed to Traina headquarters in Patterson, where it's washed, sorted and inspected every step of the way.

After the best tomatoes make the cut, they're placed on wooden trays, put in the curing room and then moved outside for seven to 10 days to let the sun do its magic. One more inspection, and the tomatoes are off to be packaged.

Recently the family decided to bottle their success with sun-dried tomatoes —literally—and came up with a new idea: sun-dried tomato ketchup. It is packed with California sun-dried tomatoes. In fact, each bottle has 4 pounds of fresh tomatoes in it! The intensely flavored tomatoes have become the basis of a gourmet condiment that combines the Old World tradition of sun-drying with a classic ketchup recipe.

With all of their products, the Trainas remain committed to their roots by combining family tradition with state-of-the-art technology. Their goal: to create a recipe for success that everyone can enjoy well into the future.

For more information about Traina Foods, visit

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