Califonia Bountiful

Traina Foods

Family keeps things fresh in the world of dried fruit

When the Traina family left their grocery business in their homeland of Italy in 1926 for greener pastures in Northern California, they knew exactly what they'd do: Put the sunshine of the Golden State to work! And when they settled in the San Joaquin Valley, that's just what they did. The Trainas took a cue from other local farmers and started sun-drying fruit.

They began by drying fruit as an ingredient for other food companies, but eventually developed their own sun-dried products, including their popular sun-dried tomato ketchup. Traina Foods is now one of the largest driers of fruits and vegetables in the country. Along with tomatoes, the family grows and dries apricots, which are some of the freshest around. That's because they're trucked to the company's Patterson headquarters immediately after harvest. There, they're washed, sorted and inspected, and then left to dry in the sun for seven to 10 days.

After the sun does its magic, the fruit is used as an ingredient by dozens of food companies—including Traina Foods, of course. The family recently launched a line called Traina Home Grown, with fruit-based barbecue sauces and dried fruit snacks called Fruitons being their first offerings. The Fruitons name comes from the idea of getting fruit on things like salads, desserts and yogurt, and getting fruit in people as part of a healthy diet.

With more new products on the near horizon, the Trainas continue to share the best of what their family produces for other families to enjoy. For more information, visit

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