Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 133

Mi Rancho

San Leandro, California-based Mi Rancho celebrated its
75-year anniversary in 2014, a big accomplishment for the
brand. Alvear notes not many family-owned businesses last
this long in the industry. "Right now, the third generation,
Manuel Berber, is running the business and the fourth generation, Andrew and Alex are working in operations and sales
respectively, preparing to one day take over," he says. "Many
family-owned businesses struggle from generation to generation because they either get sold or merge, so there is a
lot of pride in this company with hitting that big milestone. It
was certainly worth celebrating."

Keys To Success
Mi Rancho's reputation for producing an authentic, high-quality product, as well as its extensive internal knowledge, are
key factors in the company's success.
"Current owner Manuel Berber has been in the industry
since day one," Alvear says. "He grew up in the business
and has not worked anywhere else - and it's not only him.
There are a lot of people, especially on the operations side,
that have been with the company 20-plus years. That level of
knowledge is key to the success of the company and products that we make."

and lime for 10-12 hours and then grind it using hand-carved
lava stones to create the masa," he says. "A lot of companies
skip all those steps and use a milled corn flour. Our process
is more elaborate and time-consuming, but it gives you a
better tasting tortilla that performs well and looks beautiful."

Thinking Ahead
As Mi Rancho continues to grow, the company plans to not
only add more capacity, but also invest in people, technology
and equipment. "We just implemented a new ERP software,
which will help run our operations more efficiently," Alvear
notes. "In 2017 we will install a new, customized flour line
to improve capacity. We've also tripled the sales teams in
both the grocery and foodservice divisions and they are a
dedicated bunch."
The company has invested heavily in its R&D the last couple of years, hiring a new director, Joe Trummer, in 2014.
"He brings a wealth of experience to his role and also has a
culinary background," Alvear says. "He is leading all of our
efforts and has been a tremendous asset. I think he will play

High Standards
Amid the crowded tortilla market, Mi Rancho takes pride
in distinguishing itself with innovations. Alvear says this is
why the company continues to roll out new products from
corn and flour to organic, non-GMO and clean label tortillas.
"We don't want to compete just traditionally; we want to
position ourselves as a premium value-added competitor,"
he says. "We may not be the cheapest, but we will provide
you with the highest-quality, most consistent products every time."
Manufactured in a 90,000-square-foot certified kosher facility, Mi Rancho produces a wide range of tortillas, from
traditional to ancient grain, artisan and gluten-free, and specialty wraps as well as pre-cut chips and strips that consumers can buy and fry themselves.
"Our business continues to grow and our commitment to
not only food quality, but food safety continues to be a top
priority," Alvear explains. "I think what really differentiates
Mi Rancho from our competitors is how we make our tortillas, which is the old-fashioned way. When it comes to corn,
for example, most companies make their tortillas out of corn
flour. We use whole fresh corn kernels."
Mi Rancho uses California grown, non-GMO certified
corn to produce its tortillas. "We cook the corn with water
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2

Contents
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Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover3
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