> Snapshot Series: Transitioning to Value Added Enterprises - Rancho Bella Vista/Darn Hot Peppers


The Snapshot Series examines how traditionally direct marketing farmers are using value added enterprises to supplement and expand their agri-businesses, reaching new markets and consumers through the development of new products. The son of farm worker parents, Gerardo “Jerry” Jimenez and his wife Carol use their 20 acre farm in southern Illinois to grow 21 varieties of specialty peppers. Despite limited resources and information on growing specialty pepper crops, with the help of their entire family, Jerry and Carol now sell over 25 value-added pepper products including salsas, jams, jellies, spices, rubs, and sauces. Thanks to a focus on customer education both at farmers markets and online, they’ve grown a strong, loyal customer base—reaching “Chile-heads” around the world.

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