Customer Highlight: Bay Baby Produce – The Organic Winter Squash & Pumpkin Powerhouse A Quick Bite by Sev-Rend Feature
The Sev-Rend team realizes that we only succeed when our customers succeed. As we wrap up a whirlwind of a year we like to highlight some of our client’s successes as well. This month we are taking time to highlight a newer customer with a unique product type.
Bay Baby Produce is well known in our produce world for having a wide variety of organic, edible winter squash as well as unique ornamentals and individually painted, hand decorated pumpkins. A business that was originally 100% decorative pumpkins has now grown to a 600 acre powerhouse that we are proud to support with packaging.
We took a couple of minute to talk with owner Michele Youngquist at Bay Baby Produce to get to know their operation and how they stack the deck for success:
Can you give us a quick rundown on Bay Baby and the current season for your products?
Bay Baby Produce begins harvesting pumpkins and ornamentals mid-August; and organic hard winter squash mid-September. We generally ship ornamentals & pumpkins through mid-October and organic squash until sold out, generally through December, depending on availability.
Can you give me a brief rundown on your background and how you got into the fresh produce industry?
Bay Baby Produce was founded in 1999 by Michele Youngquist & Liz Mitchell and we are a woman-owned business that is located in the Pacific Northwest. This area is one of the most diverse & fertile micro-climates in North America. Our mission is to be a consistently reliable source for high quality painted pumpkins, long stem ornamentals, organic squash and value-added products grown on our farm. In the process of “growing” our business, we have accomplished much more than we initially envisioned. We’ve developed a proprietary painting and production process that provides consistent, top quality painted pumpkins. We’ve expanded our farming operations from 30 acres to a little over 600 and have added organic winter squash. From a business that was originally 100 percent decorative pumpkins, fresh packed produce now accounts over 25% percent of our production!
Can you briefly describe Bay Baby’s commitment to sustainability?
Not only our commitment, but our customers commitment to sustainability is part of our company priority for continued sustainable growth. As a sustainable agricultural farming operation, we will continue to seek out sustainable solutions for our operations, such as innovative packaging & material recyclability. As we learned more about Sev-Rend’s packaging solutions, we realized their packaging aligns with our packaging sustainability program outlook. We also offer Solar Power Sustainability as one of the largest solar powered AG facilities in Western Washington.
What are some of the challenges you are facing right now at Bay Baby?
It is a delicate balancing act between each aspect of growing, packing, and shipping. Communicating effectively as a team, allows each of our processes to flow seamlessly. Some of the bigger challenges lately have been maintaining labor along with offering innovative, price-conscious packaging.
Any new projects/products at Bay Baby that you want to discuss?
Recently, Creating & offering unique B2B product features and information to our retail partners to offer cross promotional opportunities, online, in store, curb-side and more. We have also moved to aggressively promote our products and brand in the digital marketing realm with such items as 360 degree images and videos of the facility and products.
Is there anything else you want to share/promote?
We proudly offer the market 10+ different varieties of Organic Winter Squash along with 12+ different varieties of Pumpkins. We always encourage our customer to buy Farmer Direct. By purchasing direct from the farmer, our partners notice our consistent quality and longevity of shelf life.