Our story starts on February 3, 1933 when J.H. Bays, James D. Culbertson, Victor E. Cummings, E.C. Kimball, John E.B. Merriman, C.M. Warren, and President Albert J. Thille met to form an organization that was dedicated to delivering lemons for Sunkist to market. A contest was held during the first organizational meeting to determine the company name. Leighton R. Stewart won $5.00 for formulating the winning company name that has branded us to this day- Saticoy.
The following year on July 25, 1934, Mr. Ben Ernsberger was selected as the first packing house manager. Since then, we’ve only had 3 additional packing house managers, further instilling the stability and unique value Saticoy Lemon has in the citrus industry. Following Ernsberger was Vaughn White (1954-1964), Carl McKnight (1964-1988), and our current president, Glenn Miller. Saticoy Lemon in conjunction with other Ventura County lemon houses is very stable.
Before we became the largest lemon cooperative in the world, we were comprised of only 18 growers, 362 acres of lemons groves, and a crop of 185,000 cartons. After successfully developing a loyal customer base and excelling in grower support, our expansion was a result of grower recruitment and mergers with other Ventura County lemon companies. We merged with Fillmore Lemon Association in 1962, Briggs Lemon in 1977, and Seaboard Lemon in 1985.
Since then, we have grown to become the largest lemon cooperative in the world. We operate in three packing houses throughout Ventura County handling 9 and a half million cartons of lemons a year. We are now comprised of more than 170 Sunkist lemon grower members that represent more than 9,000 acres of lemons from each of the major growing areas of California. Of those 9 and a half million cartons of lemons, 6 million go to fresh market and 3.5 million are used in other products. With packing and shipping capabilities in the San Joaquin Valley, we are able to meet high demand with quality service year round. In addition, we are able to provide value-added services which assist our customers in their marketing efforts.
We’ve been a member of Sunkist from the beginning but have grown to be a larger member. We are handling more fruit now than ever before. With the hard work of our growers and management team, Saticoy Lemon continues to strive and grow in the citrus industry by providing the best lemons around.