It all starts with a good seed
For Starr Ranch Growers, that good seed was our founder — the late Paul “Tommy” Thomas. We’re proudly rooted in the traditions he started back in 1934, when he founded our company in the heart of Washington’s apple country. Tommy started Starr Ranch as a business that would grow and nurture, not produce and monetize.
Tommy believed in the power of hard work, honesty, and treating others with respect. For more than three-quarters of a century, we’ve been using these values as our guide. In all stages of our business, from growing to packing and shipping, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity.
Our proud history
In those early years, apples were shipped in wooden boxes and old whiskey barrels. Shipping fruit was no easy task since sea vessels had no refrigeration, but this didn’t stop the enterprising Mr. Thomas. Tommy insulated the barreled apples with sawdust, and the ship’s holds were opened to allow cooling during long voyages to keep the fruit fresh. From the very beginning, we’ve been committed to giving our customers only the very best.
Initially, most of our fruit was grown on the original 300-acre Starr Ranch, south of Pateros on the beautiful Columbia River. But in the 1960s, the orchard was flooded with the construction of Wells Dam. Tommy and his fellow partners bought two more 100-acre ranches near Brewster and constructed the first packing plant, which still lives on as one of Starr Ranch Growers’ warehouses today. In the 1970s, after 40 years as a Washington fruit man, Tommy sold his interest in Starr Ranch Growers to his son Dalton.
Starr Ranch Growers began with just fifteen growers packing out of a single shed. Today, there are more than 7,000 acres of orchards and multiple plant locations.