Our Story

Travel across time to learn about Gold Coast Farms.

  1. 1978

    Gold Coast Packing, Inc. founded as a Western Vegetable and Strawberry Grower/Shipper

  2. 1989

    Value-Added Division launched to meet rapidly growing needs of consumers

  3. 1991

    Ready to use cilantro developed for food manufacturers. 4x1 lb. cilantro developed and is a staple in the Foodservice Industry to this day. Gold Coast Packing, Inc. becomes sole provider of value-added cilantro nationwide for Fortune 100 Restaurant company.

  4. 1992

    Broccoli and Cauliflower fresh-cut lines developed. Spinach "Triple Wash" and process line developed.

  5. 1995

    With the influx of positive growth and consumer demands, our facility was on the verge of being outgrown.

  6. 1997

    In the spring we moved into our facility on West Boone St. in Santa Maria, CA.

  7. 1998

    Gold Coast Packing, Inc. pioneers the value-added green onion program. Gold Coast Packing, Inc. introduces the "Timesaver" broccoli and cauliflower packs designed to help regional processors minimize the costs involved with processing these products themselves.

  8. 2000

    Gold Coast Packing, Inc. becomes partner in FreshKist, a newly formed large scale western vegetable grower/shipper in Santa Maria and Salinas.

  9. 2007

    A year of sales growth, product development, equipment engineering and beginning stages of the plan for a new facility.

  10. 2013

    New plant “Fresh Venture Foods” opened for processing.

  11. 2013

    Gold Coast signs licensing agreement with Garden Fresh for usage of Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes labels.

  12. 2014

    Opened “Fresh Venture Foods 2” as secondary loading area with cold and dry storage.

  13. 2015

    Product Development and Innovation Team formalized.

  14. 2015

    Implemented Commercial Food Sanitation (CFS) program.

  15. 2016

    Planning for 25K sqft expansion to Fresh Venture Foods & 30K expansion of Fresh Venture Foods 2, our secondary loading area with cold and dry storage.

  16. 2016

    In compliance with FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) via Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI).

  17. 2016

    Co-Gen plant installed & running to reduce our Carbon Footprint

  18. 2016

    Caulifornia™ Snow wins Best Product Promotion at PMA Foodservice Show.

  19. 2017

    Launched Produce Navigator Blog.

  20. 2017

    Caulifornia™ Riced Vegetable Side Dish named
    one of Produce Business’ 10 Most Innovative Products

Our People

"A successful business has excellent, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that produces quality products. But more important than the parts are the people that make it all happen; people who are innovative, energetic, and determined to make progress every day. I am truly grateful that we have those people here at Gold Coast."
- Ron Burk, President & Co-Founder

  • Ron Burk

    President & Co-Founder

  • Bob Espinola

    Growing Operations & Co-Founder

  • Mark LeClaire

    CFO & Partner

  • Gary Burk

    Chief Operating Officer

  • Robb Bertels

    Vice President, Sales & Marketing

  • Monica Cordero

    Director of Sales

  • Matt Witcher

    Director of Procurement

  • Terry Kuhel

    Regional Sales Manager

  • Karl Lipscomb

    Product Development Team Manager

  • Sal Tolentino

    Sales/Customer Service

  • Dave Johnson

    Sales/Customer Service

  • Natali Carrillo

    Sales/Customer Service

  • Joanne Frick

    Packaging Manager

  • Cathy Burk

    Administrative Assistant

  • Max MacLaury

    Procurement / Field Food Safety

  • Kayla De La Cruz

    Sales Support

Our Farms

Gold Coast Packing is a vertically-integrated company that was founded in 1978 by two longtime friends Ron Burk & Bob Espinola. In the Santa Maria Valley, nestled on the beautiful central coast, is where we grow, process and pack an assortment of value-added vegetables all year round. In addition to growing our own produce, we partner with other growing operations locally and process in our state-of-the-art processing plant, Fresh Venture Foods, which we co-own with Babe Farms. Gold Coast has over 35 years of farming, innovation, & value-added sales experience & we pride ourselves on our ability to create strong partnerships & provide customers with safe, healthy, & convenient produce.


At Gold Coast Farms, we understand the importance of sustainability. We generate our power on-site with a natural gas-fueled cogeneration plant. This reduces our carbon footprint, controls costs, upgrades our energy infrastructure, and reduces emissions. A heat recovery system converts waste heat for various plant processing needs. In short, we create, use, and recycle.


It’s important to us to stay active in the produce industry. We ensure that farmers’ voices are heard, doing everything in our power to prepare future farming generations. Our goal is to provide unparalleled service and safe, fresh, healthy produce our customers can trust.