This year marks 40 years with Gills – happy anniversary to us! We’re so excited to celebrate this incredible milestone and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Since 1983, this family-owned business has been committed to feeding the US and Canada the best onions, and things have only gotten better with time. Take a journey back in time with us, and see how Gills got to where we are today.
Back to Our Roots
The Gill family has a long history of farming in Ventura County, California, with roots stretching all the way back to the 1880s. “My whole family grew up on a farm,” said Owner/CEO Steve Gill. “We were heavy into vegetables, but I started the onion growing and fresh-cut processing side of our business.”
In the beginning, Steve founded Gills Onions as an industrial processing plant, providing whole peeled onions to a salsa company. Over the last 40 years, that small food ingredient factory evolved and expanded into a massive foodservice and retail partner known for its whole peeled and diced onions.
“It’s a night and day difference,” said Steve about the company’s evolution. “Food safety wasn’t as widespread back then, and we were just learning how to do business at that point. Our equipment is better now, technology is better, and most importantly, our onion varieties and growing program are better.”
Gills Mission and Vision
Our mission has been to provide the highest quality onion from the beginning. Thanks to Steve’s innovations over the last 40 years, Gills has improved soil health, saved thousands of kWh in energy, and developed unique relationships with seed breeders, machinery manufacturers, and other partners.
“Steve has very dramatically changed our onion growing program,” said Megan Jacobsen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “He’s not just a processor on the Gills side; he is a boots-on-the-ground farmer with our sister company, Rio Farms. We believe that from seed-to-package everything begins with the soil, and Steve takes great pride in that.”
The Future of Gills
The future certainly looks bright for Gills, and no matter what lies ahead, we’re ready for new challenges and successes as they come. “As our customers evolve, we evolve with them,” said Jacobsen. “That’s what we’ve done for the past 40 years, and it’s what we will continue to do for the next 10, 20, 30, and 40 years to come. Our commitment to our customers is to continue providing a great product that is safe and reliable.”
As we look to the horizon, we’re excited about opportunities to implement new technology, increase sustainability efforts, and do what we do best – grow onions.
“Whole peeled onions are our future,” said Steve. “We will keep providing the best onion in the country.”
See Gills at the 2023 IFPA Foodservice Conference
Gills is thrilled to be back at the International Fresh Produce Association’s Foodservice Conference & Expo this year. On July 27 & 28, 2023, we’ll be in Monterey, California with attendees from all over the industry. Whether you’re in foodservice buying, distribution, or business solutions, we’d love to see you there. Stop by our booth and say hello to Steve and other team members, and join us in celebrating 40 years!
Cheers to The Best Onion Around
The past 40 years have been an amazing journey of growth, leading us to the very top. Gills Onion truly grows and delivers the best onions in the country, and we couldn’t have done it without Steve’s vision, a dedicated team at our facility and farm, and all of you who have supported us along the way.
Cheers to 40 years and the next 40 to come! 🥂
Ready to try onions grown “The Gill Way?” Contact our sales department to learn more.