MCALLEN, Texas – The City of McAllen and the McAllen Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of Mexican produce company SiCar Farms’ newest facility at Sharyland Business Park.
The 100,000-square-foot production plant has 21 trucking doors for importing and exporting as well as advanced machinery to handle all incoming fruits and vegetables.
The company, which is known for its main export – limes, was established in 1980 as Citrojugo by founders Sigifredo and Carmen Gudiño. When they launched the U.S./Canada export branch of their burgeoning enterprise in 2004, they came up with “SiCar” by combining the first letters of their first names.
Luis J. Gudiño Ochoa, CEO of SiCar Farms and son of the founders, spoke at the ribbon-cutting, sharing the story of the division’s humble beginnings. He explained that after renting a small space in Hidalgo, he received his first truckload of limes to sell. As a newcomer, it was a struggle to get retailers to buy his produce for market price. He, however, sold the shipment and phoned his mother to send two more truckloads, then three more. Surprised and excited, she asked how he was selling the limes so quickly.
“She asked me, ‘Son, at what time are you selling those limes?’” said Gudiño Ochoa. “And, I told [her] ‘Mom, don’t ask me that. You want me to sell limes, right? That’s what I’m doing.’”
He then went on to reveal that he was selling the limes at a greatly reduced price, saying if the market price was 10 cents a unit, he would charge 5 cents.
“You don’t need to be a genius to build a successful company,” Gudiño Ochoa quipped.
The operation grew, and in 2008, Gudiño Ochoa opened Limex SiCar Ltd. & Co. in Mission. Starting with four employees and ballooning to 250, it is now the largest-volume lime importer in the country. With a desire to control more aspects of their business, matriarch Carmen launched LMX Logistics LLC., SiCar Farms’ transportation wing, in 2010. The company now manages every step of the farm-to-table process, from growing to packing and cold storage to delivery.
At the ceremony, Keith Patridge, president and CEO of the MEDC, welcomed the members of the family-run business and congratulated them on their success and the new expansion. He expressed the city’s commitment to them and all companies that call McAllen home.
“When we do these types of events, when we bring companies in, you are now part of the family,” said Patridge. “So, when you have a problem, it’s our problem. When you have a celebration, it’s our celebration, too. So, we want you to know that you are now family, and we want to do everything we can to support you.”
SiCar Farms’ new facility is located at 6700 S. Bentsen Rd.