Gildardo España was born in Mexico and emigrated in the 1990s. He began working for Mariquita Farm and gradually grew his responsibilities. In 2005, Gildardo started farming on his own with support from Mariquita, and España Family Produce was born, operated with his sister Rebecca. They have been in business for more than ten years with a stable land lease and good markets.
Over the years, the partnership with Mariquita helped support Gildardo’s farm, growing into an unofficial joint venture. But due to a death in the Mariquita Farm family, Gildardo found that he needed business financing. He obtained his first operating loan from FarmLink in 2016 and has proven to be a solid borrower. He is soft-spoken, yet always proactive and straightforward.
The stability afforded by FarmLink’s lending has helped Gildardo maintain his operation on 34 certified organic acres near Hollister. In 2016 he solidified new markets, selling directly to high-profile restaurants in Carmel and Big Sur. Most recently, Gildardo forged custom-growing arrangements that enable chefs to source rare and unique specialty items vital to their menus.
Gildardo is now looking for property to purchase, and FarmLink is poised to help. He commented, “The support and flexibility that FarmLink provides has been critical to the ongoing success of my business. They helped me transition to a formal business loan, and have been flexible as I’ve worked through severe damage from winter storms.”