From the Start
LATE 1890’S AND EARLY 1900’S
Joseph “Ed” Reiter
Friends and brothers-in-law, Joseph “Ed” Reiter and Richard "Dick" Driscoll begin production of their delicious “Sweet Briar” strawberries in the Pajaro Valley. These berries become known as the Banner variety.
Joseph “Ed” Reiter and his son Joe Reiter, along with Earl Goldsmith, begin producing raspberries on a small Santa Clara Valley farm in California. Pictured: Earl Goldsmith, Joe Reiter.
Ned and Donald Driscoll, Kenneth Sheehy, T.B. Porter, M.W. Johnson, and Joe Reiter found The Strawberry Institute. The group dedicates itself to researching and breeding superior varieties of strawberries. The first Driscoll’s independent growers, brothers Robert and Terry Sheehy, begin growing in Santa Maria, California. Pictured: Brothers Robert and Terry Sheehy, Ned Driscoll.
Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc. is founded selling premium, fresh, California strawberries. In 1958, the first patented strawberry variety, “Z5A,” extends the season and allows the fruit to be shipped long distances. This variety establishes Driscoll’s as the fresh berry leader.
The Strawberry Institute and Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc. merge. The combined new company is dedicated to research, breeding, production, sales, and distribution.
Driscoll’s grower owners start shipping under a common label
Driscoll’s ‘yellow basket’ represents the first attempt to brand berries in stores. Raspberries become a meaningful offering. Decision is made that go to market strategy will be with "Year Round, Branded Destination, Berry Patch" fruit.
Driscoll’s introduces the clear clamshell package, which revolutionizes the way berries and other fruits and vegetables are packaged.
Driscoll’s expands into European and Organic production. Blackberries, Blueberries, and Golden Raspberries are introduced. This decade sees the first production outside of California, aligning with the first harvest of Chilean blueberries.
After years of serving as Chairman of the Board, J. Miles Reiter, grandson of Joseph “Ed” Reiter, steps in as President and CEO of Driscoll’s. Driscoll’s expands into China.