Big news this week out of New Mexico and North Carolina with the alliance of Billy the Kid Produce LLC with L&M Cos.
L&M President/CEO John Oxford announced on April 3 that longtime Deming, NM, onion grower/shipper Billy the Kid entered an agreement with L&M to be the exclusive onion marketer.
A press release said, “Both Billy the Kid and L&M are family-owned businesses with strong values and a shared focus on excellent quality and customer service.”
“We are honored to be working together with Billy and the Franzoy family to service our customers and help them grow their businesses, Oxford said, “Over the years, the Franzoys have made impressive investments in their operation. The scale and progressive nature of their culture made it a natural fit for L&M.”
Billy the Kid founder and grower Billy Franzoy said the entire family is “excited to be working with L&M and look forward to a long future together.”
Billy the Kid operates a state-of-the-art facility within 20 miles of all of its onion fields, and the packing facility “boasts over 100,000 square feet with photo optic sizers and robotic palletizers that ensure maximum efficiency and consistency in sizing, sorting, and stacking.”
This season Billy the Kid will grow approximately 700 acres of onions, beginning harvest in late May and continuing through mid-August. Brian and Mark Franzoy also grow onions to supply the family business.
Mark commented, “We’re looking forward to a great partnership with L&M Cos., and I know that together we will be a top supplier in the industry.” Brian added, “We have always worked well with L&M. I felt the timing was right to capitalize on the synergy our companies share.”
Justin Franzoy, GM at BTK and overseer for innovative production concepts and automation, also praised the alliance, saying, “This is an exciting time for BTK, because L&M shares in the same passion as my family. We will be able to expand our presence in retail and food service abroad, which is the type of business we are accustomed to packing for.”
From his Raleigh office, L&M Potato and Onion Sales Manager Derek Ennis said, “Our new partnership with Billy the Kid fits very well with L&M’s onion program. Our California crop wraps up at the end of May and we begin harvest on our Kansas crop in mid-August. This partnership will allow for a seamless transition and an uninterrupted supply of quality onions for our customers.”
And Chris Franzoy, who with his wife, Tammy, owns and operates Young Guns Inc. and the Hatch Chile Factory in New Mexico, said he’s “thoroughly enjoyed every minute” of the onion side of business he’s worked in for more than three decades and that he has “made a lot of friends along the way.” He added his decision to step out of onion sales allows him more time with the other companies, and he said, “L&M has a great track record and are leaders in the industry with the infrastructure to successfully market onions and other fruits and vegetables but also has insight on new trends, or changes in the business. I’m very excited for both L&M and Billy the Kid.”
Featured Image: Owner of Billy the Kid Produce, LLC, Bill Franzoy (second from left) with his sons.