Grow Farms' Tommy Wilkins Reflects on Record Viva Fresh Expo
- by Melissa De Leon
SAN ANTONIO, TX - Time flies, especially in this industry of ours. I can’t believe it’s already been a month since our industry gathered to discover and recover the best of the Southwest, and who better to share that with than Tommy Wilkins, Director of Sales for Grow Farms, Texas?
“This is our fifth year. We’ve been here at the JW Mariot three years, and from the steering committee we could never have imagined the show coming to the level this quick,” Tommy shared with me.
Over 1,800 attended the show, including a record-setting 270-plus retailers. Despite the hustle and bustle of such attendance, the atmosphere was welcoming and intimate, highlighted by what Tommy said was his favorite part of the event.
“I’ve done this 43 years, and I would say it was the highlight of my career to see 1,500-plus people networking and just being friends,” he shared of Viva Fresh’s welcome reception, which provided not only mouthwatering food and a warmly-lit atmosphere, but great conversation and networking that set the tone for the entire weekend. “It’s just a humbling experience to put our story on the map a little bit. Our whole goal was to increase consumption of what we grow and try to make an impact on health and wellness.”
Tommy summed it up best by sharing with me that the Viva Fresh steering committee made a commitment to keep the show regional, and “it didn’t seem that small last night, but it was still workable.”
Still able to smell the barbecue, it’s easy to reminisce about the blend of fresh produce and fun Viva Fresh Expo served. As summer sets in, stay tuned for more news from Texas and beyond as we look to what comes from this region until Viva Fresh 2020!