Tim Merrill, sales and marketing manager for Omega Walnuts in Orland, Calif., designed the processing facility of premium walnuts. Construction started in early 2012 with its first walnuts for processing received later the same year.
A group of Glenn County, Calif., walnut growers are determined to prove the skeptics wrong.
Nine northern California walnut growers saw the need for a premium walnut processing facility in Glenn County. Permits in hand, they began pouring concrete in April 2012. Five months later they were receiving product.
“Our initial $15 million phase was put in debt-free,” said Tim Merrill, marketing and sales manager for Omega Walnuts. “That’s how committed our owners were to this project.”
Merrill was hired by the ownership to design the state-of-the-art facility from scratch.
Merrill’s own management company – Omega 3 Walnuts – is named after the healthy fatty acid walnuts produce and because Merrill saw the opportunity “truly as a gift from above.”
The name choice of the new walnut company – Omega Walnuts – was the sole decision of the ownership group, Merrill said.
Partners in Omega Walnuts are all growers of diversified crops in Glenn County. They are: Michael and Kerry Billiou, Chas Demmer, Gary Anderson, Matt Southam, Todd Southam, Keith Larrabee, Scott Larrabee and Eric Larrabee.
“When I got here this place had 200 goats and 50 corrals on it,” Merrill said.