Sun Farms - A History
Roots of the Farm
After ten years of college coupled with seven
years in big business, it became clear that there
was more to life than a good job. In 1976, Elizabeth,
founder of Rising Sun Farms, signed on as a cook
on ocean racing yachts. This provided a way to
travel to ports throughout the world and shop
fresh markets offering a variety of exotic ingredients.
Although her cooking expertise was not her best
asset, Elizabeth soon became well known within
the circle of yacht racers for menus using the
freshest ingredients and in particular, fresh
herbs. Word of her culinary creations and status
as a chef traveled with the winds. Elizabeth started
receiving requests for her recipes and, as a way
to finance continued travels, she began making
and selling gallons of pesto sauces to other yachts.
met her husband Richard in 1980, he was a ship
captain in the West Indies. They sailed the east
and west coasts looking for the perfect place
to drop anchor. Soon their first crewmember arrived,
daughter Caylei. Sailing had always been their
life; however, they needed to put down roots.
Thus began the search for a healthy environment
to retire and raise a family.
chose a remote pristine farm in Southern Oregon.
Their deep-seated quest to raise a family in a
clean environment duplicating their seafaring
standard of self-responsibility and self-sufficiency
had been realized. By this time, their son Pep
had joined them on the farm.
retirement was short lived however, as new challenges
lay ahead. The land and farm equipment purchases
had depleted their savings. How was the farm going
to provide a living? What crop would grow at the
farm's 3,000-foot elevation with hot, dry summers
and mild winters? Their research coupled with
an ever-expanding library of organic farming manuals
provided the answer…herbs - the beginning of Rising
There was a discernable lack of organic foods,
especially, organically grown fresh herbs, herb
plants, dried herbs and specialty herb products.
The use of chemicals in farming was increasing
and was a major concern to Elizabeth and Richard.
Using chemicals yielded bigger harvests, cut down
on labor, but what hazards did their consumption
pose to people? The idea of putting poison on
food was out of the question! Their mission became
Mission Statement Evolved
Provide healthy food utilizing the highest
quality clean ingredients while supporting organic
and sustainable agriculture. Our actions today
will influence the seventh generation. We must
take care of our mother earth now for the children
of today and tomorrow.
In 1984, in a yurt (nomadic Mongolian tent) using
a generator to operate a small food processor,
the first fresh pesto sauces (using their organically
grown basil) were manufactured for a local market
by Rising Sun Farms®. The response was so positive
and the demand so great that it necessitated a
larger certified kitchen. A small manufacturing
plant was built on the farm. Soon the products
extended to include a variety of pesto sauces,
dried tomatoes, cheese tortas, vinaigrettes, oils
Rising Sun Farms'® vision broadened over the horizon
to larger metropolitan areas on the West Coast.
The health food industry was just emerging, the
gourmet industry was getting better organized,
and the grocery business was expanding to include
gourmet and health foods. Educated consumers were
becoming more interested in healthy, convenient,
chemical free foods with informative and exciting
packaging. Rising Sun Farms'® products were perfect.
However, what Richard and Elizabeth needed was
Looking for the "big sale," a presentation was
made to a gourmet food distributor in Portland
Oregon. It was at this meeting that the strategy
was revealed which became the marketing plan for
the expansion of the business. The distributor
proclaimed, "I love your products and the packaging
is superior, however, no one has asked for your
products." Eureka…inspiration! Get your consumers…retailers
and distributors will follow.
The family team assembled and started tasting
and selling their products at consumer shows,
farmers' markets and craft fairs along the West
Coast. The direct sales approach as the "Farmers
You Could Trust" growing organic herbs and making
delicious products of consistent quality brought
a loyal following to Rising Sun Farms®. Customer
education was foremost. Little was known or understood
about "organic" products and for that matter pesto
sauce…however, the convenience and flavor sold
them. The consumer shows provided cash flow while
the family turned all of their "loyal consumers"
into their sales force. Consumers were given cards
to take to their local stores requesting that
the markets carry Rising Sun Farms'® products.
The strategy worked! Retailers and distributors
Rising Sun Farms® has distribution throughout
the United States, exports to Japan, Holland and
New Zealand. Since their
employees are their most valuable asset and are
always referred to as 'The Can Do Crew', a visit
to Rising Sun Farms is always a pleasure!
call to order any of their fine products, or visit
the tasting room and store. Hours vary seasonally.
Call for current store hours. Visit on the web
5126 S. Pacific Hwy.
(541)-535-8331 ext. 201
Rising Sun Farms - All rights reserved