Arrey, New MexicoDownload
This New Mexico family’s chile processing and farming business has thrived through three generations, and there's no end in sight.
M.A. & Sons, a family-owned and operated corporation, began its chile processing operation in October of 1987. The company was established by Mary Alice Garay, also known as M.A., who is a former Ag New Mexico Farm Credit Services director. Today, Mary and her three sons, Frank, Randy and Patrick Garay, own and operate the business.
Despite a continuous decline in the state’s red chile industry, the Garays’ business has done nothing but grow. They started the operation by purchasing a small, three tunnel dehydrating business from M.A.'s father with hopes to continue to preserve a family tradition by dehydrating, processing and distributing red chiles. And over the years, she and her sons have added more drying capacity to reach the 16 tunnels, where they process roughly 4.4 million pounds of chiles annually.
Product Worth Standing Behind
The Garays' chiles comprise 15 percent of the crop that the plant processes, with the rest coming from 14 contract growers in the Hatch Valley and as far away as Mexico and Arizona. The chiles are processed into dried chile pods, chile powder, crushed chile, and as the result of a business diversification goal several years ago, into red chile puree.
Warren Russell, their Ag New Mexico lender, knows the family’s products are worth standing behind.
“As a consumer, I know that their products are better than others out there,” he says. “As their loan officer, I know for these reasons that their growth potential is huge.”
The Garay family has been working with Ag New Mexico since 2005.