0 comments 05.10.2015
Today’s #MCM title belongs to South Bay’s Business man, Shahram (Anthony) Shoghi who has combined his love of a healthy lifestyle with his business administration knowledge, resulting in a successful produce company.
Shahram was born and raised in Southern California and has developed a penchant for produce from a young age. Growing up, Shahram enjoyed the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly, a disciplined diet, and fruits and vegetables. While at the University of Arizona during 2008-12, Shahram studied Business Administration, which helped him realized he could essentially connect his love for produce and business together.
His experience has aided him in building partnerships with outside producers by keeping constant communication with growers around California, Mexico, and Florida. According to Shahram, “This is imperative as the most important thing in produce is providing top quality.”
In January of 2015, Shahram joined Moonland Produce which is a full service wholesaler of fruits and vegetables out of Vernon, CA. Additionally, they specialize in repacking, processing, cold storage, and custom processing.
The business model was built around the concept of avocado ripening, treating avocados with ethylene gas to speed up the ripening process. In result, this would ensure that customers have ripened avocados for consumption the day of purchase, then come back for more. Shahram explains that his company has also recently acquired farm land in California and Florida where we they grow exotic dragon fruit.
Moonland Produce specializes in leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, cabbage, etc. They are proud to also import avocados from Mexico, Chile, Peru, and the USA. Moonland Produce has a bevy of foodservice and retail clients. Some of their clients include: Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Seafood City Supermarkets, Harmon’s City in Utah, Super A Foods, El Super, and smaller ethic stores such as Fresh Choice Marketplace, Wholesome Choice, and Crown Valley.
Although there are many nutritional benefits in fruit and vegetables, Moonland’s own variety of Dragon Fruit provides many health benefits, these include: fiber, antioxidants and a multitude of vitamins. After discovering the natural antioxidants the fruits provided, Shahram stopped taking his multivitamin daily and substituted it for a daily serving of dragon fruit.
Dragon Fruit also aids in controlling blood sugar levels and one serving contains 50% of your daily recommended Vitamin C intake. According to ‘Skinny with Fiber,’ “ The dragon fruit is jam-packed with antioxidants that combat free radicals and prevent them from messing with your vital functions.”
Dependent on the variety, one should expect to pay $3 a pound or as high as $12 a pound for some of the more exotic varieties! Shahram finds that the beauty of Dragon Fruit is that it’s versatile. He has used it to it make low sugar jams and smoothies. Shahram says, “I personally just split the fruit with a knife and eat the flesh out with a spoon. Many store the fruit and eat it at room temperature, but I prefer chilled… It’s all preference.”
For Shahram, the most difficult part of becoming involved in such a demanding business is working a 6 day work week with only Sundays off. According to Shahram, “On the days I work, my alarm clock is set to 3:30AM. What many don’t know about the produce industry is that the peak of business is between 1am and 9am. This would allow the trucks coming from all parts of California and Mexico (where most our items are grown) to come in without traffic and delays.”
Between the hours of from 4AM to 7AM, Shahram completes his duties in the warehouse which includes strict inspections of incoming produce, quality control for my produce going out to my clients, and maintaining constant communication with everybody. Produce is on a market system, meaning that the price of a commodity can change from minute to minute so you really have to stay on top of it.
Shahram enjoys learning for ways to become more efficient and monitor news on produce around the world because that helps with anticipating fluctuations in the market. Although his day ends around 11AM and he can go home, he must remain glued to his phone as the produce business never sleeps!
Despite the demanding hours, Shahram simply states, “I cherish every minute of it.”
Thank you, Shahram, for inspiring others to follow their passions, do what they love, and the possibilities will be endless.
To learn more about Moonland Produce, please visit their website here or follow them on Instagram at @moonlandproduce