Del Rey Avocado Co.
Bob Lucy, Co-Owner
Our Vision is that we don’t make a business decision without first helping growers
For more than 50 years, everyone entering Downtown Fallbrook from the south has passed by an iconic avocado green historical building whose banner announces, “Del Rey Avocado Co.” Visible from both Mission and Main, Del Rey has been an enduring hub of the avocado growing legacy in Fallbrook.
Bob Lucy, Bob Siemer and Reuben Hofshi purchased Del Rey in 1988. Reuben retired two years ago. Bob Lucy and Bob Siemer remain partners and owners of the company. Working along with members of both families, they have grown the business to the point where it now supplies 25-30% of the organic avocado market and 12% of the non-organic avocado market.
Two of their biggest customers are Costco and Whole Foods. Many of their larger customers are east of the Mississippi, where people love avocados as much as we do here in the west. Del Rey now packs 250-270 bins each day and remains one of the largest family businesses in Fallbrook.
Bob Lucy was born in Massachusetts and came to southern California in 1975 after graduating from Columbia University. He learned the avocado business from the ground up by developing and managing about 1800 acres in Escondido, under mentors including grower Gene Schnell, Warren and Gill Henry of Henry Avocado and Bill Frey of Frey Nursery. Later, Bob Lucy entered marketing and sales for the avocado industry, and continues today as Senior Sales Associate for Del Rey. “Our vision is that we don’t make a business decision without first helping growers,” Said Bob. “Our passion is to do what we can for California growers. We want to keep California Avocados strong in the market and support the growers that feel the same way that we do.” Del Rey also sells and markets fruit from Mexico, Chile and Peru and supports Fair Trade Certification in developing countries which affords farm workers and pickers a better quality of life and helps to protect the environment.
Bob Siemer and his family live in Carlsbad. Their daughter Jessica is Vice President of Field and Packing Operations at Del Rey Avocado Co. Bob Lucy feels fortunate to live in Fallbrook and to have raised his family here in the “Avocado Capital of the World.” “It is an isolated 30 square miles that seems like a small East Coast town,” he explained. Both of his sons, Patrick and Donny, now work at Del Rey and his daughter, Hannah is a deputy District Attorney in Santa Barbara. Hannah and her husband, Wes, who is also an attorney, have just announced their decision to return to Fallbrook and practice law “back home” near family. Bob Lucy is active in the community. He served several terms on both the Fallbrook Hospital Board of Directors and the Rainbow Water District Board of Directors.
Baseball has always been a passion in the Lucy family. Bob was drafted by the Montreal Expos, his son Patrick, Del Rey Vice President of Organic Sales, pitched in the Minor Leagues for the St. Paul Saints in Minnesota, and son Donny, Del Rey Vice President of the East Coast Region, played professionally for the Chicago White Sox for 8 years. It was just natural that when Fallbrook’s own Dodger Baseball Hall of Famer Duke Snider started his Upper Deck Homerun Derby for talented High School players in 2001, Del Rey Avocado Co. became the sponsor, and continued in that capacity for all six years that the Derby was held. Bob Lucy was on hand in 2002 during the Home Run Derby, along with Duke Snider and Buzzy Bavasi, General Manager of the Dodgers, when the Fallbrook High School baseball field was renamed Duke Snider Field.
When Duke Snider died in 2011, his widow Bev gave Bob Lucy the directors chair with
Duke’s name on the back. The chair still occupies pride of place in Bob’s office. Bob told Bev that he just couldn’t bring himself to erase Dukes number from his phone. Bev Snider replied that if Duke called, please let her know. Bob Lucy continues to support Fallbrook and the avocado industry through his service as director of the California Avocado commission and is presently chairman of their marketing committee. He has also served on the Chilean Avocado Importer Association Board of Directors.