Art Van Groningen
After serving in World War II, Art Van Groningen spent 30 years growing almonds and other crops with his brother Hank.
Since then, Art’s three sons have joined him in Van Groningen & Sons, a diversified farm in central California. Nephew Bryan recently joined them, as have a few other nephews.
But Art views those involved in the operation as more of an extended family.
“We’re responsible for 21 families, including workers, on this ranch. This is not a one-horse operation—there are a lot of horses here,” he said, smiling.
Son John doesn’t have to boast about the high-quality almonds they produce—he lets Blue Diamond’s premium program speak for him.
The Sacramento-based cooperative rewards grower-members, like the Van Groningens, who produce exceptional nuts.
John also may be one of his best customers. Every morning for breakfast, he has sliced almonds and Almond Breeze—Blue Diamond’s non-dairy beverage--on his cereal.
“No more milk—I drink Almond Breeze. It’s excellent,” John says.
The Van Groningens have been members of Blue Diamond Growers since 1937.
John says he likes the co-op’s strong farmer-owned base, which has allowed his family to succeed over the years.
“We’re a fourth-generation family farming business, and the fifth generation is in the works,” he says.