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Who We Are

A bear is one of the most family-oriented of all animals.

A symbol of strength and courage that offers protection and loyalty. James Bassetti, Sr., affectionately known as “The Bear,” earned such a reputation with a successful produce business due to his fierce commitment to going to any length to supply the best produce possible for his customers.

In 1984, his son Jimmy Bassetti, took a trip down to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, at the request of one of their Canadian clients that they serviced during the New Jersey season. Jimmy soon realized the potential opportunity to offer their customers a year-round supply of produce, along with the same level of quality and service that was available during the New Jersey season. Jimmy and his wife Diane quickly made the decision to take a chance, and make Texas their home.

After two years sourcing from various grower-packer-shippers, it became clear that in order to offer their customers a premium product, they would need to venture into farming and packing product in-house. From there, J&D Produce and the “Little Bear” brand was born, and thus the legacy that the Bassetti family created. One that still holds true today in honoring the same core values – fulfilling one’s word, and respecting those they do business with.

Little Bear mascot icon
photo of various vegetables

Today, Little Bear Produce, continues to sell the consistently superior quality of produce that Jimmy Bassetti set out to bring to grocery stores near you! Now with 7,000 acres of farms across 3 countries and 4 states, they are able to share the same farm fresh products that they have enjoyed for years with you and your family!

The Little Bear Family Has Grown

Family is the fabric of Little Bear—quite literally. It is not unusual to see a team member sporting a t-shirt or cap with an embroidered Little Bear logo that they had made with money out of their own pocket. The pride that each and every employee takes in the company starts from the ground up; from the way we grow our food to the way we value one another.

Much of this pride comes from Jimmy Bassetti’s love of fostering community around the table. For years he’s encouraged employees to gather around the lunch table each day to enjoy nourishing food and each other’s company.

Meet the Little Bear Family

Oscar Garcia

Meet Oscar, CFO of Little Bear Produce. With extensive experience, he drives financial excellence and strategic vision. Welcome, Oscar, to our team!

Gerardo Portillo Sr.

Gerardo began farming alongside his father at 15, racking up over 50 years of experience! Among the commodities he cultivates, Gerardos favorite items to eat are cantaloupe and watermelon.

Karen Longoria

Karen is a Sales Associate at Little Bear Produce. She excels in customer interactions, managing both retail and wholesale clients!

Jay Vela

Jay has been with Little Bear Produce for 10 years! As Director of Human Resources, Jay is responsible for taking care of our most precious resource, our people!