Fresno, California is known for its rich agricultural history and high-scale production that feeds the world. Perhaps one of the largest-known packing businesses in the Central Valley, Panoche Creek Packing is led by Patrick James loyal, Frank Roque.
Frank Roque and Pat Mon Pere, our Head Buyer at Patrick James, go back over 35 years. With strong roots in the Valley, the Roque family continues to be loyal Patrick James clients. We sat down with Frank to discuss the history behind Panoche, how he’s laying the foundation for his family roots, and of course, his favorite Patrick James styles.
How did Panoche Creek Packing start? What’s the history there?
My partner Ross Blackburn and his dad started the company in 1982. I’ve been here for 23 years, working to build the company to what it is today while managing grower relationships. We buy almonds from farmers state-wide, and sell them. Our sales are both domestic and export.
What do you attribute to Panoche’s success?
We pride ourselves on communication and strong grower relationships. You couple that with competitive grower returns and a strong financial reputation, and it has driven our success.
You have three children who are at the helm of their education and their careers. What makes you most proud?
I am proud of all three of my children. Franko is set to graduate from Texas Christian University in May, and is looking to start a career in commercial real estate. My daughter, Julia, is a sophomore at Texas Christian University and is majoring in Communications. My youngest son, Matt, is a sophomore at San Joaquin Memorial, where he plays soccer and golf. I am the most proud of the way they carry themselves, and their ability to communicate with people, old and young.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your children?
Be humble, and work hard.
How does your style differ between a day at the office or a day in the orchard?
On most days it's jeans and a button down, but there are many days we have industry buyers in town, so I opt for business casual. When we travel for business, we have to be prepared for everything from casual, to suits, to formal dress.
What are your favorite brands at Patrick James?
When I shop at Patrick James, I typically reach for Robert Graham, Bugatchi, Cole Haan, Cutter and Buck, Peter Millar, and Scott Barber.
Why do you shop at Patrick James?
It is one-stop shopping from casual to tuxedos - they have it all. It is quality clothing that is in style, at a reasonable price. Their staff is great (especially Wally at the Fresno location). They have my sizes on file, so they are prepared when I come in, and it is a very productive visit.
What’s one thing you can never leave home without?
The only thing I don’t leave my house without is my cell phone.