Golden Bear Ranches (“GBR”) is a division of J. L. Gibson, Inc. and was formed in 2007 by John Gibson, its founder and President. John’s love of farming, as evidenced by the quality farm-fresh produce grown by Golden Bear Ranches, is a tribute to his great-grandmother, Elvezia Scolari Gibson, who along with his great-grandfather, George, were cherry, walnut and vegetable farmers for over 50 years in the Linden area.
Six generations ago, young Eliseo Morinini Scolari, Elvezia’s father, was himself a young farmer in Locarno, Switzerland — just a few miles from the Italian border — when he decided to migrate with his wife and children to America. After surveying the new opportunities and challenges that came with this new citizenship, they settled on a small farm in California’s bountiful San Joaquin valley in the early 1900s. He instilled in his daughter, Elvezia, a passion for farming which has now been passed down to John who carries on their tradition.
After considerable market research during college, John expanded GBR’s farming operation beyond its successful sweet cherry crops to include the royalty of the tomato family, “heirloom tomatoes.” While GBR’s new crop of heirlooms requires that they be planted,cultivated and harvested farm-fresh by hand, its healthy, colorful and delicious heirloomshave been a huge hit with its customers.
Golden Bear Ranches is gratified to serve some of the very best restaurants in Northern California with sweet cherries and/ or heirloom tomatoes, including many award-winning Napa Valley establishments such as The French Laundry, Bottega, Bouchon, Bistro Don Giovanni, Redd, Bistro Jeanty, Market, Rutherford Grill, Celadon, Angele, Carneros Inn, Cook, Mustard’s, Silver Oak Winery, Elaine Bell Cartering, Knickerbocker Catering, and the Villagio. Each of GBR’s clients appreciate the exceptional quality of GBR’s produce.
In just a few short years, the popularity of and demand for Golden Bear Ranches’ heirloom tomatoes has lead to the planting of over 60,000 heirloom tomato plants (25+ varieties) to add to GBR’s 140 acres of sweet cherries.