Hello, We're Ugly!
The Ugly Company exists to prevent food waste and add value back to our family farms.
Hello! I’m Ugly. My name is Ben Moore. I’m a 4th generation farmer from Kingsburg, CA. Over the years, my family and I have farmed everything from stone-fruit, wine grapes, raisins, almonds and olives. We farm both conventionally and organically. I’ve witnessed hundreds of thousands of tons of perfectly edible fruit thrown out at, and around our farm, over the years. Growing up, I always thought fruit getting thrown out because it’s ugly was normal.
I’ve backpacked and traveled across quite a bit of the world, and I came to realize.. the amount of produce we throw out, in the United States, for aesthetic reasons is 100% not normal. The light bulb went off and I felt called to action during the summer of 2017. There was a hurricane in Houston, TX. Then another hurricane shortly after in Puerto Rico. I watched the news and read the reports that people were starving. There wasn’t enough food to go around in Puerto Rico. Just that week, I personally dumped out over 300 tons of edible fruit.
I decided that the world needs to know about this problem. I’m convinced that we can prevent all of this waste if enough people can see and feel what I do, as a farmer, on a daily basis.
This is our Ugly solution. EAT UGLY.
Chief Operations Officer
Hello everyone! I’m Liz Salazar, Head of Operations here at The Ugly Company, LLC.
I live in Kingsburg, CA with my wonderful husband of 10 (almost 11) years and our three beautiful daughters. Although I have lived in the Central Valley of California my entire life, I had no idea the amount of fruit thrown out every year for no reason other than its appearance.
My husband is a truck driver in the Ag industry and has hauled “culls” during harvest time since he was 18 years old. It wasn’t until I started working for Ugly that I realized what a cull actually is. I always thought that if fruit was being thrown out, there really was no use for it or it wouldn’t be wasted, right? Boy was I wrong.
I am proud to work for a company whose mission is to prevent food waste through upcycling and creating a healthy yet delicious snack. With the ingredients being just fruit, I can satisfy my snack time cravings or hand it to my kids with a guilt free conscience.
Chief Brand Officer
Hello! I’m Steven Darling.
I am the Creative Director for The Ugly Company. Being the grandson of a farmer, I have always had a connection to the agriculture in our area. From helping pick my grandparents fields to taking the “ugly” fruit to sell at our family fruit stand I have always had a tie to the fruit industry.
While attending California Rare Fruit Growers meetings with my grandfather throughout my childhood I often wondered what other farmers did with leftover fruit. After learning about the Ugly Company and trying the products I was hooked.
As Creative director I am responsible for maintaining our brand image while moving us into the future with new and creative ideas.
My long term goal at The Ugly Company is to spread our message about Upcycling and Sustainability and reach people who normally wouldn’t expect food waste to be occurring at the scale it is.
Hello! I’m Matt Gorella and I’m the Chief Brand Officer for The Ugly Company. I grew up on a vineyard in Fowler, CA, where my family has been Sun Maid raisin suppliers for over 50 years. Over the last 7 years I’ve lived away from the Central Valley and had the opportunity to explore different parts of the world.
While I enjoyed those
experiences, I always wanted to return home to make a difference in the
community that shaped me. Enter The Ugly Company. When I learned about the amount of fruit thrown out each year, I was astounded. I couldn’t believe the level of food waste happening in our backyard. When you combine that waste with the amount of food insecurity around the world, it creates a wildly unbalanced equation that we must solve. That’s the beauty in The Ugly Company. We’re taking the challenge head on and making it our mission to prevent food waste.
I’m proud to be from the Central Valley.
I’m proud to be preventing food waste.
I’m proud to be Ugly.
VP of Sales - Central
Hello. I’m Cary Blair the Vice President of Regional Sales for the Central Region. How does a native Texan from the Dallas end up in California’s Central Valley ? A crazy cousin (of which I have many) introduced me to Ben Moore. Though my background is not in agriculture. The mission of the Ugly company efforts to reduce food waste in the supply chain registered with me. So when Ben asked me about my connection to the mission my response was simply “For me being led by the belief that the earth will produce, in abundance, when we replenish what we take from it.” It’s that give and take relationship…. which makes my connection with being Ugly and our mission. We can do better and this is only the start !
My name is Robert Salazar and I am the truck driver for The Ugly Company. I’ve
been driving for eighteen years now; starting fresh out of high school driving for
Ben’s dad, Jim Moore. My dad has been their farm foreman for just over 40 years. I
grew up with Ben on the farm doing everything from cutting weeds, to driving
tractor, to having dirt clod wars as a kid. When I started driving truck, one of my
duties was to haul culls from local packing sheds to a few dairies in the area. The
culls were used as feed for their cattle. About 6 years ago many of the local dairies
closed which left us nowhere to take the culls. That is when we began dumping
them at the farm and turning it to green waste compost. While both of these options
for the culls gave them a purpose, it wasn’t what the fruit was grown for. Farmers
put in so much time, effort and resources to provide food for our kitchen tables, and
it was devastating to watch all that perfectly edible fruit fall to the ground, out of
my trailer, to become waste. When Ben first approached me with the mission
behind The Ugly Company, I knew it would be an uphill battle to change the
patterns of an industry that have been practiced for so many years. That being said,
its exciting to see a shift in the trend and work with a company on a mission to
prevent food waste.