About Us

Produce Broker of The South

Your fresh produce purchasing expert, specializing in produce of “the South”. We are experts in produce procurement backed by 24 years of experience in the produce business. Del Sur Produce brings you all of the experience you need without the high overheads. President/Owner, Paul Grothe, has purchased produce for the largest QSR Chains, Wholesalers, Broadliners and Retailers in North America. Del Sur Produce is here to help.

Del Sur Produce

Paul Grothe, President

Born and raised in Salinas, Ca., Paul has been around the produce industry his entire life. His Father/Mentor, Gary Ranzenberger, helped teach him the business and how important it was to do things right. While attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study Agribusiness he took an internship at Tanimura & Antle, this is where the produce industry captured his desire to pursue it as a career. After completing his degree he moved back to Salinas starting with Quality Control roles which introduced him to the operational side of the business.

In 1995 the lettuce market went crazy after the Salinas Valley was flooded in the spring. The office needed more buyers and Paul was promoted. After several years as a Buyer at Markon he was given the opportunity to help a start-up purchasing office for U.S. Foodservice. He decided to take the opportunity to see how a buying office starts from the ground up and joined the U.S. Foodservice team in the early stages. This role eventually lead into managing the USF Salinas Office while developing their private label program.

The next opportunity came at Fresh Express where he was hired as the Foodservice Business Manager. In this role he was in charge of the P&L for Subway, McDonald’s, YUM Brands, Chipotle, Dominos, Markon Inc., FSA, and many others. While at Fresh Express he was promoted to Director of Healthy Snacking working with the larger retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

After Chiquita/Fresh Express Paul took a position with DRS as Vice President of Produce to handle all of Subway’s produce procurement in San Diego, CA. While at Subway he furthered his experience with fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, lettuce and apples. Also, he helped develop their fresh avocado program and temperature studies at various distribution centers. After five great years working with Subway he decided to open up his own procurement company. Del Sur Produce, founded to serve the industry with experience and integrity. Paul has a passion for the weather it’s impact on crops and how the markets change.

Traci Grothe, CFO

Traci was raised in Santa Maria, CA. Traci met Paul while attending Fresno State University as a waitress at T.G.I. Friday’s. Traci received her accounting degree while dating Paul and then moved to Salinas. They were married and Traci worked as an accountant for Brandon & Tibbs and Hayashi & Wayland. Recently she has kept very busy with their two children, Madeline and Thomas, while also being the family accountant. She is the inter-workings of Del Sur Produce.