Pete Taggares I arrived in the United States from Greece when he was just 18 years old. He settled and started his family in Prosser, WA. He quickly became a man who made something from almost nothing. Although he spoke little English he was successful starting a small farm in Prosser Washingon, growing apples, wine grapes, and other crops. Pete Taggares I was a prolific businessman. He also owned a local car dealership, a hardware store, a grocery store, a bank, and a majority interest in Sunny Jim Jams.
The original homestead farm in Prosser, WA is still owned and operated by his daughters, Florence and Virginia, Taggares.
His son, Pete Taggares II, bought the family’s first major parcel of land in Othello in the late 1950s. He was in his early 20s, and he saw a business opportunity. What started as only bare land would eventually grow into over 3,000 acres of farmland. Pete II established Washington State’s first french fry plant, Chef Reddy, in the 1960s. The potato processing business flourished under his leadership, making it possible to build additional plants in the midwest.
While operating one farm and multiple processing plants, Pete II also founded 3,000 acres of land in Burbank, WA. Like his father, he saw fertile soil where others only saw bare ground. The land became known as the Snake River Vineyards, home to apple orchards and grape vineyards. At one time, its claim to fame was being the largest concord grape vineyard in the world with more than 2,388 acres.
Farming was always at the heart of Pete II’s ventures. He built a strong, respectable reputation as more than a businessman. He took pride in the Taggares name and created a brand that was recognizable to anyone in the industry. His family is proud that part of this brand was helping smaller farmers in the Pacific Northwest, often by loaning money for much-needed equipment.
Fortunately for the industry and the Taggares family, Pete Taggares III spent a considerable amount of time entrenched in the family business after attending and playing football at the University of Washington. He became a Vice-President and co-owner of PJ Taggares Company in 1975 and oversaw operations of Snake River Vineyards from 1991 to 2014. He remains a consultant for Taggares Fruit Company focusing his efforts on farm-operations.
Pete Taggares IV has been involved in the farm since he was five years old. Whether helping move irrigation pipes or “driving” a tractor on his grandfather’s lap, he loved having a part in the daily operations. Pete Taggares IV earned two business degrees from the University of Washington and an MBA from Arizona State University. He worked in finance and development in a variety of industries before returning to the family business. Now, armed with new ideas and a different perspective, Pete Taggares IV leads Taggares Fruit Company as CEO.