Local farmer supplies Subway’s flour

Story-DunnBy Darin Fenger
Yuma Sun Features Editor

Tim Dunn had better prepare himself for some possible applause the next time he walks into a Subway sandwich shop.

Some Yumans may already know that Subway for the flour to make the popular chain’s bread. Now, however, an educational video made by Subway promises to educate the world that it can thank Yuma for its bread – plus the lettuce and spinach stuff inside bread.

The video, called “Every Sandwich Has a Story,” also highlights Taylor Farms, another Yuma area grower. The video marked a joint effort between Subway and its Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), which implements purchasing and distribution programs for the more than 10,000 Subway franchisees and more than 24,000 Subway restaurants around the world.

“Our mission with this project was to highlight the stories of our farmers and growers who bring fresh produce and ingredients to Subway restaurants in neighborhoods across the world,” said Rick Ueable, an Arizona multi-unit franchisee and member of the board of directors at IPC. “Right now, the video is making the rounds on You Tube – and seems to be a hit!”

In addition to the Yuma farms, “Every Sandwich Has a Story” introduces its viewers to operations around the country that grow sandwich ingredients ranging from pickles to tomatoes and peppers.

“It is the local farmers across the United States that make our jobs – and our lives – possible,” Ueable told the Yuma Sun. “First and foremost, I would just like to say on behalf of every Subway franchisee, manager and sandwich artist across our state how proud we are that Arizona – and specifically Yuma – have been spotlighted through this effort.”

The video can be seen by going to YouTube Every Sandwich has a Story or searching for the video by name. The video is also being featured on Subway’s official website. The company also plans to use the “Every Sandwich Has a Story” internally, as an educational tool for its employees.

The video opens with Dunn talking about his family’s farming legacy, the set just coming up in the background as he speaks.

“As I look out over these fields, I just don’t see my past and our heritage, I look at the future and I see where my kids are going to take it…,” the Yuma farmer says in the video, as footage rolls by showing beautiful scenes of fields and grain.

Dunn explained that Dunn Grain sells wheat to a Boston-based company, which in turn sells the flour to Subway. Dunn Grain began selling to Bay State Milling Co. more than 20 years ago, but the farmer admitted that he wasn’t sure how long the company has been providing its product for Subway.

High-profile buyers, however, don’t amount to a new phenomena for the Yuma grower. Dunn Grain also sells wheat to Barilla, a major pasta maker based in Italy.

Taylor Farms sells Subway about a million pounds each of spinach and iceberg lettuce every winter, according to Albert Garnica, vice president of ag operations for Taylor Farms.

Garnica speaks for the farming company in the Subway video.

“People don’t always know about Yuma, Arizona, they don’t know where our produce comes from, so it was a good feeling,” he told the newspaper in a phone interview from Taylor Farm’s headquarters in Salinas, Calif. “It was a good feeling to know that people will know that produce is coming from the desert and that Yuma is the capital of winter produce.”

Darin Fenger can be reached at dfenger@yumasun.com or 539-6860.