SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. — Robert Berber Jr., former president of Mi Rancho, has been inducted into the Tortilla Industry Association’s Hall of Fame. Mr. Berber, who passed away in January, was honored at T.I.A.’s 26th Annual Convention and Trade Expo held in Valley Center, Calif., in late May.
Mr. Berber was recognized by T.I.A. for his legacy as a pioneer in the tortilla industry. He inherited the leadership of Mi Rancho from his father, Robert Berber Sr., who purchased the business in 1954 when it was an Oakland Mexican grocery store noted for making tortillas. Robert Berber Jr. assumed ownership of the store in 1974 and built Mi Rancho into a Bay Area tortilla brand noted for the quality and consistency of its food products.
“I am honored to accept the T.I.A.’s Hall of Fame plaque on behalf of my grandfather,” said Alex Berber, business development manager for Mi Rancho. “He was an extremely hard working man with a strong work ethic, treating every employee with respect and gratitude. His greatest pride was seeing the success my father, Manuel, has brought to Mi Rancho and knowing that my brother, Andrew, and I would one day run this company that he loved so much.”Mi Rancho makes more than 1.3 billion tortillas each year. The company’s corn tortillas are made from whole kernel corn that is cooked and steeped with lime for up to 10 to 12 hours. The corn is then stone-ground with lava stones for a unique texture and flavor. Mi Rancho also uses local ingredients grown in California, and it offers organic, non-bioengineered corn and flour tortillas.