In 1910, an immigrant from Denmark settled in the fertile valley of Central California, more specifically the gentle rolling hills of Orange Cove. There he planted roots for his family and their farm “Cecelia Orchards.” Floyd Charles Olsen, known best as “Chuck Olsen” to those in the produce industry, was asked by his uncle to join the family business in 1971 and continue the legacy Chuck’s grandfather had started all those years ago.
During that same time in the 1970’s, James J Cotter Sr. was investing in California agriculture and by 1986 formed JJ Cotter Orchards with 580 acres of premium citrus properties. It was two years later when Mr. Cotter purchased Cecelia Packing from Chuck Olsen to bring Cecelia Packing to what it is today.
In 2003, Cecelia Packing Corporation (Cecelia) opened a state-of-the-art packing house which allowed for double the space compared to their previous facility and now boasts 55,000 square feet. With the additional floor space, Cecelia can pack more efficiently and with greater control of the fruit increasing quality and consumer satisfaction.
Mr. Cotter passed away after a heroic battle with cancer. His passing would hand off the reigns to the next generation of Cotters, his daughters Ellen and Margaret, as they oversee Cecelia and all other agricultural properties. Before Mr. Cotter passed, he had grown the ranches to just under 2,000 acres.
To this day Cecelia has a diverse product line which includes premium Navels, Valencia, Minneola Tangelos, Tangerines, and Grapefruit. Along with established varieties, we are constantly evaluating new varieties and root stocks in order to keep our variety mix on the leading edge of the industry. We are also expanding into organics and strive to grow so we can continue to offer options that are in-demand and support our customers wants and needs. Ellen and Margaret continue to push Cecelia Packing and JC Orchards to be one of the top growers, packer, shipper and marketer of premium California citrus.