The History of the Walla Walla Sweet Onions goes hand in hand with the history of Locati Farms.
It all began in 1905 when Joe Locati, the grandfather of today’s owner, first arrived in the Walla Walla Valley leaving Italy behind. Joe worked for a French immigrant by the name of Pete Pieri who brought the original onion seeds with him to Walla Walla from Corsica, Italy. Little did they know that they were sowing the seeds of a great business that would grow and expand for years to come.
In 1909, Joe ventured out and bought his own farm along the foothills of the Blue Mountains and began to raise his own crop of onions. By the 1940s, Joe’s sons, Ambrose and Pete, took over the running of their father’s farm. The sons, along with their cousin Virgil Criscola, started the first onion packing shed in the Walla Walla Valley in 1949. To this day, packing sheds continue to provide a cleaner and higher quality pack for the onions and thus provides a better product for the consumer.
Now Michael Locati continues the family heritage as a grower, packer, and shipper of delicious Walla Walla Sweet Onions. The original varieties passed down from his grandfather remain, while new innovations help to improve each years product. One such innovation is a method known as “topping and tailing”, which makes the sweet onions much more visually appealing.
In 2003, Michael Locati and two other partners developed Walla Walla River Packing and Storage, LLC, a state-of-the-art onion curing and packing facility. It is here that only the finest Walla Walla Sweet Onions are brought to be cured, stored, packed and shipped ensuring the highest quality onions reach our customers.