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Natural Delights Remembers Industry Icon Isabel Nuñez

Natural Delights Medjool dates Nuñez
Isabel and Gus Nuñez

Natural Delights remembers date industry icon, Isabel Nuñez, who died on Friday, Feb. 7. Nuñez paved the way for growers and operations to thrive in the Bard Valley region, giving jobs to thousands and supplying the country with only the best Medjool dates. He was one of the original founding members of the Yuma, Arizona-based Bard Valley Date Growers.

In 1958, Nuñez first arrived in Bard Valley as a farm laborer working for a Medjool date grower. In 1972, he purchased his own 10-acre date farm and began his own operation in Bard Valley, where Natural Delights dates still grow today. It was under his care and stewardship that his date farm thrived and a few years later, he acquired Imperial Date Gardens Inc. The Nuñez family now has 4,000 acres, with dates growing on 3,000 of those acres. 

“Much of the success of the Medjool date industry people know today is due to the personal pride and close attention to product quality that Isabel Nuñez and his family showed to their Medjool dates,” said David Anderson, VP of sales and marketing for Natural Delights. “Isabel was not only an icon but a titan in our industry, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family during this time.”

It was until his death that Nuñez worked in the date gardens. He was assisted by his children, Gus, Ramon and Mari, and his grandson, Brandon. 

“My father revolutionized the Medjool date industry and was responsible for so many changes for the industry for so many years,” said Gus Nuñez. “We’re going to miss his insight as a family and what he meant to this particular operation. As one of the last pioneers of the early Medjool date industry, he contributed to what we have now in terms of growing and production. I hope he is known for having had the courage and vision to get to get us to the level we are at today.”

Natural Delights Medjool dates originated in Bard Valley, stretching from southeastern California, through southwest Arizona and into northern Mexico. The Bard Valley Date Growers lead the industry in farming and harvest practices. Each farm is subject to the same stringent certification processes to ensure that every Natural Delights Medjool date is grown to exacting standards. The dates are a good source of fiber, contain no added sugar, are high in antioxidants and contain vitamins and minerals, including potassium, copper, magnesium, Vitamin B6, niacin, calcium and iron. 

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