Who We Are
We Know Mexican Hass Avocados!
Founded over 20 years ago, Stonehill Produce has built a veteran, “time-tested” team that you can trust. As a group, we have over 100 years of produce industry experience and we know the Mexican Hass avocado industry inside and out. That knowledge helps Stonehill consistently generate market intelligence and insights about what growers, packers, and buyers are doing at all times. This valuable information is turned into actionable knowledge and distributed weekly to the Mexican Hass avocado industry.
We understand the value of communicating what is strategically important in the market, not relying on guesswork.
Our expertise in the Mexican Hass avocado deal includes comprehensive Country-Of-Origin intel on the major avocado producers around the world. That includes California, Peru, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia. Stonehill focuses on developing long-term relationships with our customers that are based on EARNING business through trust, knowledge, and adding value to your bottom line. And that is why we why we have retained well over 90% of our customers in the past 10 years.
We’re not simply trying to sell Hass avocados; the Stonehill Produce Team actually strengthens the avocado buyer’s industry knowlege across the board from avocado groves, avocado packing houses, to the intricacies of importing Hass avocados from Mexico. Stonehill Produce is passionate about what we do, we believe in a strong work ethic, and we love sharing the knowledge we’ve gained to help our customers reach their goals.
When we spend decades committed to understanding importation of Mexican Hass avocados and the worldwide avocado industry, we naturally build strong relationships with avocado experts who are doing the same thing. That’s why our avocado grower and avocado packer partners in Mexico are such strong allies. And that’s why we have developed open and transparent communication with professionals in every facet of the produce industry.
With 20+ years of experience, we are knowledge experts about avocados; everything from the seasonal changes in avocado oil content to proper avocado handling and avocado ripening procedures. Stonehill Produce is constantly analyzing avocado sales volume and avocado import data to fully understand the impact those numbers have on the avocado market: both what’s happening today, and what lies ahead.
Meet the Team
CEO & Founder
Director of Retail Sales
Full Charge Bookkeeper
National Sales Director
Our Pathway to Stonehill Produce 2.0
CEO & Founder
Keith believes in building a positive work environment and company culture that allows its team members to thrive. This philosophy came from his strong belief in maintaining a “lifestyle career” that started when he founded Stonehill Produce in 1998. His commitment to the very highest standards—while never sacrificing the company culture–has helped Stonehill become one of the most successful produce importers in the U.S. Keith got his start in the produce business after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with an agriculture business degree and then working in the citrus industry with Sunkist Growers and Don Bonano Citrus Company. After launching Stonehill, Hass avocados quickly became his singular focus and area of expertise, and his company earned a reputation for honesty, integrity and hard work. Keith is passionate about feeding the world — no short-cuts, no antics, just delicious produce, grown right. When he’s not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, with whom he shares his love of surfing.
There are many reasons why people in the U.S. AVOCADO DEAL call industry veteran Dave Billings the MARKET WHISPERER. As the driving force behind Stonehill’s brand signature–WE KNOW AVOCADOS—he has no peer when it comes to understanding supply and demand; grower and market prices; and growing regions and elevations. But his strongest skill is in assembling those pieces into the bigger-picture puzzle. He has been honing that capability since joining Stonehill in 2013 to manage the company’s operations and lead its growth initiatives. An expert on change management and growth strategies, Dave held multiple leadership positions at major organizations prior to joining Stonehill. He was President of a Dry Bean Marketing Cooperative for 10 years where he reversed a declining sales trend by vertically integrating the organization and completely re-organizing its Multi-State Field Operations and Packaging/Canning Facilities. Those moves, along with creative innovation and strategic acquisitions, quadrupled revenue. Dave also spent seven years as President of the leading Industrial Vinegar supplier in the U.S. and Canada operating in the business-to-business sector selling to companies like Heinz, Best Foods, and Hidden Valley Ranch. Already holding a dominating 50% market share, he turned his focus to the bottom line by divesting unprofitable pieces of the business, consolidating production, and modernizing plants to be run from a laptop. The result was a 4X increase on the bottom line. After the business was sold by its multi-national parent, Dave started to look for “something new and interesting to do.” That turned out to be joining avocado powerhouse Calavo Growers as its Commodities Manager where he learned about the avocado business from top to bottom. After nine years at Calavo, Dave took his avocado knowledge and previous business experience to Stonehill Produce to lead a strategic repositioning of the company from a Sales Agency/Brokerage Business to an importing company with a: 1) Diversified stable of sourcing partners; and 2) World-Class, 360o knowledge of the U.S. Avocado Category. That repositioning puts Stonehill right where it needs to be as consumption of avocados in America continues its explosive year-in, year-out growth. And even though that growth produces more and more pieces to the market puzzle, the Market Whisperer still figures it out every day.
Ashley joined Stonehill to support the sales team with all purchasing, receiving, and border passings. With a background in purchasing and management, combined with her passion for customer service, she was eager to join the Stonehill team and grow with the company. Ashley is hands-on with customers and vendors serving them with world-class support while also learning everything she can about the Mexican avocado deal. When she is not working, you can find Ashley enjoying time with her family at car shows, motorcycle tracks, the beach, and eating avocado toast.
Director of Retail Sales
Bobby Stokes is Stonehill’s Director of Retail Sales and one of those produce veterans who “can play any position on the field.” With over 35 years of leadership in the industry under his belt, Bobby has developed extensive experience from holding management positions at every level in the fresh produce supply chain. That includes leadership roles in the following areas: RETAIL: Albertsons, Seattle; CHAIN BUYING: Associated Grocers, Seattle; BROKERAGE: Amerifresh, Los Angeles; PROCUREMENT: Sunflower Farmers Market, Phoenix and Lucky’s Market, Florida; and PROMOTIONS: Oregon Blueberry Commission. Bobby built his impressive skillset through stints as a packer, shipper, exporter, and global importer. Along the way, he developed credentials as an expert at building strong relationships in the grower, packer, and shipper communities. In his role as Stonehill’s Director of Retail Sales, Bobby will focus on educating retailers about the critical importance of getting good intel about the U.S. Avocado Category. Here’s how he puts it: “We want retailers to know that all intel is not created equal and it’s difficult to find reliable and strategic information that can boost comparable sales and add value on the bottom line. That will open the door for me to tell them about Stonehill’s proprietary 360o Knowledge Generator that produces the most trusted weekly intel on the U.S. Avocado Category.”
When Stacy started working at Stonehill Produce in 2000, the company was two years old and imported about 70,000 avocados a day. Today, volume is up to 400,000 a day, the company has offices in two states, and Stonehill is one of the most successful produce importers in the nation. As Stonehill’s in-house accountant, Stacy has been instrumental in developing the systems and processes that have helped the company manage its growth — from HR and administration duties to order-tracking software and billing procedures. She makes sure the business systems run smoothly so the sales team can focus on moving Mexican avocados from the field and into the market.
National Sales Director
Before joining Stonehill Produce, Joaquin owned and operated his own company specializing in avocado imports. He learned about the fruit from its beginnings as a seed, to harvest and on to the final sale by spending time in Mexico’s Michoacán state, the world’s leading region for avocado production. His understanding of the avocado and familiarity with the Mexican avocado industry’s growing regions makes him the perfect person to support and expand Stonehill’s relationships with growers and packers in Mexico, and pursue new business opportunities for the company. When he’s home in Texas, Joaquin enjoys spending time at his family’s ranch where he works with cattle and horseback riding on the weekend, and on the weekdays he and his wife spend time competing in the American Pool players Association, the worlds largest amateur pool league.
Danny’s career in the produce industry started in 2004 when he was loading trucks in Texas on the U.S. Mexico border. He quickly worked his way up to working on the floor and then into dispatch. In those roles, Danny was able to demonstrate his business acumen, strong bi-lingual communication skills, and uncompromising work ethic. That moved him up again, this time from a source coordinator role to the sales desk where currently sits. His sales philosophy is committing to do whatever it takes to make the deal right for the customer and add value to their business. Here’s how he puts it: “If we say it, we stand by it.” When not selling America’s favorite fruit, Danny heads for the golf course, ski slope, or open spaces to drive motorcycles and quads.
Full Charge Bookkeeper
Lori brings to Stonehill her love for numbers and avocados. She has been working in accounting for the past few decades. Lori works closely with Stacy McCoy in our accounting department focusing on accounts payable, accounts receivable, and admin. Outside of work, she loves road tripping with her family, reading good books, and of course, eating guacamole.