Guy De Mangeon
Award Sponsor: California State University, Channel Islands
Guy moved to the United States from France in 1980 at the age of 26, with no connections or knowledge of English. In 1988, he found himself in Ojai with five extra flats of strawberries. He sold them out of the back of his station wagon and doubled his investment. Within one month, he was selling up to 500 flats of berries per week. In 1989, Guy launched The Berry Man, Inc. Guy worked 15-hour days until he was able to move from his garage to his own warehouse. In 1992, Guy opened another operation in San Luis Obispo and in 2016 he opened their largest distribution center yet in Oxnard. The Berry Man now delivers fresh local produce from San Simeon to the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Today, the Berry Man serves over 2,000 clients and offers more than 3,000 items from berries to dairy. The company operates 75 vehicles. He and his more than 200 loyal employees generate revenue of nearly $50 million annually. This has enabled the company to develop a robust philanthropic program that supports local organizations such as the I Madonnari Festival, the Arthritis Foundation, United Boys and Girls Club, and several local schools.
Guy regularly tells others that he is living the “American Dream.”