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The Myth of Carlos Bon

Carlos Bon
Vice President of Sales

For this week’s Bon report, the sales/PR team decided to take over and explain who Carlos Bon really is. Grape season is a hectic, fast-paced season, and there’s a lot of details which sometimes go unnoticed running a successful grape operation which consists of over 6-million boxes. Carlos is at the forefront of it all and oversees every detail- projections, daily packing instructions, quality, logistics, and customer/grower relations. You name it, he’s part of it. It’s important for our grape customers to know the type of leader Carlos is to our company (By the way, this is a surprise, and he will be reading this for the first time as you do).

Mike Demattia
Sales Executive of Divine Flavor

Carlos Bon otherwise known as my second wife during the Mexican grape season is someone for which I hold the utmost respect.

I have only been with Divine flavor for two years, but he and I have been working together for probably the last ten. I call him my second wife because prior to my employment at Divine, he would call me at any time on any day to discuss the Sonoran grape deal and my real wife of 23 years would snidely say, “oh is that your other wife again?”

Carlos is very comfortable in his own skin, he says what he means, and he does what he says.  He has a tremendous responsibility overseeing the sales of all of our categories and yet manages to do it by not taking himself too seriously.  He encourages his team to help him with planning and strategies and is not afraid to employ those strategies even if initially he didn’t see it that way or disagreed.

Carlos has managed to create a unity between the growers and the sales team.  I have seen far too many situations where one side says, “production drives sales” and the other defiantly says “Sales drives production”. At divine we truly work together— it’s not one side is more important than the other, and that is a testament to his communication, hard work, and integrity.  

Lastly, what you do not know about Carlos is what a devoted family man he is. Regardless of how busy he is, HE ALWAYS makes time for his wife and three sons.  Whether it’s coaching his sons’ basketball teams, attending their school events, or taking his wife out for date night, Carlos does not let work interfere with what is important to him— his family.  I am going to be 52 years old, and I’ve been selling produce for 28 years, and I have repeatedly told people that Divine Flavor will be the last produce job I have and that is in large part because of Carlos Bon.

Dennis Hay
Senior Sales Executive of Divine Flavor

I have known Carlos for over 21+ years, long before he arrived at Divine Flavor.  I have considered him to be like a younger brother and it has been incredible to see him grow not only in the business, but to see him start and raise his family.  We have a very closeknit relationship on the grape team and Carlos has been the glue that has stuck some very different personalities together. I admire how Carlos has been family first and rarely misses an important event even if he must make crazy travel arrangements to make sure he is “there”.  The most amazing thing I see on a daily basis is his incomprehensible knowledge of the grapes business.

Not only can he tell you who and what every grower in Mexico is growing, but pretty much has an incredible knowledge of most growing regions in the world.  Give him a test on grape varieties and he will most likely know the breeder, name, characteristics, who and where it grows.  He is family to me, and I hate him… ha!

Antonio Escobar
Grape Category Manager

They say that a company’s most important piece is its employees and its people. Well Carlos is a big part of that at DF.  Carlos is part owner, our boss/Employer but he is also an employee, and not just a “VP of sales”. He’s done it all from picking grapes to dispatching trucks (Funny story- one Sunday, there was no one around, so he was loading a truck himself. Must have been driving like a Checo Perez, dropped a whole pallet turning a corner with the pallet jack, there is a video of that somewhere!).

I think one of the reasons why he is good at his job is because he truly enjoys what he does. The guy just loves grapes. Everything about them— the farming, the breeding, the selling, the merchandising, and the eating for sure!!

Beyond having a talent for selling and knowledge of crops and the industry, one of the most admirable things about Carlos is that his employees have his back. They respect him, they are loyal all the way from the farm, to operations, to sales. We all look up to him and the legacy that was started by his grandfather, uncles, father and now followed by his brothers and himself.

Proud to call him my boss, proud to call him a friend. Here’s to a great season!

Alan Morfin
Sales Excecutive of Divine Flavor

I have known Carlos for more than 2 decades and have been working with him for the past 9 years. Carlos is someone I look up to, for many reasons. The first being the person he is for his values, mindset and virtues. He is authentic, a family man, fun and hard working. I have learned so many things from him, and I keep learning. The great thing about working with him is that he is fun to be around, and very professional at the same time. I have seen him performing as a salesman, as my coach, as a table grape expert, as my friend, under pressure and over pressure, as the family man he is, as a leader, and I have witnessed from my perspective his continuous improvement in his whole persona.

His passion and dedication for the things he values makes me look up to him. He is someone I trust, blindly. So, all this, and so much more I could mention, all the little things that allows me to get a transparent glimpse of his authentic inner self, and it makes me proud of being his colleague and his friend. He’s the Michael Jordan of table grapes, and this alone helps me do my job better every day.

Jonathan Wittus
Sales Excecutive of Divine Flavor

Carlos bon became a close friend years prior to my current position at Divine Flavor.

It was 2005, we were both young and learning our way. Carlos was coming to the San Joaquin Valley for extended periods to purchase grapes for Mexico. I was maybe his biggest Mexican Grupo Alta red globe buyer at the time, so we had some history. I recall a lot of time hanging out. Mostly watching him conquer various Play station 2 games and eating Greek salads at Pita Kabob.

I was never able to participate, I was more of his spectator as my PSP skills were nowhere near the level for him to give up the controller. Fast Forward 18 years, and I am in awe of the person he has become, not only with his position and passion at Divine Flavor but also as a father and husband. The Sales team calls him the “Tetris King” as he is able to do the impossible and coordinate the daily operations, with every detail required, to deliver quality Divine Flavor grapes to its customers.

Luis Rodriguez
Sales Excecutive of Divine Flavor

Who is Carlson Bon? I had no clue who this guy was until I started working for Divine Flavor and now I can say that I have nothing but respect for the guy. For me personally, working for Divine Flavor has been an amazing learning experience and being able to work alongside him during the grape deal has led me to understand he REALLY knows what he’s doing! Whether the market is good or bad or we are long or short, he always seems to figure it out.

He’s a great leader and motivator and keeps every one of us on our toes to make sure we are all working together as a team in achieving the best possible outcome for our customers and our growers. There are some new and exciting varieties coming along like our cotton candies, jellyberries and gummiesberries and we expect to be in full swing in the coming weeks. So, gear up and start buying more grapes 😄!!!

Michael DuPuis
Quality Assurance & Public Relations

It’s incredible to see how much detail Carlos oversees on the day to day during the grape season. Everything from his coordination at the farm level (the million packing presentations we have), all the way to the strategic planning he does with our sales team for our retail partners. On a typical day, Carlos receives more than 3,000 messages (just on the growing side). I imagine he sees just as much on the customer side as well. The good news is that Carlos has a great team around him. Salespeople, operations, growers, and management.

But Carlos is the glue to it all. His energy motivates us. It inspires. It brings out the best in us because we all see how hard he works and the successful results he achieves. It pushes us to match the same passion he brings to our company each and every day at Divine Flavor.

For Carlos, there’s nothing more important than making sure the end consumer buys a piece of fruit they absolutely enjoy and have a unique experience with. Sometimes Carlos tells me we’re not in the produce business, but the flavor business and that we are selling an experience for the end consumers.

Alan Ricardo Aguirre Ibarra
President and CEO of Grupo ALTA

Since Carlos loves and is passionate about what he is doing, this brings tremendous value to our company. When you are passionate about something, it brings out the best results. But for Carlos, it’s more than passion. He knows what to do in every situation, he understands each variety we grow and how they behave, the weather forecast, projections, etc. To be a successful grape businessman or for any produce item, you need to understand everything there’s to know about it and he does this well. He understands both sides of our industry— the growing side, and the market/retail side.

He’s not a magician, but he has a natural ability to do remarkable work in this business. He truly understands how to forecast and comprehend projections and uses this to strategically plan out a successful grape season for our farms and for the retailers. Every day he speaks with each of our grape facilities and with our customers to ensure programs are fulfilled and our customers are satisfied. Carlos constantly plans ahead to make sure we project what the market needs, but also the needs of each retailer we work with. Our industry has a lot of salespeople, and not a lot of industry professionals dive as deep as Carlos does and excels at it whether this pertains to quality, flavor, and good projections. We feel the same way he feels about us. He has our back, and we have his and to support him anyway that is needed. He has a great sales team who follows his leadership. Carlos is a man of passion, and his passion is table grapes.