Ray Patton

By: Dennis Chrisman | Vice President of Human Resources, Produce Director
On: June 21, 2012

I remember working as a teenager in the Oakwood Produce department enjoying the excitement of summer. Local straw-berries, sweet corn, and tomatoes were delivered daily by farmers who only brought us their best. We set up ice tables and cut what seemed like 1,000 watermelons every Saturday afternoon. Our watermelons were always delivered to us by a real friendly Waynesville man named Ray Patton and his teenage sons, Troy and Brian. Little did I know at the time how important this father and sons team was to the success of summer business. Ray has been delivering watermelons to DLM since the early 60s. Ray called me this past May to tell me the watermelon market in Florida was struggling this year due to too much rain. He told me, “I keep cutting some from every patch they bring me and it’s not good enough for DLM.” Ray continued to search Florida, and after several long days found big, beautiful water-melons in the great state of Georgia.

We were late getting Ray’s watermelons this year, but were glad he did not give up. We live in a day where so many fresh items are purchased from order guides or by the telephone, and it’s very refreshing to know we have a “man in the field” only buying the best for DLM. Thanks Ray!