Are your Pecos cantaloupes tasting sweeter? You can thank the dry heat for that

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 6:58 PM CDT
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COYANOSA, Texas (KOSA) - It’s that time of the year again for West Texans, the sweet and juicy Pecos cantaloupes are back.

The Mandujano brothers plant, harvest and ship their fruits throughout the state of Texas.

This year is their 25th anniversary since they’ve been in business.

“We’re in a unique area, unique location. You know the temperature, the soil, the water, it’s just a really great place to grow cantaloupe,” said Tony Mandujano, Part-owner, Mandujano brothers

The Mandujano brothers begin to prepare the soil in February and plant them in March.

So that way come late June, they can start harvesting cantaloupes and watermelons all the way through September..

The dryer the weather and less rain leads to sweeter cantaloupes.

We asked Beto Mandujano what the recipe to success was, and he says.

“It’s a family place here. We all have (involvement) from the picking to the packing to the shipping, and shipping out straight to the warehouses, we’re all involved.”

The Mandujano brothers say they’re thankful for the constant support that the public gives for their cantaloupes.

Another group of people that the Mandujano brothers want to thank is their staff.

Especially the ones out here harvesting their cantaloupes out here in 97-degree weather.

Even though they get constant water and lunch breaks, they wear long sleeves and wear hats to cover up from the sun, it can still take a toll on their health..

But they don’t mind it and they’re still out here working every day.

The Mandujano brothers also provide housing for their workers and constant breaks when they’re working in the heat.

Beto says these workers begin around eight in the morning and finish between three and five.

The harvesting leads to their packing facility.

Here, the hundreds of workers prepare pallets of watermelons and cantaloupes to be shipped out.

“We like to consider our employees as part of our family. We have some employees with us that have been working with us for 15 years, 10 years, 12 years and they keep coming back to work for us every year. We think it means a lot to us,” says Tony Mandujano

These cantaloupes end up in grocery stores like H-E-B, Albertsons, and Kroger, with the signature Pecos cantaloupe sticker on them.

With the support they get from the community and their own family, the brothers plan to pass this business down to their children.

“So, my grandpa was the one that started this, and then he passed it down to his son, and now they’re going to pass it down to me. So, it just means a lot” says Tadeo Mandujano.