How Did the Gombos Family Get Started in Alfalfa Exports?
First Generation – Migration & Trucking Business
The Gombos family legacy began humbly in 1927, when Nicholas Nick Gombos migrated to the United States from Greece. As with most immigrants, his main goal was to find opportunity and a better life for his family. Nicholas held many jobs, but he was always involved in the trucking business. Therefore, it made sense to start a trucking company. He called it Special Service Transportation. And thus began the journey to alfalfa exports.
Second Generation – Agribusiness Logistics & Alfalfa Exports
Nicholas had a son, Michael N. Gombos Sr., who eventually took over the family business. Michael Sr. then started Diversified Transport Systems in 1948. One of the subsidiaries, Golden West Transport (GWT), had over 100 power units and specialized in agricultural logistics. GWT became a major agriculture commodity carrier for almonds, carrots, tomatoes, and hay in greater Kern County and San Joaquin Valley.
Third Generation – Alfalfa Exports Market & Industry Growth
Michael Sr. had two sons, Michael N. Jr. and John M., who grew-up learning the ins-and-outs of the family trucking and agricultural logistics businesses. Working with their father for a major trading company, Mike and John gained valuable export experience loading alfalfa cubes for export to Japan.
In 1978, Mike and John started Allied Commodities Xchange, also known as ACX. With Japan as their first export country, ACX was at the helm of the industry. Over the next 30 years, alfalfa exports and hay cube exports spread into South Korea, Taiwan, China, and the Middle East. Under the direct management and leadership of John and Mike, ACX became the largest processor in the world until they sold it in 2015.
Fourth Generation – Gold Standard Alfalfa Exports & Long-Term Sustainability
Now in their fourth generation of family business and third generation of alfalfa exports, The Gombos Company continues to lead the industry as the gold standard in U.S. alfalfa exports.