Email Donation

Promoting Organic Rice Around the World

Amberwaves Profile: Eric Esko, Matt Napier, and Mark Esko


         BECKET, MA. --It is early May 2002. A huge 18-wheel tractor-trailer lumbers up the mountain road in Becket, Mass. The truck departed California more than a week ago loaded with over 10,000 lbs. of Lundberg Farms Organic Brown Rice. Waiting for the truck are Eric Esko, 27, his brother Mark, 25, and Matt Napier, 24. The guys have been anticipating this moment for weeks--the arrival of the Lundberg Rice truck and the loading of the product into the warehouse at Kushi Store.

         Energized by the cool mountain air, Eric leaps into the open mouth of the trailer. He grabs a 40-lb. sack of unhulled paddy rice and hoists it effortlessly over his head in a gesture of pure triumph. He hands it to Napier who accepts the prize with relish. Napier hoists it over his shoulder, carries it into the warehouse, and gently places it on an empty pallet. While he does this, Eric appears at the open mouth of the trailer with another 40-lb. sack and hands it to Mark. Mark then carries into the warehouse and places it on the pallet.

         A natural division of labor occurs. Certain guys pull product off pallets in the truck. They hand it to guys who stack it on pallets in the warehouse. The process seems effortless. Perfect yin yang, pure energy. Before long they create a stack of sacks that reaches the ceiling. Eric, Mark, and Napier, plus their friends Scott and John, each haul about 2,000 lbs. of rice that morning. All in all, five guys offload over 10,000 lbs. of organic rice in about 30 minutes. For each guy, the effort is invigorating--pure joy, an endorphin rush, meditation in action.

         It seems the demand for organic brown rice is insatiable. Over the next three days the guys will hull over 15 bags of paddy rice and ship it all over the world, from Saudi Arabia to Indiana, from Singapore to Syria, and from Nebraska to Norway. They have been hulling and shipping rice at that pace for years.

         Amberwaves salutes Eric Esko, Matt Napier, Mark Esko, and their friends for their untiring effort in making organic brown rice available to people all over the world. Carry on dudes!


Eric Esko  Unloading the Lundberg Rice Truck 2006

On August 30, the Lundberg Rice Truck arrived in Massachusetts from California carrying 25,000 lbs of unhulled organic short grain paddy rice. A crew of seven unloaded the rice and stacked it in the Kushi Store warehouse in Becket. The rice is freshly hulled prior to sale. The Kushi Store is the sole distributor of freshly hulled organic rice in the US. Unhulled paddy rice is made available to the Kushi Store by special arrangement with Lundberg Family Farms.

© Amberwaves, 2006