Carol Morales named Granby business person of the year
April 8, 2010
Her mother died of breast cancer when she was only 10 years old.”My dad made me get up that morning, go to school and move on,” said Carol Morales, recently crowned Granby Business Person of the Year. “It taught me a lot. As life unfolds, it makes you who you are. No matter what is presented to you, you find a way to make it work… I love him for that.”Morales’s father, a successful entrepreneur, became central to Carol’s world. “The list is endless of all the things he did. I was a very lucky child to be at his hip,” she said.Morales was the youngest of five children. Her father Art Maynard, a commercial fisherman, moved the family to California, then to Florida where he eventually managed the second largest marina in the state. He was a restaurateur, owned a deep-sea fishing business and operated a water ski club at which his oldest children were instructors.Business savvy started early for Morales, who remembers being responsible for a crab trap line starting at age 12. “I would go out in the mornings and afternoons and harvest the crabs, and then we would sell them to restaurants,” she said.”My dad always said, whatever you choose to do in life, make sure you love what you do and do what you love.”It was a lesson that still rings true for her today. For 30 years, Carol and husband Joe Morales have owned and operated Morales Farms, carrying on the Granby-area tradition of high-altitude lettuce growing.Carol met Joe while out cross-country skiing in Grand County. Up until then, Carol had been teaching snowboarding, telemark skiing, cross-country skiing and downhill skiing at SilverCreek ski hill. Having been exposed to a livelihood dependent on the sea by her father, Carol’s marriage to Joe in 1980 introduced to her a livelihood dependent on the land. From Joe and working the land, Carol said she has learned about an all-important business ingredient: “Faith. I know that sounds weird. It stems back to what my father taught me,” she said. The farm has seen change over the years from being one of the largest lettuce and spinach producers in the state to the challenges that come with the onset of corporate farming – buyers turning away from the produce of smaller farms.”The environment we do business in is constantly changing, and we ourselves are constantly changing,” Carol said. “You have to make the subtle changes necessary to stay in business.”Faith, Joe has taught her, is to trust that as time unfolds, the change needed will reveal itself.”It will happen when God and life want it to happen,” Carol said.Several years ago, the Moraleses downsized the farm from 400 acres to the cultivation of 100 acres in row crop.”That’s when we started doing Farmer’s Markets,” Carol said.They were instrumental in founding the Granby Farmer’s Market about five years ago and were heavily involved with the set up and take down of the popular weekly event that endures today.And in recent years, the Moraleses participated in upstarting the Grand Community Gardens, where gardeners share a plot of land to raise their own produce. “My favorite thing is teaching the free gardening classes,” Carol said. “I love to help people learn to grow their own food.”The Granby Business Person of the Year award was presented to Carol Morales recently at a Granby Chamber of Commerce function at Caroline’s Cuisine.”It was a very nice honor,” she said, adding that her husband is the key to her award. “I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do for the community if it wasn’t for Joe in the background, taking up the slack at the farm,” she said. – Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail email@example.com.