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The Hayashi family farm overcame adversity to become a household name

Hayashi family farms 2023
Posted at 8:57 PM, May 31, 2023

If you've lived on the Central Coast for a while, you're likely familiar with the Hayashi name.

The Hayashi family has been farming in the area for decades.

“We farmed — in our heyday — probably around 800 acres from Nipomo to Morro Bay,” Alan Hayashi said, who is the Hayashi Farms manager.

Hailing from Japan, Yeiju Hayashi, Alan's grandfather, immigrated to the United States in 1918. He met his wife here and planted roots on the Central Coast.

By 1942, the family's crops covered more than 100 acres in Arroyo Grande.

This growth — happening amid World War Two — was stymied when the U.S. government forced more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent into concentration camps, despite many of those being U.S. citizens.

Among them, the Hayashi family.

“When they went into the camps, my dad was 16 years old," Hayashi said. "When they came back there was animosity, there was anger, there was prejudice.”

Hayashi said his family was lucky due to their longtime friendships in the community.

“When they came back we had good people in this area, long-time family friends that had watched the ground and when they came back it was given back," Hayashi said. "Those people, if you ask me and you write about them, they are really kind of the heroes of the area.”

KSBY asked Alan how his family managed to overcome such adversity to become a household name.

“It’s not easy, it’s hard work but it’s honest," Hayashi said. "It’s honest work, and my dad had that ingrained in us. He gave us a good work ethic.”

That work ethic is seen throughout the entire family, Hayashi said.

“My kids, who’ve done well, and my nephews and nieces — doctors," Hayashi said. "Soon to be my son, a dentist. My son graduating mechanical engineering at Cal Poly — you know — how much more proud can a guy be?”

Elizabeth Chavez has been managing the fruit stand in Oceano for four years now

“They treat you like their own family and it’s been awesome working the four years,” Chavez said.

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“They treat you like their own family and it’s been awesome working the four years,” Chavez said.

Alan Hayashi said that the family farm has pared down to about 300 acres of farming and leasing, primarily in Oceano.

Now you can find the Hayashi name at a variety of farmer's markets in San Luis Obispo County.

To see where the company will be on any given day, visit the Hayashi Fruit Stand website.