Margaret Jataine smiles when she thinks about the business her father started.

Corpus Christi Produce Company, Inc. started off humbly in 1946, with one goal in mind: provide the best fruits and vegetables to South Texas. However, there was just one problem: it meant lots of travel.

“My father would go around and take orders locally, drive to San Antonio, bring the produce back and deliver it all,” says Jataine. “As the years went by, his business got bigger and he expanded, but he would always take me with him, and some of my earliest memories are of going to San Antonio or to the Valley every night. I’d drink all the Cokes and eat all the candy, and back then they had ‘funny books,’ and I’d have a stack of those.”

Margaret Jataine owns Corpus Christi Produce Inc. and has been a longtime supporter of CHRISTUS Spohn events.

Margaret Jataine owns Corpus Christi Produce Inc. and has been a longtime supporter of CHRISTUS Spohn events.

A growing community’s need for quality produce continued to expand, and the business has remained a Coastal Bend staple ever since, serving Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Alice and host of other towns. Jataine inherited the business from her father after his passing. She also received his work ethic and sense of community pride, focusing on giving back to South Texas.

“I remember when CHRISTUS Spohn was run almost exclusively by the nuns,” says Jataine, with a laugh. “Things certainly are different now, aren’t they?”

While health care has undergone obvious changes during the past century of its ministry CHRISTUS Spohn Health System remains a community asset, says Jataine, noting that her children and grandchildren all were born at CHRISTUS Spohn.

It was only natural to help give back to a hospital system that has always been there for her family, says Jataine, and her involvement in fundraising events makes her “proud.”

“I’ve always enjoyed being a sponsor and being a part of CHRISTUS Spohn events including the Lyceum and Richard King III Grand Classic golf tournament,” says Jataine. “Those events really are gifts to the community because all those proceeds go back into providing care for South Texas.”

Jataine said she particularly enjoys being a part of the annual CHRISTUS Spohn Lyceum, naming off a long list of “exceptional” speakers that have been invited as guests. Among her most memorable Lyceum moments: Receiving a kiss on the cheek from former President George W. Bush.

“My grandson couldn’t believe it, and of course he had to post it on Facebook and say ‘George Bush kissed my grandmother,’ ” says Jataine.

Despite the obvious differences, Jataine is quick to point out the similarities between her business and CHRISTUS Spohn.

“Like we strive to get a 100 on all of our inspections, CHRISTUS Spohn strives to be the best,” says Jataine. “I had a heart test recently at CHRISTUS Spohn, and everything just runs so smoothly. The cardiac department is just excellent. Everyone there is just so nice and it’s a great program. Everyone from the doctors to the administration is excellent. They’re devoted and really care about their jobs, especially when it comes to the patients they serve.”

CHRISTUS Spohn’s Lyceum has a rich tradition, beginning in 1989 with Henry Kissinger, the 56th Secretary of State. Lyceum guests enjoy an exquisite dinner and hear presentations from some of our era’s most intriguing people. The 2016 CHRISTUS Spohn Lyceum featured Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough and helped to raise funds for the new Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center.

Click here to view in 2015 Annual Report.

Posted on May 6, 2016