Mastronardi Produce is launching a new locally-grown greenhouse lettuce line under its Backyard Farms® brand that will support growers in Florida and Colorado. The company recently partnered with two family-owned lettuce greenhouses that were serving local markets but facing challenges. One grower – Naples Fresh in Naples, Florida – was looking for a strong marketing partner to fuel its lettuce sales, while the other – Spring Born in Silt, Colorado – was forced to idle its operations late last year due to insufficient retail presence. Both facilities are new and feature cutting-edge growing systems for leafy greens. Mastronardi will support Naples Fresh and Spring Born in marketing and distributing their products under its new Backyard Farms lettuce line, driving mutual growth for the businesses.
“We have relationships with growers spanning decades, and we highly value them,” remarked Dean Taylor, VP of Business Development at Mastronardi Produce. “We have always fostered relationships that are win-win, so we are thrilled to partner with Naples Fresh and Spring Born to launch our Backyard Farms lettuce line while supporting both the local workforce and food supply at the same time.”
Backyard Farms has a loyal consumer base and long history of providing locally grown, fresh-from-the-vine tomatoes in Maine where “it’s always tomato season” and the brand has expanded in recent years to New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado. Naples Fresh and Spring Born will bring the Backyard Farms brand to the Southeast and Western United States, producing over two million pounds of greenhouse-grown lettuce per year.
“Mastronardi Produce is an industry pioneer with innovative spirit,” expressed Nicholas Martins, Managing Director of Naples Fresh. “This partnership supercharges our ability to serve the community in our backyard – in Florida and the greater Southeast region.”
“The entire team at Spring Born is eager to partner with the leader in produce,” said Charles Barr, CEO of Spring Born. “Our greenhouse was built to serve high volume customers, and we could not have found a better partner to serve the Colorado market."
Nicholas Martins, Managing Director of Naples Fresh and Charles Barr, CEO of Spring Born.
The greenhouse grown lettuce from Naples Fresh and Spring Born will supply butterhead, red leaf, green leaf, romaine, and organic spring mix blends to the new lettuce line.
Retailers attending the SEPC Southern Exposure tradeshow were excited to get a first look at the Backyard Farms lettuce, demonstrating strong support for the new line. Fresh Florida and Colorado lettuce is growing now and will be available through retailers and foodservice operators this spring.
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