Friday, January 26, 2007

Meet Joe Procacci

CBS Tampa came by our tomato packing plant yesterday to interview Joe, the man who spent years creating the UGLYRIPE tomato (and then years fighting the Florida Tomato Committee to bring the tomato to the national market). That you know. But many of you haven’t had the chance to meet Joe in person so here he is on camera.

Here’s the news story that ran last night on Tampa Bay 10:

You’ll also get a chance to see our packing and distribution facility we have here in Plant City, FL. It’s incredible watching seas of Santa Sweets grape tomatoes floating on sorting line and then washed and packaged and the UGLYRIPE has it’s own packing line. In the coming weeks and months you'll probably be hearing a lot more of this tomato wonderland we call "the packinghouse," since that's where a lot of the action happens on our end. You'll also get to hear from Joe himself and some of his thoughts and insights into the tomato world. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts and comments as well, so feel free to post them!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Extra! Extra! Read all about the UGLYRIPE!

Our UGLYRIPE has been quite the media darling lately, making the pages of The Miami Herald, Philly Inquirer, and Tampa Tribune among many others. Check out a few our favorite news clips from the past week:

“We win! UGLYRIPES are as accepted as Ugly Betty!” From Orlando Sentinel’s Food Columnist Heather McPherson & her blog, “Forkhead.”

“UGLYRIPES Prevail in Tomato Growers Spat,” an Associated Press article by Maryclaire Dale.

The Miami Herald sided with taste rather than beauty in it’s editorial on Friday.

With so much excitement for UGLYRIPES surrounding the USDA ruling, demand is quickly surpassing current availability. You may find some at your local grocer, but these are going quickly. We're working feverishly here at Santa Sweets to keep up and hope that our supply will catch up with your demand as we're planting many more tomatoes. We hope you’ll keep checking back here or at for updates.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Tasty Tomato All Year 'Round!

We've been thinking about starting a blog here at Santa Sweets for a while. And what better day to start than UGLYRIPE Liberation Day?!? That's right -- the tomato that many of you have written fan mail to us about; the tomato that so many of you sent letters to the USDA begging for a pardon for this not-so-beautiful but flavorful tomato; the tomato that for so long was
shackled by the Florida Tomato Committee's shape standards - the UGLYRIPE is finally able to be shipped throughout all of the United States year-round! Thanks to USDA, all Americans will now have access to the UGLYRIPE's midsummer goodness during the darkest days of Winter. And, as always, it will also be available during the rest of the year!

For those of you that aren't familiar with the saga of our now-famous heirloom tomato, check out the article in today's New York Times here.

Of course we have to thank USDA, but our real debt of gratitude is to you- all of the consumers who spoke out on behalf of free trade and tasty produce!

Here are some of our favorite quotes from everyday consumers who took time out of their daily lives to write to USDA expressing their frustration:

"I have finally found something that my hard to please father in law will eat.During Ohio winters, all we have to look forward to is snow, ice, potholes, and UglyRipes, so please don't take away the one great thing we have to look forward to!"

"I want to be able to purchase a good tasting tomato year round. It is ridiculous that all we have available in Michigan is cardboard tasting baseballs disguised as, I say loosely, tomatoes. Please bring us UglyRipes."

"If there is a tomato in Florida that has good flavor, regardless of its shape, it needs to be put on the market. We have had enough of grungy tomatoes. Any tasty tomato would improve the reputation of Florida tomatoes."

"This tomato is AWESOME! It is better than any other type...They are so good you can just cut them, salt them, and eat them plain. I was even known to eat them like apples. So please.please let Uglies back on the market. We love them and miss them. No other tomato comes close to being as incredibly celestial as these round orbs of heaven."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Coming Soon...

The Santa Sweets blog on all things "TOMATO" will be launching this week...keep checking back!