A CENTURY OF WISH FARMS…
SEEDS OF SUCCESS
From the humble beginnings of an immigrant pushcart peddler, to a nationally recognized year-round supplier of berries, the people at Wish Farms are proud to continue the tradition of providing the best tasting berries to you and your family.
Visit this page to see the latest news from the world of Wish Farms!
Read curated and written blogs by our Owner & Head Pixie
Check out Misty’s home away from home. When she isn’t busy spreading magic on the farm, see where she puts her feet up at the end of a long day.
You may have noticed some larger than life artwork as you passed our headquarters on Interstate-4 in Plant City!
At 19 years old, Harris Wishnatzki arrives in the United States from Kyiv, Ukraine. He gets to Ellis Island with the clothes on his back and little money in his pocket. With a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, he begins selling fruits and vegetables from a pushcart on the streets of New York.
Harris’ operation grows to a fleet of pushcarts. He teams up with another pushcart peddler named Daniel Nathel. They establish Wishnatzki & Nathel, a wholesale business selling fruits and vegetables from the Washington Market in Lower Manhattan. At the time, it was the largest produce market in the country and the epicenter of an international agricultural supply chain from small farmers around the world to consumers all over the northeast.
Harris starts traveling to Florida in the winter time to be closer to production and the auction market. He is able to establish a buying and shipping operation in Plant City, while also escaping the harsh New York City winters. He falls in love with the area and by 1937, he makes Lakeland, FL his permanent home.
Harris’ sons get involved. Joe (right) works for the company after high school in 1936. Lester (left) joins in 1939 after graduating from New York University.
Brothers Joe & Ernest Wishnatzki serve in the US Army in Europe during World War II.
Ernest, the youngest son of Harris, is killed just days before the war’s end at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, May 1945.
Harris Wishnatzki passes away, and the second generation of Wishnatzki’s, Joe and Lester, assume company leadership.
Joe’s son, Gary Wishnatzki, begins working for the company at the peak of the great truck strike of 1974.
Gary establishes G&D Farms to help supplement produce supply to the wholesale business. It is named for the company’s founders Gershon Harris Wishnatzki and Daniel Nathel. Today, the farm has expanded and is considered to be the largest contiguous strawberry farm in the United States.
Gary Wishnatzki becomes president of Wishnatzki & Nathel, Inc.
The company adds blueberries to its portfolio and begins marketing domestic blueberries.
The Wishnatzki and Nathel families mutually agree to split the company. The Nathels would retain the New York wholesale business, while the Wishnatzkis would keep the Florida growing and shipping operation. The company is renamed Wishnatzki Farms.
With the goal to develop a secondary market for strawberries, Gary Wishnatzki begins producing and selling processed strawberries helping farmers sell berries when the fresh market is not an option.
The company becomes the first grower in Florida to offer organic strawberries on a commercial scale.
The company officially rebrands itself as Wish Farms, unveiling its new consumer brand and mascot, Misty the Garden Pixie.
Wish Farms becomes the official soundstage sponsor of the Florida Strawberry Festival.
Wish Farms makes the decision to focus solely on berries, and becomes a year-round supplier of strawberries and blueberries.
Blackberries are welcomed as the newest addition to the Wish Farms family. Growing regions include California, Georgia, North Carolina and Mexico
Raspberries are introduced to the Wish Farms lineup, making us an official provider of all four berries!
Groundbreaking begins on the new state-of-the-art headquarters on Interstate 4 in Plant City.
The company is an international grower, shipper and marketer based in Plant City, Florida. With the 4th generation fully involved in day to day operations, Wish Farms is a proud multi-generational family business.