We were honored to chat with Jay Cridlin from the Tampa Bay Times about all things Wish Farms for his recent article From whimsical Plant City HQ, Wish Farms toasts 100 years of strawberries. What better way to showcase our 100-year journey than with a little insight on what it’s like here at Wish Farms!
The article highlights our new campus which sits on 36-acres and includes a warehouse, headquarters, and of course our famous treehouse. Gary Wishnatzki, Owner and head pixie, considers the new headquarters his legacy and loves every inch of the office. The Wishnatzki story, however, began in the early 1900s when Gary’s grandfather – Gershon “Harris” Wishnatzki- started a produce wholesale business, often bringing fresh berries from Plant City to New York. In 1950, the business was passed along to Harris’s sons- Joe and Lester. Then, in 1980, Joe passed the business to his son Gary. The current company tag line, “Generations of Sweetness”, represents the history of this true family business. In 2010 rebrand, our beloved mascot “Misty” joined the crew and she still appears in our logo and is considered a staple of the brand. Misty the Garden Pixie actually inspired many of Gary’s ideas for our new headquarters. The reclaimed wood pieces, 3 large trees in our lobby, and of course the slide connecting the second and first floor were all influenced by Misty and the whimsical spirit of pixies.
Century Old Company, Fresh Ideas
The article captures our company’s focus on innovation and explains how we strive to modernize the distribution of berries, while also bringing new berry offerings to the table. In 2021, our Pink-A-Boo® Pineberries made a big splash as the newest berry in our portfolio and Pixie Snax® also made their debut. Alongside new products, Gary Wishnatzki also co-founded a robotics company to create a strawberry harvester. Harvest CROO aims to solve the labor shortage in the agriculture industry and serve as an alternative or supplement to the “H-2A” program that allows businesses to hire temporary and seasonal agricultural workers. This piece of machinery, or harvester, is not commercially operable just yet, but many other growers in the industry have shown their support by investing in Harvest CROO.
The article also featured our 100 year celebration and charity music festival known as PixieRock. This year’s event included performances by ZZ Top, Bishop Briggs, Saint Motel and more.
More to Come
And while the 2022-2023 Florida strawberry season will only be the second in our new home, we are confident there will be many more. Cheers to the start of the season and 100 years of Wish Farms!