Wishnatzki Farms, now best known as Wish Farms, is the classic tale of the American Dream. It’s all starts in 1900 when Harris Wishnatzki immigrates to New York City from Russia as a pushcart peddler selling fresh fruits and vegetables. In 1922 Harris partners with fellow peddler Daniel Nathel to grow their business into a fleet of pushcarts.
By the late 1920’s, Harris becomes involved with the blossoming produce industry in Florida, envisioning bringing fresh strawberries to fruit-deprived consumers in the North. Harris moves his family to Central Florida in 1929 to start a producing shipping operation right here in Plant City! Daniel stays in New York City to run their local distribution system.
Through World War II and into the 1990s, Wishnatzki & Nathel continues as a joint-family business providing fresh produce up the eastern seaboard. The section major transition comes in 2001 when Harris and Daniel break off the Florida division into Wishnatzki Farms to focus on growing and shipping produce.
Over the years Wishnatzki Farms continues to grow into premier Florida produce grower and shipper. They pioneer produce traceability, quality assurance techniques and grower/shipper accountability; ultimately providing their customers with a superior produce experience.
In 2010 Wishnatzki Farms begins another major transition with the launch of its new consumer brand, Wish Farms, featuring Misty the Garden Pixie. The purpose is to provide consumers with a memorable icon. They are now handling over 30 million pounds of strawberries from 1,200 acres; and they keep growing!
I met with Marcus Caswell, Wishnatzki Farms’ Sales Associate and Quality Assurance Manager last year to get the low-down on what they do and how they do it.
You can learn more about Wish Farms by visiting their website, following them on Twitter and liking their Facebook page. They also have a wonderful YouTube channel with lots of great videos.
Growing Produce, a top resource for specialty crop growers seeking information about production techniques, crop protection, farm management, and more, has a great article about the Wish Farms story.