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“It has been a very busy past year-and-a-half here,” Joe Spano, vice president of sales for Mucci Farms, a leading producer of greenhouse vegetables in Leamington, ON, told The Produce News in late January. “We have constructed and planted an additional 45 acres of new high-tech glass greenhouses, and we got them planted on time, despite all kinds of weather systems and construction issues.”

One of the locations at the company’s Agriville greenhouse and packing facility was harvested for the first time last fall. And at Mucci Farms’ primary greenhouse, the company added 30 new acres. These acres were planted ahead of time and will be harvesting in four-and-a-half to five weeks. The company also expanded the warehouse and production space at its head office facilities by 65,000 square feet. The space was needed to handle production from some new growing partners as well as its own staff expansions.

“The building is erected and we’re now just putting up the bells and whistles,” said Mr. Spano. “We’ll be in the last week of February.

“We have also revamped and relaunched our website,” he continued. “It is up, tweaked and getting a lot of positive feedback. The revamped website and a complete new facelift to our head office has had us moving fast and now more efficiently than ever.”

bella-sweetsMucci Farms Bella Sweets are sweeter, smaller and have fewer seeds than conventional sweet Bell peppers.The company’s website, www.muccifarms.com, is packed full of nutritional information, a wide variety of recipes, product information, company history and much more, all with backdrops of colorful photos that bring to mind healthy eating, especially for kids.

“The new website launch fits in perfectly with our rebranding efforts that have gone on for the last couple of years,” said Mr. Spano. “We are farmers and growers, and we wanted that fact reflected in our name, which is now Mucci Farms. But we are also one of the largest greenhouse owners in the Northeast and Canada. Our packaging has gone through a big change and now has high-impact graphics in resealable bags with Quick Response Code technology and the convenience of a resealable zipper. The entire look and focus is on kids eating healthy. We like to say that we are 100-percent Mom approved.’“

Mucci Farms recently added a new pointed mini pepper to its line that is named “Sweet to the Point.” It has a colorful kid-friendly logo and a Quick Response Code. The company has a major launch planned for the product at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association annual expo in Toronto in April this year. The new item is a complementary product to the company’s “Bella Sweets,” which are sweeter, smaller and have fewer seeds than conventional sweet Bell peppers.

The company has increased its key staff with several new people — in fitting time with the new additional space at the facility.

“Originally from Leamington, Danny Elias’ roots are deeply embedded in the produce industry,” said Mr. Spano. “He comes to Mucci Farms with over 29 years in the grocery retail industry. He was part owner of the family-owned Elias Market retail stores. Danny has been at Mucci Farms since March 2012 as an account manager.”

In October 2012, Nick Williamson joined the firm as a sales assistant. Originally from London, Mr. Williamson moved to Canada in 2009 after spending seven years In the British Armed Forces.

Wayne St. Denis joined Mucci Farms in December 2012 as assistant marketing Coordinator.

“Wayne has over six years of experience in brand design,” said Mr. Spano. “He worked for 3Design Group, a design firm that specializes in fresh produce marketing. He has a diploma in graphic design from St. Clair College.”