Founded in 1939 by H.W. (Cy) Mann as a carrot-packing operation, the company soon started growing broccoli for frozen food companies. Mann saw potential for the then relatively unknown vegetable and began shipping broccoli to America's heartland.
Mann Packing Co. funded the first market basket nutritional study of broccoli at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with the Produce Marketing Association, which unveiled the product's superior nutritional content.After the study was publicized, shipments of fresh broccoli increased 940 percent between 1970 and 1985. At one time Mann Packing was the world's largest grower-shipper of fresh broccoli.
Mann's has a long history of innovation and is now one of North America's leading suppliers of fresh and fresh-cut vegetables for the retail, wholesale and foodservice markets.
The company's current signature items include broccoli cole slaw, Broccolini, stringless sugar snap peas, Simply Singles whole leaf products, Arcadian Harvest petite whole lettuce leaves, Better Burger leaf and Scarlett Butter lettuce.
Now owned by the Nucci and Ramsey families, Mann Packing has been a family-owned-and-operated company for three generations. Today more than 65 percent of the company's shareholders are women, making it a certified Women's Business Enterprise.
The company's anniversary celebration kicks off Feb. 27 when Mann Packing will be recognized by the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce as the Large Business of the Year for 2014.
In addition, Mann will retool its packaging this year and will launch several new products and packaging concepts. The company will host a celebration on July 13 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds for its employees and special guests, and will celebrate the company's anniversary throughout the year at industry trade show events.
"We are honored and proud to celebrate our 75th anniversary in a very competitive industry often filled with trials and tribulations," Lorri (Nucci) Koster, chairman and chief executive officer of Mann Packing, said in a press release. "We credit our adherence to quality and ability to adapt to changing market needs as a key to our success. We thank our employees and growers for their contributions towards helping us reach this significant milestone. Our core values of honor, quality, vision and passion are something we focus on daily. Where we come from matters; it's important to remember the amazing people who helped build this company to what it is today. It's our turn at the helm to shepherd Mann Packing into the future for many years to come."