Smoky Mountain Family Farms' Jon Esformes and Aris Pappas Detail Recent Expansion
NEWPORT, TN - We are all about forward progress in this industry, and the supply-side’s best and brightest are at the leading edge. One grower currently working to up its game is Smoky Mountain Family Farms, which recently expanded its facilities located throughout Eastern Tennessee.
“Having grown up in the farming business, one of the first lessons I learned was facilities, facilities, facilities,” says Co-Managing Partner Jon Esformes. “In order to match the current year’s crop with our customers’ needs, we are constantly evolving and enhancing our packing, handling, and shipping facilities.”
In Midway, Tennessee, Smoky Mountain has expanded its production facility with a major overhaul of all packing equipment. As Jon tells me, this project was planned immediately after the company purchased the facility in 2021, specifically to enhance its handling and packing capacity while ensuring the highest standards of food safety.
“We do not sell a single tomato that has not been washed and sanitized,” Jon states.
The company has also developed a new storage and shipping department. This ultimately increased Smoky Mountain’s capacity from 72 loads to 170 loads in order to better handle and serve customers.
“Additional enhancements happening on the farms include irrigation and water use management. We are also continuing our purchases of fiber stakes with a 15–20-year life, thereby eliminating the need to constantly repurchase wooden stakes,” Aris Pappas, Co-Managing Partner, notes.
In addition to all of these exciting developments, Smoky Mountain has entered into its third year in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. From an industry standpoint, all of this makes Smoky Mountain a triple threat—dedicated to elevated service, food safety, and its workforce, with a singular goal of bringing the 21st century marketplace the finest domestically grown fresh market tomatoes.
What other expansions are on the horizon? You’ll have to stick with ANUK to find out.