News / Furmano Foods Celebrates 85th Anniversary

Furmano Foods Celebrates 85th Anniversary

One Pennsylvania Family Harvests Generations of Excellence

One Pennsylvania Family Harvests Generations of Excellence

Northumberland, Pa. – August 15, 2006 – In 1921, John Wesley Furman and his wife, Emma, moved to a farm in Northumberland, Pa., and began growing vegetables for their local curb market. 85 years and four generations of Furman family later, Furmano Foods is still going strong and the farm has become home to a state-of-the-art food manufacturing plant that produces millions of cases of the freshest canned tomatoes and beans each year.

This weekend, hundreds of John and Emma’s descendents gathered at the farm to celebrate Furmano Foods eight-and-a-half decades of success and innovation. In addition to the usual picnic food and games, a very special book reading served as the centerpiece of the anniversary celebration. “Stick-To-It-iveness,” penned by John Wesley Furman himself, was reviewed and discussed, one of the many ways that this company keeps the “family” in its family business.

“Some of the founders’ descendents never got the chance to meet them. By sharing my grandfather’s book, we make a connection that helps strengthen our commitment to the values upon which Furmano Foods was built,” explains David Geise, president and CEO of Furmano Foods. “We strive for a family attitude among all of our people – and there are a lot of descendents of John Wesley working within our company. I believe that family attitude transfers over to caring about the work we are doing and the products we create. Over the last 85 years, our family’s commitment to quality and great taste in all our product lines has been very consistent – you can see that in the compliments we get from our customers.”

Furmano’s also hosted a Business After Hours with the local Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce. Many businessmen and businesswomen as well as local political representatives participated in the celebration. At the Chamber event, PA Secretary of Ag, Dennis Wolff, Representatives Phillips and Fairchild, and Martha Milbrand from Senator Gordner’s office, spoke and gave citations of congratulations. Representative Phillips also presented us with a United States Flag that was flown over our state’s capital and now flies outside our plant.

In 1921, when John Wesley, Emma and their six children completed the first year’s production – 360 glass jars of tomatoes – they probably never imagined how their small business would transform in just a few years. By the 1930s, the first frame building was constructed for canning equipment. During the 1940s, under the guidance of the second generation of Furmans, a new plant was built and gallon size cans for food service were added to the line. The third generation of Furmans joined the business in 1962, and, in 1969, the family achieved their long-held goal of selling 1,000,000 cases of tomatoes. Today, Furmano Foods is known coast to coast for outstanding foodservice ingredient solutions and retail products, including more than 100 varieties of tomatoes, beans, and peppers – all created with the utmost care and latest technology.

Part of the key to Furmano Foods’ longevity and success is its dedication to being a forward-thinking family business. For example, the company works closely with Pennsylvania State University on Integrated Pest Management, using global positioning system (GPS) satellite signals to determine precise locations of insects, diseases, or weeds to help growers practice "site-specific farming,” which reduces the application of pesticides.

“As we approach our hundredth year, our customers can look forward to even more ingenuity and innovation,” says Geise. “Through our product development, we will continue to follow trends and taste profiles as they change and evolve. And, with our government putting a lot more emphasis on healthful eating and reducing obesity, it’s great that all of our products fit into the healthy category. Our challenge is to help people understand that canned foods are a healthy choice. The truth is that a lot of fresh produce loses much of its nutritional value because it’s in transit and storage for so long after the time it’s harvested. On the other hand, all of our products are picked and processed in 24 hours, which is ideal for preserving nutrients and great flavors. Looking ahead, there are definitely a lot of opportunities for Furmano Foods to build on our 85 years of success!”

Furmano’s quality, fresh tasting vegetables are available for the retail and foodservice markets. Please call 1-877-877-6032 with questions or for additional information.

Release Contact

Lori Engle
Furmano Foods
1-800-952-1111 ext 534