Tomatoes have been good to Pete Pappas & Sons.
The Jessup-based produce distributor, a fourth-generation family business, has roots that date to the turn of the last century, when Greek immigrant Pete K. Pappas started selling tomatoes from a pushcart.
More than a century and many expansions later, tomatoes — vine-ripened, cherry, grape and plum — are still at the heart of one of the biggest produce distribution businesses of its kind on the Eastern seaboard. Pappas & Sons sells 40 tractor-trailer loads of produce a week, which adds up to roughly 75 million pounds a year.
Now the company has launched a joint venture with a Tennessee tomato grower that's also family owned — an arrangement Pappas says will help advance company interests amid the growing "farm to fork" movement.
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