Kingsville, ON (July 22, 2014) – Some exciting news is coming out of Leamington this week: Mastronardi Produce®/SUNSET® is proud to announce they have become the new official sponsor of the Leamington Tomato Festival.
What began as the Heinz company picnic has evolved over the years into an iconic festival for the entire community. Now in the festival’s 31st year, SUNSET® has been chosen to continue the local tradition. The new partnership will begin August 15th with the inaugural Leamington SUNSET® Tomato Fest.
“The Heinz closure is obviously very hard for the community,” commented Mike Ciacelli, Director of the Leamington Tomato Fest. “We wanted to make sure something as iconic as the Tomato Fest remained locally sponsored and locally run. Right now our community needs as much support as possible.”
Every summer, residents of Leamington and the surrounding area get together to celebrate the local tomato harvest by hosting live entertainment, a tomato stomp, and many family friendly activities.
“We’re very excited for the Leamington SUNSET® Tomato Fest,” continued Ciacelli. “We couldn’t have asked for a better sponsor. It’s been a tough year for everyone but having strong leaders in the community really pushes us forward.”
As a Leamington native, SUNSET® CEO Paul Mastronardi knows all too well how the Heinz closure is affecting the community. “My grandfather worked for Heinz for a number of years and many of our employees have close ties to the company. Leamington is a small but strong community and we want to show our support in any way we can.”
This year, Mastronardi Produce®/SUNSET® has been celebrating their small town roots in honor of their 60th anniversary as a greenhouse company. What began as a small greenhouse on Oak Street is now one of the leading greenhouse companies, growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers year round for flavor lovers across the world. For the past 5 years, Mastronardi Produce® has been nationally recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for their innovative business practices and growing success.
“My great grandfather emigrated from Italy back in the 1920s looking for a better life,” continued Mastronardi. “Leamington has been my family’s home since then and has provided us with a world of opportunity. It’s a great place to live and this is just a small way we can continue giving back to our community and our family.”
The company is already involved in the community, sponsoring a number of schools to provide healthy snacks for students throughout the school year. Mastronardi Produce® is also proud to be Leamington’s biggest MS Society supporter, leading fundraising since joining in 2004.
“The Mastronardi family has called Leamington home for 5 generations,” continued Ciacelli. “They’re now leading the tomato industry in North America and we couldn’t be more proud to have them as our sponsor. With the recent closure of Heinz, this is definitely positive news.”
As for the new festival name? “I love it,” smiled Ciacelli. “It works perfectly because Leamington has some pretty beautiful sunsets.”
This year’s Leamington SUNSET® Tomato Festival will be held August 15-17 at Seacliff Park. For more information, visit leamingtontomatofestival.com