SUNSET®'s Don Mastronardi Wins Lifetime Achievement Award from Ontario Produce Marketing Association
- by Andrew McDaniel
KINGSVILLE, ON – Don Mastronardi, Chairman of Mastronardi Produce, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual OPMA Gala on November 14.
“Throughout the years, Donny has been an incredible influence on the produce industry,” said Frank Spagnuolo, Senior Category Director at Loblaw. “He is a supportive mentor to all around him, and a kind, charismatic man who people crowd around, just to be around him and hear what he has to say. He is an amazing businessman and the true Tomato Master.”
Check out the video at the top of the page for a look at Don’s accomplishments!
When Don was just 25, he stepped into the family business after his father’s unexpected passing. According to a press release, he would work in his family’s newly acquired Harry Becker Company in the Detroit Market from 4am until noon, then return to Leamington to sell the family’s greenhouse harvest until dinnertime, while also managing the local Chrysler dealership, Mastronardi Motors.
Through his experience as a Canadian working in the North American market, Don learned the ins and outs of importing and exporting as well as what it takes to set yourself apart from the competition. It was those skills combined with his excellent customer service that helped build SUNSET’s reputation.
Don went on to lead a co-operative sales group in the 90s called Fresh Sales, which helped to bring back prosperity to greenhouse growers. After that success, he further changed the industry by building a 40-acre greenhouse, the largest single greenhouse at the time and first of its kind in North America, in 1994. The very next year, Don launched Campari® Brand Tomatoes.
“I’m speechless,” said Don Mastronardi. “It’s incredibly humbling to be presented with this award among so many innovators and professionals. This is a true honor.”
It is Don Mastronardi’s innovative spirit, passion for flavor, and unparalleled customer service that has truly made SUNSET® what they are known for today: pioneers of quality and flavor.
Congratulations on this well deserved honor, Donny!