May 3, 2012
Happy Tomato Produce Brings Smiles To Lithia
Happy Tomato on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. displays its fresh and local fruits and vegetables while providing quality and lower prices.
A long-standing produce market at 3623 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. was reopened by local residents Ron and Tiffini Masessa in March. “After being open for only a month, many customers have commented on the cleanliness, quality and value of our produce,” said Tiffini Masessa. Along with Florida Fresh (when in season) fruits and vegetables; they also have beautiful orchids, local raw honey, outdoor accessories, wind chimes and will be adding local art soon. “Everything from the produce to the orchids is personally hand selected to ensure freshness and quality,” stated Masessa.
After moving to Valrico from New England in 2004, the couple really missed frequenting the local produce market which had been closed for many months. “No other markets were as convenient to these neighborhoods as this place was,” said Masessa.
When the opportunity arose to re-open the market, they took a chance with hopes of restoring it to its once glory days. “Customers can expect to pay 30-50 percent less than at nearby supermarkets by purchasing their produce here,” stated Masessa.
Happy Tomato Produce Market has already hosted a “Meet the Beekeeper” with Fisher Honey Bees – a free event, where a local Beekeeper educated their customers on local honey using a “real live bee hive” and provided free honey tastings. They also had a free orchid raffle as well. Masessa said, “We are always trying to think of new ways to make our business fun and interesting to our local community.”
Having an IT background, Ron Masessa launched www.happytomatoproduce.com, which features recipes, specials and upcoming events. They encourage local residents to send in their favorite recipes to share with others, along with any comments or suggestions they have. They are currently looking for local artists to consign their outdoor art. Keep an eye on their Website or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/happytomatoproducemarket, for additional unique products coming soon.
The market is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is closed on Monday. For information, call 653-1683 or go to www.happytomatoproduce.com.