Few companies make it to the fourth generation of family leadership. Even less are around for 100 years. When you accomplish both with no end in sight, that’s a reason to celebrate.
Furmano’s, a leading producer of tomatoes, beans, ancient grains and vegetables, is doing just that. 2021 marks its 100th year of harvesting nature’s goodness in the heart of Central Pennsylvania’s farmland. It’s a momentous milestone for the family-owned business – one they’re using as a springboard into the future.
“This is a big moment for the whole Furmano Foods family and all the team members, partners and customers who helped us get here,” said Furmano President and CEO Chad Geise, a fourth generation family member. “We want to reflect on the past and build upon what we’ve done to inspire our next 100 years.”
The company attributes this accomplishment to a strong foundation of Christian values, finding ways to continuously progress, and a commitment to superior customer service and quality – principles they plan to continue building on moving forward.
Family has always been at the heart of Furmano’s.
“While we feel blessed to have made it to the fourth generation,” – an accomplishment less than 3% of businesses achieve, according to a study by the University of North Carolina – “we recognize that we are a family of families working together and couldn’t have made it to where we are without the support of our team and their families,” said Geise.
Its start was also based on finding ways to serve families – neighbors loved J.W. Furman’s tomatoes and wanted them year-round, so he started canning. One hundred years later, the company sources the majority of its tomatoes fresh from family farms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
That spirit of serving families and customers continues today. The company continually innovates to meet the changing needs of the market. By infusing trends and best practices into new product offerings, Furmano’s has positioned itself as a trusted partner to families, retail grocery stores and foodservice operations throughout the nation.
“Innovating to meet the changing needs of our customers has been pivotal to Furmano’s reaching this milestone,” said Jen Esposito, VP of sales and marketing for Furmano’s. “It’s really the core of the company. We’re not afraid to invest in products or packaging to be a better partner to our customers.”
The company’s history is filled with examples of this adaptability. The creation of the Ancient Grains line and the success of their bean products show how Furmano’s has pivoted to effectively meet the increased demand for plant-based foods.
They’ve invested in versatile packaging options to better meet their customer’s needs. Options such as cans, pouches and now single serve microwavable cups offer ready-to-serve convenience for a variety of customer uses.
Through all these changes, Furmano’s has never lost sight of maintaining the quality that has become the hallmark of the company. “Great Taste Is A Family Tradition” is proudly displayed on their labels, and they live up to it with their practices. The company sources their ingredients from only the best growing regions – choosing the varieties that meet their high quality standards.
Furmano’s also remains committed to the responsible stewardship principles it was founded on. They employ many throughout their surrounding communities, support faith-based charitable organizations and use environmentally friendly techniques to be mindful of the land.
Looking back, Furmano’s is humbled by their growth and what they’ve been able to accomplish over the last 100 years – from stove-top operation to nationwide distribution. They hope this anniversary helps them sow the seeds for a fruitful next century.
“We’re grateful to reach this milestone,” said Geise. “Holding true to our heritage, we continue to thank God for the blessings we’ve enjoyed over the years. We look forward to the future as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our customers and give back to our local community.”