meet our growers
Jonelle's grove is just outside her home where she raised her family. For Jonelle, cultivating citrus trees is not unlike raising children. She is sensitive to their individual needs, constantly looks out for their welfare and takes pride in knowing every Sumo Citrus® tree in her grove.
She personally oversees the work in the grove and pays particular attention when irrigating to ensure each tree receives the optimum amount of water. Jonelle has learned from growers in other countries that cultivate this unique variety. She employs the proper techniques of both hand pruning the trees and manually thinning the fruit in order to achieve the juiciest, most perfect tasting Sumo Citrus®.
The Mabs Family
This multi-generational farming family started out when Don's father-in-law, Mr. Patterson, began growing citrus in the 1950's. Along with Don's son Scott, the family has grown the business to include not only farming, but packing and marketing
Continuity has been the key to the Mabs' family farm success all these years. Since the 1960's the Mabs family has been a leader in growing citrus, and a pioneer in mandarin farming in California.
Scott's son may someday carry on the family tradition in California citrus as the 4th generation, but for now is just happy to be eating Sumo Citrus®.
The Griffith Family
During the Dust Bowl years following the Great Depression, brothers Harry and John Griffith left Kansas and boarded a west-bound freight train seeking work in California hoping to take advantage of the promise the Golden State offered.
By the 1950's, they had saved up enough money to purchase land and begin cultivating their first farm in California.
In the late 1960's, they entered the packing and marketing side of the business with Suntreat Packing & Shipping Co. Now they were able to more fully control the packing of their fruit and getting their produce to market.
Harry and John's sons, cousins Dennis and Dwight Griffith, have fully realized their fathers' dreams with vertically integrated companies consisting of TreeSource Citrus Nursery, Griffith Farms and Suntreat, which together provide top-quality citrus from 'seed to store'.
Dennis and Dwight have remained focused on the family farm, searching out and planting new varieties with outstanding flavor and consumer appeal. With an eye to the tremendous potential of Sumo Citrus®, they continue to use their skill and innovation to perfect the growing and marketing of this delicious new variety.
The Wollenman Family
The Wollenman family has produced four generations of California citrus growers, beginning with Rudy Wollenman in 1919 in the Southern California area of Anaheim.
Rudy's three sons, John, G.A. and Joe Wollenman, moved to California's Central Valley in the early 1940's, and began farming citrus on their first grove in Lindsay, California, where their groves remain today.
Joe's sons, Guy and Jody Wollenman, continue their family's farming operation. Guy's son Seth has traveled the globe extensively to research this special variety, in order to bring Sumo Citrus® to the U.S. consumer. The Wollenman family's nearly 100 years of experience with citrus has given them an understanding of California's unique soil and climate conditions. They apply their passion and expertise to produce the highest quality fruit including Sumo Citrus®.