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Cultivating a Legacy: A Q&A With Ray Mastronardi, Vice President of Sales, DelFrescoPure®

Cultivating a Legacy: A Q&A With Ray Mastronardi, Vice President of Sales, DelFrescoPure®

Legacies ring all around us in the world of fresh produce. Just within the pages of this magazine alone, you will find stories that have been built over generations and generations, with each year passed constructing a stronger foundation for the industry’s future evolution.

DelFrescoPure® is a family-owned grower whose long-standing success exemplifies its commitment to quality, reliability, and innovation, and the company’s forward-thinking mindset guarantees its growth for years to come. Such a history can only stand as a testament to the dedication of the supplier to bringing top-tier, greenhouse-grown items to consumers and serving as a reliable ally to its retail partners. In my first few minutes of writing this piece, sparked by a profound conversation with Ray Mastronardi, Vice President of Sales, I find myself stilled by the question, “How do I fit such a massive legacy within the constraints of these few pages?”

After all, as we look back on DelFrescoPure’s past, its prestige in the present grows ever stronger.

The Snack’s very own Jordan Okumura said it best when she wrote, “A legacy is not just a foundation on which you continue to build with one eye on the past, but one that can be an intention set on the horizon, with groundwork laid today.”

DelFrescoPure is among those in our industry continuously fortifying its standing for the future by staying true to the pillars the company was originally founded upon. This grand lineage dates back over 70 years, and I foresee no near end as Ray sets aside a moment to explore the company’s accomplished history and propitious future with me.


Peggy Packer: Ray, let’s dive right into DelFrescoPure’s first-rate product portfolio. I know the company has witnessed notable growth through its winter and spring programs. What offerings make up these programs, and how do they play an essential role in the company’s lineup?

Ray Mastronardi: DelFrescoPure is a fully functional hot house providing Canadian tomatoes as well as strawberries year-round, with our spring program also producing an organic mini cucumber line. The advantage to this is we can guarantee our partners have DelFrescoPure tomatoes any time of year, no matter the season. Providing this kind of reliable availability is key to ensuring our customers are happy.


PP: From what you’ve told me about these programs so far, they seem to be ever-evolving, and with great benefit to DelFrescoPure’s buy-side allies. What expansions and developments have bolstered these segments recently? Why was it important for the company to focus on these aspects of growth?

RM: Our spring organic program is continuously growing, and the main feature is our organic mini cucumbers. Several of our customers have requested we continue to grow these cucumbers, and we have happily expanded the program as demand dictates. Over the last few years, our organic mini cucumber program has doubled in size.

On top of that, we also have organic tomatoes on-the-vine and peppers that are grown as a part of our spring program.

DelFrescoPure is always working on new projects and looking for innovative products to add to our portfolio. We expect our organic program to continue to increase over the upcoming years, adding new items to the lineup, in addition to ramping up production for the organic mini cucumber program in the coming season.

PP: When it comes to product innovation and development, DelFrescoPure definitely maintains a strong competitive edge. Can you share some of the greatest benefits provided by the company’s dynamic portfolio?

RM: The main advantage of our program is our ability to grow all year long. By growing year-round, we are able to ensure our customers and retail partners will never have to experience down seasons on items, as we are prepared to fill in all gaps.

Supplying locally grown produce is also a key benefit because it requires less transportation and reduces the miles associated with the product.

In addition to this, what truly makes us stand out in the industry is the service we provide. We are able to anticipate the needs of our customers and offer a seamless transition. We make sure they don’t have to worry about the weather, shortages, or freight prices, making the overall experience much easier for our customers. We can handle everything in-house, and our Founders, Carl Mastronardi and Jamie D'Alimonte, are still growing and helping train our future growers.

"Several of our key customers have requested we continue to grow these cucumbers, and we have happily expanded the program as demand dictates. Over the last few years, our organic mini cucumber program has doubled in size."

Ray Mastronardi, Vice President of Sales, DelFrescoPure®

PP: I definitely think that is a testament to DelFrescoPure’s commitment to quality, service, and leadership, especially knowing these growing practices have been passed down the family tree for over seven decades now. Looking back on the company’s long-standing legacy, how else has DelFrescoPure’s operation evolved in recent years, and since its creation back in the 1950s?

RM: DelFrescoPure has changed a lot from its inception until now. We started with a small list of items grown and sold from a local roadside stand. Beginning with only five offerings, we now have over 50 products! Since then, we’ve advanced alongside our retail partners, providing better-suited custom programs to fit each specific retailer’s needs, increasing efficiency within our greenhouse, and packing and shipping our commodities quicker to lock in freshness. DelFrescoPure is always testing out new ways to streamline our system while minimizing waste and broadening our selection of products.

PP: With these advancements in place, it’s clear DelFrescoPure is building upon an already strong foundation for future success. As its fan-favored lineup continues to capture shoppers’ attention in the market, what are some of the key values the supplier is seeking to deliver on through its portfolio?

RM: Through our portfolio, DelFrescoPure is working to provide fresh produce that looks good, tastes good, and has the minimum amount of mileage associated with each item—thus guaranteeing a better experience for both the consumer and the retailer. We are continuously looking for ways to innovate and improve to ensure those values can be met.

So, what is it that distinguishes the DelFrescoPure legacy?

Whether you look back over seven decades of innovation, commitment, and expansion or at the inevitable growth, sustainability, and development of the future, there is no simple way to define it. This supplier’s reputation is as resolute as the growing operations it holds, seeking to deliver an elevated experience to buyers and
consumers alike.

And, as Ray and I reflect on an illustrious history of successes today, the DelFrescoPure team is hard at work ensuring this legacy forges far on into the future. 

Cultivating a Legacy: A Q&A With Ray Mastronardi, Vice President of Sales, DelFrescoPure®