PIECES OF THE PAST: “Orange” We Blessed!

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette This year, before Halloween was even over I was seeing Christmas decorations. It made me wonder: What happened to Thanksgiving? We used to send Happy Thanksgiving cards and plan big family reunions over Thanksgiving meals with tables loaded with recipes handed down over the years. Now it seems more like an afterthought and “Let’s get our … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Juice Trains Roll On

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Anthony T. Rossi, founder of Tropicana, immigrated to New York with the dream of making movies, but ended up in the grocery business for 13 years before heading to Florida in search of warmer weather. Using the skills he’d developed in the grocery business, he began packing gift fruit boxes for Macy’s and Gimbel’s, and jars … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Centennial Celebration

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Frostproof will celebrate its 100th year beginning at noon on Sept. 1, 2018. The Frostproof Centennial Committee has been posting a number of articles on its Facebook page in honor of the celebration. One of the articles noted how Frostproof was incorporated. On June 18, 1918, at 3:00 p.m., 47 Frostproof men met in the Thompson … Read More

Crate Labels: Marketing Tools Become American Art

By Len Wilcox The labels that citrus packinghouses formerly placed on their shipping crates have a long and colorful history. These vibrant labels — usually square, depicting a beautiful farm, pretty lady or perhaps some impossibly perfect oranges — have become art objects and unique representations of their time and place in history. LOCATIONS OF COLLECTIONS In Florida, that history … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Remembering O.C. Minton

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I was in Fort Pierce recently doing interviews for an oral history project and ran across some interesting photos and information on O.C. Minton, who was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 1982. A hard worker who was totally dedicated to the Florida citrus industry, Minton’s defining moments came when fighting for identification … Read More


By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Summertime is always a good time for reading. I recently received a new book titled “Winter Garden Change Makers,” written by my friend, Jerry Chicone, Jr. He dedicated the book to the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation to “encourage more people to step forward to make positive changes for their hometown.” The book is a tribute to … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: An Industry Acronym You Don’t Hear Every Day

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I love scouring eBay and antique stores for citrus memorabilia because it’s always interesting to see how we, as an industry, used to do things “back in the day.” With that said, I recently came across an old ad from the Florida Citrus Processors Association for citrus pulp titled “Love at first bite because it’s highest … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: A Sentimental Journey to Winter Park

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette This year’s Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival poster featured a look reminiscent of the old citrus crate labels. The artist, Florida native Don Dewitt, noted the poster was also a “nod” to the Winter Park Farmers’ Market located by the old train depot on New England Avenue. The depot was built in 1926 when Winter Park … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Welcome to Waverly

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I was driving from Winter Haven to Palm Beach Gardens recently, taking the “back” way on Waverly Road. Once called Kissimmee Road, it was originally used to get from Florida’s west coast to the Kissimmee River. As I drove by the old office, packinghouse and welcome house of Waverly Growers Cooperative, I remembered what a beautiful … Read More

Miss Florida Citrus and Miss Winter Haven Crowned

St. Patrick’s Day was lucky for two young women — Megan Price, of LaBelle, who was crowned the new 2018 Miss Florida Citrus and Morgan Boykin, of Thonotosassa, the new Miss Winter Haven. Both ladies were crowned at Theatre Winter Haven on March 17, 2018. Hosted by David Lang, of Regalia Magnificent Apparel, the Miss America preliminary pageant contestants were judged … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Now Hold On Just a Minute!

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I recently came across a postcard in my collection that featured the Orlando headquarters of the Minute Maid Corporation, which made me curious about how the company started. The back of the postcard reads: “National Headquarters of Minute Maid Corporation in Orlando, Fla. Located near the heart of Florida’s rolling citrus grove country, at the intersection … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Selling Sunshine

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette The citrus industry drew people to Florida with dreams of wealth and retirement, and their livelihood was widely marketed by not only the citrus packinghouses who sold their fruit, but also by their respective chambers of commerce and tourism partners across the state. Florida State Representative Tom Rooney noted in a recent opinion piece that, “The … Read More

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees Chosen for 2018

florida citrus

Two distinguished leaders will be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame (FCHOF) during the 56th Citrus Celebration Luncheon on Friday, March 9, 2018, at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. L. Gene Albrigo, of Daytona Shores, and Marvin D. Kahn, of Sebring, will be honored at the luncheon, scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m. Gene Albrigo has led … Read More

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Seeks Nominations

Nominations are now being sought for potential inductees to the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies are scheduled to take place on Friday, March 9, 2018, at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. The luncheon is co-sponsored by Florida Citrus Mutual and the Florida Department of Citrus. Eligible nominees are those distinguished leaders who have made significant contributions to the … Read More

Ellis, Sparks, Robinson to Join Citrus Hall of Fame

Jim Ellis of Bartow, Mike Sparks of Apollo Beach and the late T. Ralph Robinson will be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame on March 10 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Ellis has been a grower, packer, industry representative and historian. He currently works for the Division of Fruit and Vegetables in the Florida Department of Agriculture … Read More

Seeking Miss Florida Citrus Contestants

The Miss Florida Citrus Pageant will be held on March 19 in Winter Haven at Theatre Winter Haven. This is a Miss America preliminary pageant, so contestants must have a talent. The pageant is open to all women between the ages of 17 and 24 that either reside in Florida or attend school in Florida (for at least the past … Read More