Tampa, FL (March 5th, 2020) – An impressive list of Georgia growers, packaging suppliers, and retailers came together for a special evening during SEPC’s Southern Exposure at the ‘Southern Flavor Cocktail’ with a theme of celebrating everything Georgia Grown. Attendees were also treated to a special guest appearance by MLB Hall of Fame (2005) Member Wade Boggs.

“We took the opportunity of being at Southern Exposure in Tampa to bring together like-minded partners who fondly & enthusiastically promote Georgia Grown fruits & vegetables throughout the southeast”, said Chris Veillon, Chief Marketing Officer, Pure Flavor® and event co-organizer.

Pure Flavor® completed Phase 1 of their Georgia greenhouse project 15 months ago and currently grow Tomatoes & Cucumbers in Peach County, GA. “The result was a great event that featured a wide variety of attendees from all over the region”, said Veillon.

Pure Flavor® & the Genuine Georgia Group, in collaboration with Shuman Farms, L&M, Herndon Farms, Leger Farms, Royal Foodservice, Pratt Industries, Crawford Packaging, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture ‘Georgia Grown’ program hosted the Southern Flavor Cocktail in Tampa, FL on February 27th.

“The evening was a dynamic networking event, bringing suppliers & retailers together to demonstrate the power of Georgia Grown brands and promote the quality of our region”, said Duke Lane III, Partner, Genuine Georgia Group and event co-organizer.  “Having Wade Boggs with us was a grand slam. His storytelling and charisma were amazing — he really humanized Hall of Famers”, said Lane.

With event partners who produce everything from peaches to tomatoes to sweet onions to watermelons and leafy greens to name a few, the Georgia Grown program was well represented at the event.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black

“Georgia is home to a robust variety of premium quality produce and the Southern Flavor event was the perfect fit for our Georgia Grown members to meet with buyers from major retailers across the country,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black.  “The ability to leverage partnerships to attend events such as this allows us to expand the reach of the Georgia Grown brand on a national level and beyond”, commented Black.

“The Southern Flavor Cocktail reception at Southern Exposure was a great way for those of us growing crops in Georgia, and others within the industry, to come together and celebrate the impact our region makes in agriculture and the produce industry”, said John Shuman, President & CEO, Shuman Farms. “Shuman Farms was honored to be a part of this event and we’re looking forward to it growing every year”, said Shuman.

While the goal was to bring together growers and retailers, event organizers also recognized the need to support local charities who rely on donations to be able to take care of those in need. An additional highlight to the night was a $2,500 donation from the event organizers to Barbara Sayles, Florida Director for the Society of St. Andrew.

Left to right: John Williams (Royal Foodservice), Chris Veillon (Pure Flavor), Wade Boggs, Barbara Sayles (Society of St. Andrew), Will Mcgahee (Genuine Georgia Group), Kent Hoots (Genuine Georgia Group) .

“Giving back to the Society of St. Andrew (one of SEPC’s key charitable organizations) is part of our responsibility and we were proud to help support the incredible work they do every day in their mission to feed America’s hungry”, said Duke Lane III.

Photo Credit: Southern Flavor Cocktail © 2020

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