Tony was born in Sicily in 1900. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1921 not being able to speak any English. One of 8 children, he graduated high school in Sicily but never attended college. After coming to America, he was a taxi cab driver and a grocer in New York city and a farmer in Virginia and Florida. He also owned his own restaurant in Florida.
In 1947, he worked for the Manatee River Packing Company in Florida, where he packed fruit gift boxes and jars for salads. The Manatee company moved to E. Bradenton, Florida and was renamed Fruit Industries.
In the same year, Tony went out on a limb and bought a small orange juice company. A major breakthrough came in 1954 when Tony invented and patented a pasteurization process that made his orange juice taste a lot better and last a lot longer without refrigeration. He bottled it and was able to ship it to places where it had never been sold before. His company grew from 50 people in 1947 to 8,000 people in 2004. He sold his company in 1978. It is currently owned by PepsiCo. Tony was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1987.
While he grew up Catholic, his faith was non-existent until he came to the U.S. and started attending a Methodist and then a Baptist church. During this time, he came to know Jesus as his Savior. He dedicated his whole life to Him. Despite his business success, he remained a most humble man. He continually prayed for his family and his business. With no formal education, he depended on the Lord to provide him with the business wisdom to make godly decisions.
He has contributed much to Christian causes. He built Bradenton Missionary Village, a retirement community for Christian missionaries. He founded the Bible Alliance, which records and distributes audio recordings of the Bible and selected sermons to blind people and prison inmates thru his Aurora Foundation. This group has also funded church planting ministries, Christian educational institutions and the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. He met his Lord and Savior on January 24, 1993. He left behind his wife, Sanna, and three adult children. In 1983, a Town and Country magazine voted him one of the top 10 most generous living Americans.
He truly honored God in his personal and professional life.
His name…Anthony T. Rossi
His product…Tropicana Orange Juice
For His Kingdom,