Trustworthy Wisdom@Work

A Repository of Wisdom from Trusted Sources

Anthony Rossi - Founder of Tropicana

Anthony Rossi

Little could anyone imagine that this skinny Italian kid would eventually introduce a product into the American culture that would become a household name and what many would come to consider a staple in their daily diet.

In 1921, a young Italian immigrant gazed upon the Statue of Liberty from the deck of a ship. The young man was full of hopes and dreams as the excitement of coming to the land of opportunity swelled in his chest and burst forth as he yelled, “There she is!” As the ship slipped into New York Harbor, Anthony T. Rossi was but one of thousands of European immigrants seeking their fame and fortune in America.

Little could anyone imagine that this skinny Italian kid would eventually introduce a product into the American culture that would become a household name and what many would come to consider a staple in their daily diet.

Within just a few years of arriving on America’s shores, and though he was able to speak little English, Rossi purchased taxicabs, a grocery store, a farm, a cafeteria, and a restaurant. Having grown up in a family of eight siblings, Rossi knew the value of a dollar — knowledge that would eventually lead to phenomenal success. But success was not the only thing that America offered Rossi — he heard the Gospel of Christ and became a believer. His faith transformed his life and affected every aspect of his daily activities, including his business.

In the mid-1940s, Rossi relocated to Florida where he started a fruit packing business. He began shipping jars of fresh juices and fruits to hotels and restaurants. One of his best customers, the Waldorf- Astoria, ordered 1,000 gallons of juice from him every week. His success in this area led Rossi establish Tropicana Products, Inc. in 1947. Under Rossi’s skillful and godly leadership, Tropicana would eventually grow to become the largest fresh-chilled orange juice company in the world.

Rossi was known for his daily commune with God and for taking his business problems to God in prayer. Rossi had no formal education — he had no choice but to look to God for wisdom and solutions for difficult problems. This passionate commitment to seeking God’s wisdom led Rossi to develop a better way to offer fresh orange juice to his customers. In 1954, Tropicana engineers developed an innovative process known as “flash pasteurization.” This process raised the temperature of the orange juice for a short period of time, which gave it extra shelf life. This produced a superior product to what consumers had known up to that point in time: mixing concentrate with water. The pasteurized produce also had a fresher taste.

Rossi’s faith led him not only to be committed to developing superior products, but was also the driving force behind his reputation for fairness and impeccable honesty in all his business dealings with his competitors, vendors, customers, and employees. Rossi’s faith also led to other “fruit” — doubling of profits every two and a half years in his last ten years at the helm of Tropicana.

Despite Rossi’s success, he remained a humble man and was considered somewhat of a hero in Bradenton, FL where Tropicana employed 2,800 workers. His faith also led him to support missions, church planting, and eventually led to his establishing the Aurora Foundation. This organization also funded Christian educational institutions, missions, and other charities.

Rossi’s Christian faith and business serve as an excellent role model for today’s entrepreneurs. His dramatic success and innovation, accomplished with so little formal education, serve as a great example of what biblical business practices can accomplish in the marketplace.

(Published by ChristianBusinessDaily.com and Selling Among Wolves)

Come Join Us as we strive to become Godly Servant-Leaders

Copyright

© 2007 Christian Business Daily

James Cash Penney - Founder of J.C. Penney