NORTHWOOD — Hirzel Canning Company & Farms, a family-owned farming and food production company, is celebrating its 100th year in business.
Founded in 1923, the company produces the Dei Fratelli brand of jar and canned tomato products, including diced tomatoes, salsas, and pizza and pasta sauces.
“We feel truly fortunate to be celebrating 100 years of bringing the best quality products to tables across the region and the country,” said Steve Hirzel, President of Hirzel Canning Company & Farms. “Since the beginning, we’ve taken great pride in not only being family-owned, but in preserving the highest quality tomatoes, locally grown right here in Northwest Ohio, to make our products.”
Carl R. Hirzel, a Swiss brew master by trade, needed a new line of work following the enactment of Prohibition in 1920. He began farming the fertile soils of Northwest Ohio and, with the excess cabbage from his harvest, Hirzel produced his first product, sauerkraut.
With the help of his wife, Lena, the family began canning whole tomatoes to be sold at local general stores. 100 years on, members of the third, fourth and fifth generations of the Hirzel family have helped grow the company by expanding its quality product offerings.
The company has over 160 people year-round on its staff, and during tomato season that number increases to more than 300. Last year, nearly 4,000 truckloads of vine-ripened fresh tomatoes were preserved by the company. In addition to its own Hirzel Farms, the company works closely with over two dozen family growers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to grow the highest quality tomatoes for its products.
“We’ve developed a reputation as an honest, family-oriented company that strives to maintain a strong sense of integrity, both in our products and ourselves,” Hirzel said. “This includes making a difference to the communities we serve.
As part of the anniversary year, Hirzel Canning Company & Farms will focus on giving back to the community through its continued support of local food banks and pantries. For more information, visit https://deifratelli.com/.