The Family Legacy
West Coast Tomato established roots in Florida in the 1920s, when John McClure relocated from Virginia to Manatee County to work as an extension agent in the agriculture industry. Not long after, John met and married Versenoia Thomas, whose father, Lewis Peyton Thomas had been raised in the Manatee area and was familiar with the local agriculture industry.
Eventually, John McClure began farming tomatoes himself. In 1948, his youngest son, Dan Peyton McClure, returned to Manatee County from the University of Florida with a degree in economics after serving in World War II. Dan began farming with his dad and married Corrine Anderson, who also became involved in guiding the tomato operations. As a way to pack and ship their tomatoes, Dan and Corrine started their own packinghouse, and since it was situated on the west coast of Florida, they named it West Coast Tomato.
In 1976 Dan’s youngest son Daniel Carr (DC) McClure began working in the farming operations after receiving an agriculture degree from the University of Florida. In 1986, McClure Farms expanded into the Immokalee area of Florida to expand its shipping window through the winter months. DC and his dad began growing the farming acreage and as a result built a new packing facility to accommodate the increased production.
In 1989, Dan’s son-in-law, Bob Spencer, became involved in the packing operation. With the new century came further growth for West Coast Tomato and McClure Farms. The farming operation extended its product line with Roma tomatoes and the packinghouse installed a new computerized camera-driven grading line. With the upgrades, West Coast Tomato is able to run both Roma and round tomatoes on the same machine in the packinghouse.
Peyton Spencer became another
5th generation family member to join
our team in 2020.
In 2009 DC’s nephew, Todd McClure, began working in the farming operations making the 5th generation to be involved in the farming operations.
The family legacy continues, with the next generation of farmers ready and on-deck.