On the 350 acres they farm in Vineland, N.J., Richard Marolda Sr. and his son, Richard Jr., grow 30 different kinds of produce. They raise beets and bok choy, peppers and radishes, four varieties of lettuce and even dandelion greens. But when the Marolda’s phone rang last year, the customer on the other end wanted just one thing: beefsteak tomatoes.
“Lucky for us,” Richard Jr. said, “we had what they wanted, and they wanted what we had.”
The caller was the Campbell Soup Company, located 31 miles north in Camden, and Campbell’s didn’t just want beefsteak tomatoes; it wanted every single beefsteak tomato on the property. The Maroldas combed their fields and found a thousand pounds of tomatoes. Campbell’s bought it all.
Up in Camden, a secret project was in the offing. On a recent trip to the company vault, Campbell’s R&D team had come across the original 1915 recipe for Beefsteak Tomato Soup, and decided to cook up a batch.