the smff Story

Our home of East Tennessee is well known for it’s agriculture, and in particular it's quality tomatoes. Smoky Mountain Family Farms builds upon that legacy each season through the Pappas, Esformes and Heller families. The Pappas family was joined in 2020 by the Esformes and Hellers, bringing 11 generations of  expertise in the tomato industry together and to showcase Tennessee agriculture in a unique way. 


Across generations our businesses have always emphasized family, quality, integrity and service. For our family, what we eat matters and how it’s grown matters just as much.


Through these principles, at SMFF we are pioneers of sustainable growing practices, organic farming and social responsibility including equitable treatment of farm workers. Our involvement in the Fair Food Program and Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has brought fair treatment of farmworkers to Tennessee, as we are the first and only certified farming operation in the state. 


We will always continue to uphold, and exceed, the standards set generations ago through this farming venture. 




Check out an article about the farm and our partnership entitled "Summiting Success" by clicking here


The Pappas family's roots in the tomato industry date back to the 1940s at the beginning of what we now call Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. What began as pushcart produce operation earlier in the century, became a tomato repackaging business in the '40s, and has grown into one of the East Coast's finest fresh produce distributors now run by the founder's great-grandsons Gus and Aris with their cousin Paul. 


Generations of excellence in the industry allow us to exceed the expectations of our customers through our full-service farming operations. One of our goals is to harvest premium quality tomatoes grown in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of the Southeastern United States, and SMFF delivers. 


2022 brought expansions, read more below about them, and we look forward to continued growth in the future!

Read about SMFF and the partnership of Sunripe Certified brands and Pete Pappas & Sons: 

The Farm Today