Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Uncle Matt's Organic

By Carly Price, March 29, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Carly Price

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

Uncle Matt's

Coming from a fourth-generation citrus family, Matt McLean knows just what it takes to get the most flavor out of fruit. He also knows what it doesn’t take: synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

"My family started growing citrus long before modern pesticides came along,” Matt explains. “Now we are proud to be converting more Florida farms to organic every year."

In the 1990s, Matt started his own juice company to bring the family business back to its organic roots.

The father of two kids and real-life uncle to 10 nieces and nephews started talking with family members who were growing conventionally, asking if they thought they could grow organically instead.

Uncle Matt's

His grandfather, Pappy, who had been in the Florida citrus industry for decades, resolutely replied, “What do you mean, can we grow it? That’s how we used to grow it. That’s how we should grow it!”

Matt launched the company by converting three acres of citrus to organic in his dad’s backyard and partnering with established organic growers. Production has since grown at a steady pace as they have expanded their own groves and transitioned dozens of other growers to organic.

“We have growers calling every month looking to convert their crops to organic,” says Matt, who is also the current board president for the Organic Trade Association. “We believe organic is a better way to farm, and we’ve worked with over 25 family growers to help them transition.”

In addition to 20 varieties of organic citrus, including oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos, Uncle Matt’s is branching out to grow organic avocados, blueberries and peaches.

Uncle Matt's

Matt’s orange juice is anything but ordinary, made with a unique blend of early-season Hamlin (Pappy’s favorite) and late-season Valencia (Matt’s favorite) oranges to achieve a specific flavor profile with a smooth, sweet taste.

Matt is also joined in business by his father, mother, brother, sister-in-law, wife and two uncles.

"Growing organic citrus is feel-good work,” Matt says. “I'm able to do better for the planet and continue a tradition that's been in my family for four generations.”

Have you tried Uncle Matt’s organic juices? Why do you choose to drink organic juice?

 

13 Comments

Comments

Beki M. says ...
Looks delicious! Will definitely be keeping an eye out for it
03/29/2013 3:57:40 PM CDT
C Hillyard says ...
I have purchased Uncle Matt's Grapefruit Juice on many an occassion. Excellent flavor and I highly recommend it. (I wish it was on sale a little more often as it is rather pricey.)
04/02/2013 1:38:48 PM CDT
Dorothy wood says ...
I would buy if I find it. Keep it going. Pesticides are doing bad things to man and animals
04/02/2013 1:48:16 PM CDT
Georgia says ...
I bought some of this last weekend since I'm trying to do as organic as possible. Has a great taste!
04/02/2013 10:44:12 PM CDT
Stu says ...
I'm a chemist and am more than happy to pay more for LESS!
04/03/2013 5:30:57 AM CDT
Katie Palmer says ...
Looks like Matts family has all grown to be very healthy individuals. This is what you get by eating organic foods. I have always trusted organic ways of growing fruits and vegetables to have a very healthy content. It is much more delicious too compared to the conventional ones. It is quite expensive though but is all worth it for better health and living.
04/04/2013 10:12:10 AM CDT
Glenn Parker says ...
Uncle Matt's OJ is delicious! We buy it every week. Why organic? Because we don't want to consume potentially harmful chemicals.
04/25/2013 10:50:25 PM CDT
Misty says ...
Thank the good Lord for farmers and people like these who are diligently working to offer products to the public that don't contain all of the gmo, preservative and artificial substances that are proving to be slow death sentences to many, many people and children in our society. Let's keep all of our God-given food products as pure as they were when God made them! God made this earth and all of its contents perfect, while mankind, in its greediness and lack of Godly wisdom has managed to contaminate it all. My entire family thanks you!
08/09/2013 1:43:10 PM CDT
Christina Isip says ...
I'm looking for organic Acai berry juice(Brazilian berry)
10/31/2013 4:49:21 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CHRISTINA - Most of our store locations should have this in their Whole Body department. Call your local store to find out more info on brand and pricing!
10/31/2013 2:14:17 PM CDT
Cora says ...
The absolute best organic brand of orange juice! <3
12/27/2013 10:08:08 PM CST
Patricia Cosey says ...
I'm looking for pure organic cranberry juice. The labels on the juice I've found say cranberry juice, but when you read the ingredients it is actually a mixture of juicies with cranberry juice included.
08/04/2014 1:12:06 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PATRICIA - You might want to look for cranberry concentrate. This should be only cranberries. Otherwise, check with your local store if they have another option that is 100% cranberries.
08/04/2014 2:56:25 PM CDT