Hyatt Fruit Company has been shipping quality gourmet food and gifts since 1946. We've been based in beautiful Vero Beach, Florida since our founding almost 70 years ago. Vero Beach is in the heart of Indian River County, an area known for producing the world's sweetest, juiciest and most beautiful citrus fruit. Pictured to the left is Tom Jones, our fearless owner since 1974. This is one of our favorite pictures of him inspecting fruit in the groves back in the 80s.
Did you know that Hyatt is one of the only US-
Pictured: Tom Jones inspecting the fruit, pre-season. 1982.
It all began back when, like many Vero Beach snow birds, Thomas and Beth Peebles first visited Vero Beach while on vacation. They soon decided to turn their favorite vacation spot into a permanent home and moved from Pittsburgh to Vero Beach to retire in the 1930's. But retirement didn't last long.
Tom Peebles, circa 1955, Vero Beach, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida: A favorite spot for snowbirds since the 40's
Soon after they settled in Vero, Tom and Beth founded Range Line Groves. They were then joined by their daughter Betty and her husband Art. Thomas and Art ran Range Line Groves together for decades until Tom Jones, Art and Betty's son, joined and eventually took over the family business after returning from military service in Vietnam.
Beth Peebles in front of the first Range Line Groves office, circa 1955
Current owner, Tom Jones with his Father Art Jones, circa 1968
Current Hyatt owner Sergeant Tom Jones. Graduation, Fort Benning, June 1970
Four generations @ Waldo's. The Driftwood Inn, Vero Beach Florida, circa 1970
In the seventies, while running Range Line Groves, Tom seized an opportunity to expand into the direct-to-consumer catalog channel when the founder of Hyatt Fruit Company had decided to retire and sell his company. Tom successfully expanded the farming business and began shipping gift-quality citrus directly to the consumer.
Today, Tom continues his stewardship of Hyatt with the help of his daughter, continuing the family legacy of one of the first citrus groves planted in the heart of Indian River County.
The Indian River Citrus District is extremely flat. This flatness, in concert with a high water table - only two to three feet below the land's surface - provides the citrus trees with just enough moisture to obtain the highest quality of texture, shape and flavor. Indian River soil is also rich in calcium and other minerals that abet citrus groves. And the nearness to the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean also has a major bearing on the exceptionally good taste of Indian River Citrus.
Most importantly, citrus trees need approximately one inch of water per week to bear good citrus. Another plus for the growing conditions is that the average annual rainfall over the majority of the Indian River Citrus District is approximately 52 inches per year. These natural elements combined with excellent production skills and improved scientific research, produce very high quality citrus that is thin skinned, has a high sugar content and flavor that is recognized around the world.
Hyatt Fruit Company
P.O. Box 639
Vero Beach, Florida 32961