IMMOKALEE, Fla. — The new owner of Florida Specialties Inc. doesn’t plan any major changes to the south Florida grower-shipper.

Software industry veteran Myles Strohl bought the entire Florida growing, shipping and sales operation from former owners Jim Joiner, Susan Joiner and Kenny Graves.

New owner plans few changes for Florida Specialties

Doug Ohlemeier

Myles Strohl is the new owner of green beans, bell pepper and eggplant grower-shipper Florida Specialties Inc., Immokalee, Fla. Strohl, who comes from the software industry, says he plans to keep things unchanged.

The deal closed Sept. 15.

The sale includes Joiner & Sons Farms but initially does not include Florida Specialties of Georgia, Americus.

Strohl said he plans to buy that south Georgia farming and packing operation in the future.

Strohl declined to state financial details of his purchase and said he plans to keep current operations, which include growing and packing of green beans, eggplant, bell peppers and variety peppers, along with a small volume of squash.

We have expansion changes, but they remain private,” Strohl said. “I expect to grow the business, which is one of the reasons I bought it. My philosophy in business is that nothing remains status quo. The business either grows or it dies.”

Strohl credited the company’s previous owners for building it into a successful operation.

Jim Joiner and Susan Joiner plan to remain involved with the company as senior consultants, Strohl said.  

The Joiners also plan to continue bringing Florida Specialties product, said Jeff Stepanovich, salesman.

Bored with retirement

Strohl moved to Naples seven years ago after semiretiring and selling his company that marketed software for emergency response.

He said he needed a new challenge.

“I frankly just got bored and needed something to do,” Strohl said. “This is a fun business.”

While he said he likes risks, he said he hopes those risks bring rewards.

The recruitment of industry veteran Wade Purvis into the company’s new position of vice president and general manager is one change, however.

Purvis previously was general manager of growing and packing for Pacific Collier Fresh Co. before leaving for work in another industry in late 2006.

Purvis also worked as farm manager of Southwest Florida Farms, a division of Gargiulo Inc., Naples.

Company history

Florida Specialties began operations in 1986 as the sales arm of Joiner & Sons Farms.

The company grows 3,000 acres of beans along with an increasing amount of bell peppers.
Stepanovich said Florida Specialties has grown during the past five years and said the operations remains unique among Immokalee and southwest Florida grower-shippers.