BRADENTON, FL – Citing numerous financial obstacles over the last few years – including rising costs, hurricanes, the COVID-19 pandemic, to name a few – the owners of Mixon Fruit Farms has announced that, after 84 years, they are putting the iconic Bradenton landmark up for sale for a whopping $15.8 million.
Co-owners Janet and Dean Mixon said that they feel as if they have no choice but to sell, given the current market conditions brought about by both international trade agreements and the pandemic.
“We feel like we’ve actually been pushed out. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) brought in disease that killed off everything. Some of our trees were planted in the 1800s,” Janet said. “The family replaced 20,000 trees one year, then again another year. Once you plant a tree, it’s seven years before you get crops from it.”
“After Covid, it got harder to get people to work,” she added. “You can’t keep going forward with all of that.”
Skyrocketing insurance rates – which have jumped 300 percent over the past three years – and the lingering effects of last year’s Hurricane Ian, which cost the farm 35 percent of its orange harvest, were also contributing factors in the decision to sell, Janet said.
“It was one thing after another. We figured God was letting us know it was time,” Janet said.
The farm was originally founded in 1939 by Dean Mixon’s grandparents, Willie and Rosa, as a fruit stand on the corner of 26th Avenue and 27th Street; over the years the property expanded to over 350 acres of citrus groves and added numerous attractions to entice visitors, including a pavilion space for weddings, a wildlife refuge, a gift shop, a children’s play space and a café.
In 2006, the Mixons sold approximately 240 acres of the farm’s property for $10.8 million to a developer that utilized the property to build a housing development.
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Christopher Boyle is an investigative journalist for SEARCHEN NETWORKS® and reports for independent news and media organizations in the United States. Christopher helps keep a keen-eye on what’s happening on the West Coast of Florida on behalf of FLORIDA GULF RESIDENTIAL – Your Real Estate Expert for Sarasota and Surrounding Areas.