Anthony Sorbello, owned and operated a small family farm for twenty years. He raised onions to sell to local wholesalers. In 1952, Anthony was presented with an opportunity to own and operate a restaurant. He started "Bing's Drive-In", which was located at 810 E. Genesee St. in Chittenango. Although the restaurant business was successful, Anthony longed to pursue a produce business and get back to his roots as a farmer. To answer this call, Sorbello's Produce was founded in the spring of 1972. He began repacking onions and potatoes to distribute to stores in the surrounding areas.
Anthony's son, John, joined the business in 1979. In 1980 they recognized a shift in the produce business, and the need to distribute more than just onions and potatoes. Sorbello's Produce started to deliver a full line of produce to local stores and restaurants. In 1984, John purchased the business from his father. With the produce business growing, John saw an opportunity to expand.
Sorbello's Produce began to sell retail fruits and vegetables out of the store front. While purchasing produce from the regional farmers market, John saw flowers as a chance to offer more to our retail customers. Sorbello's Lawn and Garden business was launched in the spring of 1985.
For several years the business had a steady customer base and grew with the area. During that time, John expanded the lawn and garden business right along with the wholesale produce. Sorbello's started to offer customers more options such as shrubs, soils and other lawn and gardening items.
In the early 1990's, John decided it was time to start growing what he sold. He stared with a small hoop house propagating vegetable seeds. Soon after he expanded, adding two more grow houses.
Over the next 10 years with the wholesale produce business outgrowing its current location, expansion was necessary. In 2000, John built a new wholesale produce warehouse. This freed up space, which also allowed more room for the lawn and garden center to grow. With the growth of the lawn and garden center, a larger grow house was needed. During that year Sorbello's put up our first 30' x 100' grow house and expanded our ability to grow more of what we sell.
10 years later, with the lawn and garden center also outgrowing its space, an expansion was needed. With the purchase of the property next to the current location, our next chapter was beginning. John's next vision was a larger retail greenhouse where customers could shop comfortably as well as a gift shop. Upon completion in the spring of 2010, Sorbello's opened their Gift & Garden Center. The new location was a chance to showcase garden products, seasonal décor, as well as gifts and locally made food items.
Shortly after opening the new location, a second retail house was necessary to accommodate our customers. In an effort to give our customers the best quality possible, Sorbello's slowly started adding more grow houses. Since 2010 to present we have added six more grow houses allowing us to grow almost every annual and perennial sold in our garden center.
Since our move, we have created the space to be able to offer our customers the best for every season. Such as our grown on site annuals, perennials and vegetable plants for the spring and summer, hardy mums for the fall, as well as handmade wreaths and garland for Christmas.
During our almost 40 yrs of being in the garden business, and many more of being in the community, we have created relationships with many local businesses and farmers. This allows us to offer our customers locally grown pumpkins, corn stalks and hay bales for fall décor, fresh cut local Christmas trees and the freshest brush possible to make our handmade wreaths and garland.
We are expanding are growing facility!
It has been a project that has been long overdue. The expansion of our planting area will allow us to be more productive and put less physical strain on us. The production greenhouse will speed up our production and allow us to have all our supplies in one area. Stay tuned for updates on the construction.
Thank You! #shopsmall
The Produce business has had a solid clientele for over 35 years. Sorbello's continues to provide different varieties of products, as well as carrying the staples of the business; condiments, spices and locally grown produce. In July of 2009 Sorbello's Produce also began offering their customers Disposable restaurant supplies such as paper, foil and to-go products.