Sarah Frey. Founding Farmer
Sarah was raised on a small, 100-acre farm in southern Illinois, where at age eight, she and her mother would buy watermelons from local farmers and go store-to- store, making deliveries to local grocers during the summer. At age 16, Sarah bought a truck and took over the distribution, and it wasn’t long before she grew her client list from 12 stores to more than 150.
At age 18, she bought the family business. As her business continued to grow, Sarah’s brothers (Leonard, Harley, John, and Ted Frey), returned home to work with their younger sister, where they remain today. Today the company has growing operations in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois and in the panhandle of West Virginia. While Frey Farms is known for their massive pumpkin operation, pumpkins are a small part of what they do. Frey Farms also produces watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet corn, hard winter squash and fall ornamentals. Watermelon is the predominant commodity which was the inspiration for Sarah’s latest idea, Tsamma (pronounced sah-mah)Watermelon Juice.
Dealing directly with the top retail chains, Sarah has made sure Tsamma is available to thirsty consumers across the country. Tsamma (pronounced Sah-Mah), is the first and only bottled watermelon juice produced in the U.S. Sarah created Tsamma after noticing a gap in the variety of flavored juice and sports drinks offered to consumers. Seizing the opportunity to fill a market void, she launched Tsamma in June 2014, and within two months secured product distribution to more than 1,500 stores nationwide. Sarah has been recognized by the PMA Foundation, “Eight Women Leaders You Should Know.”
She serves on many industry boards, including the United Fresh Government Relations Council and Grower-Shipper Board, and the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Sarah is also a member of the Illinois Agriculture Coalition committee, assembled by the Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner. Sarah Frey-Talley is the President and CEO of Frey Farms, and Founder of Tsamma™ Watermelon Juice. Headquartered in rural Wayne County, Ill., Frey Farms is a Certified Woman Owned Business that specializes in the growing, packing, and shipping of fresh market produce, including cantaloupes and watermelons.