2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the Szawlowski Potato Farms in Hatfield, Massachusetts. From humble beginnings in 1910 when John Rupert Szawlowski emigrated from Poland and settled in Northampton, Mass., to farm 250 acres of potatoes, the business has grown to 2,500 acres in three towns and is the largest potato grower in the state and a major potato supplier in the Northeastern United States.
Four brothers, third generation Szawlowskis, Frank, John, Chester, Jr. and Stanley lead today’s operation which includes growing Russet, Red, White & Yukon Gold potatoes for supermarket chains throughout the Northeast. They developed production practices that enabled them to successfully grow the various varieties to meet the demands of the market.
In 1972, 75 acres of the original farm in Northampton were taken by eminent domain to build an industrial park. The move inspired the brothers to invest in more land, equipment and buildings, expanding the acreage, packing and shipping capabilities at their new location in Hatfield. In the late 1980s, they expanded into states just south of New England and by emphasizing early planting dates, variety selection and agronomic adjustments, they have been able to serve this market. Refrigeration and a state-of-the-art grading and packing line produced consumer sized packages with the required quality retailers demanded.
The farm packs potatoes from growers from across the country year-round, which enables them to supply customers even after their harvest season is over.