In 2006, one of our growers was handed a handful of seeds that Bob Antle had received from a friend in Europe. Curious as to what they would be, the seeds were planted. Unlike other lettuces available at the grocery store, what grew wasn’t a spring mix or a baby lettuce. What grew were full grown, petite red and green varieties of specialty lettuces: Gem, Tango, and Oak. And so the story of Artisan Lettuce began. We began to develop the seeds in the United States. Through trial and error, we learned and mastered the art of growing six unique seed varieties side by side. Today, this program is called Artisan Lettuce and is still grown side by side, cut, packed, and shipped at the same time from the field.
In 2001, Tanimura & Antle started a new branch of the company called 3 Star Lettuce, a seed company. Being vertically integrated and having our own seed company allows us to have a direct line to seed innovation, research, and development. Unlike other companies who work with external seed suppliers, having our seed company in-house makes Tanimura & Antle their number one priority. With 3 Star Seed as a part of the Tanimura & Antle family, we have the ability to initiate breeding of new seed varieties and have an influence on their direction – just like the Artisan Lettuce program.
Tanimura & Antle is the only grower shipper in the industry that is vested in our own seed supply. We believe that a quality product starts with the seed. We control every input from our soil to water to the skilled hands that cut our product from the field; Our seed supply is no exception. Today, 3 Star Lettuce sells more than 280 seed varieties to the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia.