The real-life uncle to ten nieces and nephews, Matt McLean ventured into the organic juice business in 1999 with a passion for healthy living as well as a long family history of growing citrus in Florida. Matt’s goal was, and still is, to produce the highest quality juice, using only premium 100% organically-grown fruit that is free from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Business Administration, Matt went back to his hometown of Clermont, Florida and started a juice brokerage business in 1993. During the next several years he learned valuable lessons about juice flavor and quality. Matt’s clients were located in the US and as far away as Europe and the Middle East.
In 1995, a German customer inquired about importing organic juice. After researching the organic market, Matt discovered a passion for the organic way of life, while rediscovering his family’s philosophy of organic farming. Four years later, Matt launched Uncle Matt’s Organic with 100% not-from-concentrate organic orange juice.
“For me, organic just made the most sense,“ says Matt. “Less toxins to the environment and less toxic residues on the fruit are ultimately what is best for everybody. It really is the way my grandfather and great-grandfather used to grow citrus. Our philosophy is based on building healthy soils that will yield a healthier tree so it can naturally defend itself against disease, not the single factor analysis of today’s Ag world where if you have a pest you find a pesticide!”
Matt’s family expertise dates back four generations to his great-grandfather, Angus Benjamin McLean, who learned firsthand how to grow quality citrus without the help of today’s synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. His son, William Benjamin McLean (“Pappy”), carried on his father’s tradition, honing his growing philosophy, which advocates stewardship of the soil as the means to producing the healthiest, most nutritious crops possible.
Today, Matt –– as CEO of Uncle Matt’s Organic –– carries on his family’s traditions of growing quality citrus. Uncle Matt’s Organic has acquired several citrus groves, which are already yielding some of the fresh fruit squeezed into the company’s delicious orange juices.
“We’re excited to be farming some of our own groves and do what we do best: building healthy soils and healthy trees that will in turn yield the best quality fruit,” says Matt. “We’re ensuring the superior quality of our fruit — hands-on.”
Uncle Matt’s Organic will continue to position itself for the future with a steadfast commitment to healthy living, organic farming, and certainly not least of all, quality fruit and juice. By working with numerous organic growers and combining the latest information on juice quality with family expertise, Uncle Matt’s Organic is a brand name that can be counted on for bringing home the healthiest juice under the sun!