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Alumni Profile

Peter Condakes

Peter Condakes, SM ’80

President, Peter Condakes Company

  • Has served as the president of the Peter Condakes Company since 2000
  • Brought the kiwi fruit to market
  • Packages a line of tomatoes under the name Harvest Queen

In 1900, a Greek immigrant by the name of Peter Condakes sold his first orange from behind a small pushcart on a Boston street. Over a century later, the Peter Condakes Company has grown to become a leader in the New England produce industry. Peter Condakes's grandson, also Peter Condakes, is the president of this wholesaler and truckload distributor. The company has gone from a pushcart to providing over 300 different fruits, vegetables, and tropical crops to wholesalers, supermarkets, retailers, and food-service providers such as the Cheesecake Factory and Applebee's.

Condakes worked on and off at his family's business starting when he was teenager, but did not join the company permanently until 1993 after he graduated from MIT Sloan and spent some time working outside the produce industry. At Peter Condakes Company, he started out managing several lines of tomatoes and quickly became an expert on the fruit. In addition to overseeing the buying and selling of these products, he spent much of his time on the lines guaranteeing the quality of his produce. “Knowing when a tomato is ripe and the conditions it needs to get to that point is not a science but an art,” Condakes reveals. One glance at a tomato and he can tell you the temperature it needs to ripen, the time it will take, and which buyers will want to purchase it.

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