History

DUDA is owned by descendants of Andrew Duda, who emigrated from Slovakia to America in 1909 to pursue the American dream. Duda and his three sons, John, Andrew, Jr., and Ferdinand, founded the company in 1926 as A. Duda & Sons. The company was formally incorporated in 1953 and remains headquartered in Oviedo, Florida, with operations throughout the United States. The company has since grown and evolved from its beginnings as a fresh vegetable grower and shipper to a diversified land company with a variety of agriculture and real estate operations.

DUDA Evolution Timeline

1925

First Celery Crop Planted
Andrew Duda and his three sons – John, Andrew Jr., and Ferdinand – plant celery on land acquired by the family – a total of 40 acres – in the Slovak Lutheran Colony of Slavia, Seminole County, Florida.
 

1926

A. Duda and Sons Established
Andrew and his sons produce their first cash crop of celery and establish A. Duda & Sons.
 

1940

Additional Ag Lands Purchased
The company purchases additional land in central, east central and south Florida, expanding production land for vegetables and pasture land for cattle.
 

1953

Company Incorporates
The company is formally incorporated as A. Duda & Sons, Inc.
 

1962

Crop Diversification into Citrus
The company begins to diversify its agricultural crops with the purchase of land for citrus production in LaBelle in Hendry County, Florida, eventually totaling over 25,000 acres.
 

1972

More Property Purchased
Several hundred acres of property is purchased in Clewiston, Florida, with additional acreage in Moore Haven, Florida, purchased in 1975 for cattle. Eventually all of the property is put into sugarcane production. 
 

1973

Sod Production Begins
The company enters the sod production business with initial operations in Oviedo, Florida.
 

1977

Management Transition from Second Generation to Third
The reins of management are passed from the Duda family’s second generation to the third generation.  Edward D. Duda is named President of the corporation.
 

1979

California Presence Established
Gene Jackson Farms, Inc. is established in Salinas, California, to expand vegetable production and extend the seasonal offerings of the company’s fresh vegetable products.
 

1981

New Chairman Elected to Board
 Edward D. Duda, President, is elected Chairman of the Board.
 

1982

Texas Presence Established
The company purchases Valley Onions, Inc. in McAllen, Texas. Texas operations today include the production of sugarcane, sod and citrus under the management of Duda Ranches.

Edward D. Duda assumes additional responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer of the corporation.
 

1989

Company Diversifies into Real Estate Development
Ground is broken for Viera, a master planned community on the company’s ranch in Brevard County, Florida.   The name Viera means faith in Slovak paying homage to the family’s heritage and core beliefs.

The Viera Company is established as a wholly-owned subsidiary to manage development of Viera and the company’s non-agricultural land holdings. Viera Realty is established for residential sales in the new Viera community.
 

1992

New President and COO Named
F.S. Duda is named President and Chief Operating Officer of the corporation; Edward D. Duda remains Chairman and CEO.
 

1998

Ownership Taken in Dandy Cooling; CEO Retires

The company takes an ownership position in its Salinas-based Dandy Cooling operation.

Edward D. Duda retires and Ferdinand S. Duda is named Chief Executive Officer of the corporation; Edward remains Chairman of the Board.

 

2003

Company Appoints New President
Joseph A. Duda is named President of the corporation; F.S. Duda remains Chief Executive Officer.
 

2004

Commercial Property Portfolio Established
The company begins to acquire commercial properties to further diversify and strengthen its asset portfolio.  This is the beginning of the company’s commercial property division.
 

2005

CEO Retires; Duran Golf Club Opens

F.S. Duda retires and is appointed Chairman of the Board; Joseph A. Duda, President, assumes additional responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer.

The Duran Golf Club and 18-hole championship golf course designed by Chip Powell is opened in Viera, adding golf course construction and management to the company’s diversified operations.  A state-of-the-art Development Center featuring an expansive practice range and nine-hole, Par 3 course is added in 2008.

 

2006

Mission Statement Updated; Subsidiaries Established

The company adopts a new Mission Statement, defining the consolidated corporation as a diversified land company.

Additional subsidiary companies and business units are created to manage the company’s diversified operations: Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc., grower, shipper and marketer of fresh and fresh-cut vegetables and fresh citrus; and the Duda Ranches division, agricultural operations including sod, sugarcane, cattle and eventually citrus production. Viera Builders, Inc. is established as a home builder and general construction company.

 

2008

Fresh-Cut Vegetable Operations Open
Duda Farm Fresh Foods opens a newly constructed fresh-cut vegetable processing plant and Dandy Cooling facility in Oxnard, California.
 

2009

Leadership Succession to Fourth Generation Begins
David J. Duda is elected President of the corporation, beginning the succession of leadership to the fourth generation of the Duda family; Joseph A. Duda remains Chief Executive Officer.
 

2010

CEO Retires; Fourth Generation Takes Leadership
Joseph A. Duda retires and David J. Duda is named Chief Executive Officer, completing a leadership succession process that transitions management of the company from the third generation to the fourth generation.
 

 

FAMILY OF COMPANIES

Duda Farm Fresh Foods

Duda Ranches

Viera Company