Our history

Biography of our founder, Anthony T. Rossi


  • 1900: Born in Messina, Sicily - Italy
  • 1921: Came to New York City – USA
  • 1934: Married Florence Stark
  • 1947: Established Tropicana Products, Inc. – Bradenton, Florida
  • 1952: Widowed by death of Florence
  • 1959: Married Sanna Barlow
  • 1978: Sold Tropicana Products, Inc. to Beatrice Foods, Inc.
  • 1981: Founded the Bradenton Missionary Village and Bible Alliance
  • 1993: Went to be with the Lord


Anthony T. Rossi (“Uncle Nino”) was born in Messina, Sicily in 1900, the fourth of nine children. At the age of 21, he sailed to New York City with no money and no fears, only a dream. It was here that he happened across a Bible in a New York library, which he had never been permitted to read for himself while following the Catholic faith in Italy. He became engrossed by the Word of God, devoting his life to following God’s plan for him.

After multiple failed attempts with smaller enterprises, he finally truly made his American dream a reality with Tropicana Products, Inc. in Bradenton, Florida. Founded in 1947, Tropicana was a pioneer in its industry, revolutionizing fresh juice refrigeration and distribution methods. Upon the sale of the company in 1978, Anthony turned his attention to his longtime dream of building a retirement community for Christian missionaries. Anthony stated that he saw the sale of Tropicana as “God’s way of getting him out from under corporate duties and allowing him more time to work directly for God.”

Despite his enormous accomplishments, this is not what Anthony wished to be remembered by. Rather, he once stated that his organizations are here “to please the Lord, we don’t try to please man. We try to get along with man in the best way possible – to love one another – but not to be better than anyone else. Pride is a sin.” Those who had the privilege of knowing him best will always remember him for his simple faith, love for his Lord, abounding generosity, and his deep belly laughs.