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Food & Drink

The Tomato Place, a Mississippi treasure

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Tomato Place
The Tomato Place in Vicksburg, where visitors can enjoy a great meal, purchase fruit, vegetables and souvenirs while soaking up the friendly atmosphere, Tuesday, June 21, 2022./Vicki King, Mississippi Today

Twenty-two years ago, The Tomato Place was nothing more than one of four fruit and veggie stands run by Luke Hughes.

“I was here sorting tomatoes, when this guy comes up, takes a look at my tomatoes and asks if we could make him a sandwich. I made him a sandwich. Guess he must’ve really liked it,” Hughes says with a chuckle. “Because the very next day, he came back for another one. The rest, as they say, is history.”

And, so began The Tomato Place, located just south of a wicked curve on the blues highway — U.S. 61 South — in Vicksburg.

A sign in the business brings a smile to the faces of all who come: “Welcome Home! We are a slow food, smell the roses, hear the music, feel the atmosphere kind of place.”

So, there was never a need for a Robert Johnson-esque deal with the Devil for success. The great food, friendly atmosphere, Americana art and souvenirs have made the little roadside business a worldwide attraction.

 

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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