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The Mango Factory, sweet mangoes & heart on Pine Island

ATOMETICH@NEWS-PRESS.COM9:53 p.m. EDT July 14, 2015

Cleaned, just-picked Valencia mangoes await sorting at The Mango Factory in Bokeelia. (Photo: Annabelle Tometich/The News-Press)

The Mango Factory on Pine Island has been growing mangoes with love for 35 years.

(Photo: Annabelle Tometich/The News-Press)


The late Jack Flowerree opened The Mango Factory on Bokeelia in 1980.

Jack Flowerree, a machinist and World War 2 vet, founded

The 25-acres mango grove sells more than a half-dozen varieties of mangoes from its 1,000+ trees.

A machine with rotating brush rollers cleans all the

It is now run by son Doug Flowerree, the man responsible for modernizing this historic orchard.

Owner Doug Flowerree, left, talks with customers at

It took a few sputtering cranks before the engine turned over, but as the golf cart roared to life so too did Doug Flowerree.

Crates of Haden and Valencia mangoes await pickup at

He stepped on the gas, coasting under low-slung branches heavy with mangoes — dimpled Keitts, elongated Valencias, clusters of Hadens, and Kents shaped like the human heart.

Owner Jack Flowerree coasts through his mango trees

"Superman's real name was Clark Kent," Flowerree said, "and he sure had some heart, so that's how you remember that one."

The dimpled bottoms are what set sweet Keitts mangoes

If The Mango Factory has a heart, its name would be Flowerree.

Doug's late father, Jack Flowerree, planted this 25-acre Bokeelia mango grove in the late 1970s. 

The Mango Factory's 25-acre mango orchard features

By 1980 he was open for business, selling boxes of the golden fruits to locals and, later, shipping them to the hungry and mango-less around the country.

The last of The Mango Factory's Irwin mangoes drooped


MangoMania hits Pine Island and Cape Coral

Zachary mangoes dangle from branches at The Mango Factory

"He's responsible not just for planting every single tree, but also for all of the grafting you see," Doug said, pointing out trunks split two, three and four times at their bases, scars from where old grafts took hold.

This Cambodian mango tree is one of more than 1,000

Jack Flowerree was a machinist and World War II vet who trained at the old Army airfield at Page Field in Fort Myers. 

A plump, round J Byrd mango is one of a few hybrid

He fell in love with Southwest Florida, and in 1955 bought several acres on Bokeelia, back when Pine Island was little more than a winding, north-south road.

The family ran the old Silver Tarpon Cottages, but Jack grew tired of the industry and decided to strike out on his own.

The Mango Factory features 25 acres and 1,000 mango trees in Bokeelia. (Photo: Annabelle Tometich/The News-Press)

"He never particularly loved mangoes when we were growing up," Doug said. 

"I think he chose mangoes because he could do it himself, without having to rely on anyone else."

Jack built The Mango Factory from scratch, hauling out an old filter room from a power plant and transforming it into an all-in-one mango processing center, shipping facility and showroom.

Jack Flowerree, a machinist and World War 2 vet, founded

Eight seasons ago Doug joined The Mango Factory, leaving behind careers in teaching and business to trim mango trees and bring his father's scrappy farm into the 21st century.

Doug Flowerree stands next to the hand-made sign his

Doug created, and now the website accounts for the majority of the company's sales with shipping to 46 states. 

The Mango Factory opened around 1980. This building,

He and his two employees spend their days picking, cleaning and sorting mangoes on the machinery his father welded together by hand.

That process started in May, when the first of the early-season Irwins turned from green to sunset shades of red and yellow. It should last through September, when the last of the late season Keitts are harvested.

During the non-growing season Doug and his crew thin the branches on each of The Mango Factory's 1,000-plus trees. 

The process allows sunlight in and helps moisture escape, which is how the Flowerrees have gone without using chemicals, "of any sort for at least 10 years," Doug said.

Owner Doug Flowerree stands next to the sign his father, Jack, created when he opened The Mango Factory on Bokeelia in 1980. (Photo: Annabelle Tometich/The News-Press)

As the golf cart purred to the back of the property, past small clusters of apple mangoes, popular in Jamaica, and a rare Cambodian mango tree, Doug made a confession.

"I like mangoes in smoothies, but I love just digging into one hunched over the kitchen sink," he smiled. 

"The best way though is to take it in the shower with you, and just let the juices flow."

Off the Eaten Path tells the stories behind independent area restaurants, the strip-mall and side-street joints we pass everyday. Connect with this reporter:@ATometich(Twitter).

The Mango Factory

Where: 7180 Tropical Lane, Bokeelia

Contact: 283-0830

Prices: $2 per pound, minimum 15 pounds


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After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

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Come this summer pamper your loved ones abroad with a box of delicious mangoes through DHL’s Express Easy Mango service, a unique one-stop-shop and hassle-free service for gifting mangoes all across the world.

This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

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