Staff at Mucci Farms are enjoying the fruits of their labour.

The Kingsville greenhouse celebrated its first strawberry harvest Thursday while also announcing a new expansion.

The company says it will spend $12-million in addition to the $24-million already invested in greenhouses to become the largest strawberry grower under glass in North America to meet demand for the fruit.

Phase 2 of their 36-acre strawberry farm expansion has been completed and construction has started on phase 3.

CEO Bert Mucci hopes to begin production in the fall of 2018, to allow them to offer strawberries during the winter months using lit culture. He says it’s the same technology that allows them to grow lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers year round.

"Our strawberry program is being met with a great deal of enthusiasm from current and potential retail partners because of our emphasis on premium flavour and consistent supply,” explains Danny Mucci, VP of Sales and Marketing.

The strawberries grown in Kingsville are marketed under the Smuccies Sweet Strawberries brand. The company won the Kids Choice Award for its Smuccies Layered Strawberry and Mango Dip at the Product Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Conference and Expo in New Orleans on the weekend.

Mucci Farms employs about 1,200 people in Leamington and Kingsville.

The company says it will add another 100 workers to pick strawberries at the peak harvest times.