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.


We want to hear from you!

By listening more intently and understanding the people who make up Mississippi’s communities, our reporters put a human face on how policy affects everyday Mississippians. We’re listening closely to our readers to help us continue to align our work with the needs and priorities of people from all across Mississippi. Please take a few minutes to tell us what’s on your mind by clicking the button below.


Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.