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Trudi April 18, 2006 03:32 PM

Totally Tomatoes
Last night I got a phone call from Tomato Tomatoes, they were concerned that I had made a mistake on my order and called to doublecheck before filling it.

What happened was that I filled in my form and decided midway that I wanted another 1/4 oz of one of the seeds I had already written down. I didn't want to do a cross out and make a messy form, so I just added in that extra 1/4 ounce on a separate line.

I am completely delighted that they showed concern to make sure that my order was correct and that I had not made a mistake in what I had written down. It's this type of customer service that makes them, IMHO, one of the very best catalogue companies I order seeds from.

There's lots of catalogues to order seeds from, but it's the service that keeps you a customer. Totally Tomatoes delivers good seeds and good service--to me that means everything ;-)

Here is their link:


PS--I cross posted this over on th GW forum as I post in both places, not everyone visits both sites.

JerryL July 21, 2006 08:39 AM

I’m not sure how I missed posting in this tread since it was started back in April. :?

While I know some folks here aren’t big Totally Tomato fans I have no real complaint. I’ve ordered several times from them and their delivery has always been prompt and accurate. Some of their descriptions may push the limit but everyone has a marketing scheme. :o

The only problem I have ever had was with Box Car Willie. Apparently TT was sending something other than BCW. Many folks have been happily growing it for years. Myself included.

So overall I agree with Trudi – a good source of seed.

Trudi July 21, 2006 10:53 AM

Hi Jerry
I don't think there's a seed catalogue on the planet that hasn't mislabeled seeds or sent dud seeds--so I don't hold that against any of them, human is as human does.

I use TT to because I need seeds that I know will sprout--and that I can pick-up at a good cost too. In my SASE offers, either flower or tomato, I always include a pack of mixed tom seeds of all shapes, sizes and colors--for a beginner gardener it's been a good way to introduce someone to the idea that toms aren't all red and round. By the end of winter my own rainbow stock of toms is dwindling--with a call to TT, I've got the colors and shapes I need with the right price--to supplement the blend.

travis July 24, 2006 05:36 PM

I like TT for several reasons:

1) Their catalog is sized just right to slip into your back pocket for a trip to the John.

2) I like the way the catalog is laid out in segregated in logical sections and the varieties are sequenced not necessarily in alphabetic order.

3) I love their selection of tomatoes, many of which I'll never even contemplate ordering, but enjoy reading about.

4) The catalog photography is great.

5) The staff answering the telephone are courteous, repsonsive and efficient.

6) The turn-around time for orders is speedy.

7) The prices are righteous ... example: I got Black Pearl ornamental pepper seeds for a buck less than any other vendor.

8) The seeds I got from them all germinated near 100%.


Trudi July 24, 2006 07:00 PM

Your first answer is a riot! And so true, so true!

TT is good--they got some great sales online in their specials section. I must have a passion for the oddballs as I think I've ordered everyone of their $1 tomato packs--but I can't complain, odd, so far has been very good. I'm anxiously waiting for my Mandarin Joy toms to ripen. The online catalogue says its a stir-fry tom--who the heck knows what that is--but I've got to say that the developing fruits are just so pretty and look like they'll be slightly oblong, slightly pointed and about the size of a five-year-olds fist. It's not a very leafy plant in comparison to others, and not big either, but tidy and polite. I hope they taste good--raw or cooked.

elkwc36 August 29, 2006 10:49 PM

Trudi I agree that TT is very good and customer service is one deciding factor with many of us. I will forgive some other faults but failure to communicate is one that I won't. That is the reason I won't renew my SSE membership when it is up. Have never answered an email yet. Sorry for going off topic. My experience with TT has been very good and so far my seeds have always grown true to description. I have done business with them for several years.

carolyn137 August 29, 2006 11:36 PM


Who are you e-mailing at SSE and for what purpose?

I ask b'c there are any number of folks here at Tville as well as GW and DG whom I know have e-mailed them, especially about membership and subscription concerns, and you're the first person I know of who says they don't answer you.

kimpossible August 30, 2006 12:27 AM

I e-mailed SSE a couple of times in the spring - regarding back-issues of Yearbooks, & received same-day response. No issues here.

CLa August 30, 2006 01:47 AM

I also agree on TT fantastic germination. Plants seem to be true. No Sungellas ripe yet, but one plant has a cluster of 10 on it, golfball size probably getting close. Sungolds taste fruity and sweet. Not sure what they are supose to taste like, but I think I have what I ordered, because they taste perty good:) My 3 Eva's Purple Ball plants are much slower it seems. No fruit set that I can see, short bushes. This is the hot and humid south, so I'd like to see the plant live up to her description. I'm pretty sure it is EPB though based on other's descriptions of the plant.

Trudi August 30, 2006 07:25 AM

I've cropped that Mandarin Joy tom which I described above. It's firm fleshed and does hold together when you cook it. If you cut a wedge and toss it in the hot pan, it's gonna still look like a wedge when it comes out a few minutes later--it doesn't mush and disintegrate. I don't find it particularly thrilling for flavor, but it's not bad either, it's much better than a supermarket tom for flavor :roll:

feldon30 August 30, 2006 10:05 AM

It took a couple of weeks, but I did hear back from SSE on a backissue question.

elkwc36 August 30, 2006 06:40 PM

I was emailing about membership. I paid over the internet by credit card. After several days of not receiving any reply I sent an email asking if they had received it. As I'm a little nervous about making internet payment. After a few weeks I saw where the payment had went through on my credit card. Then sometime later received the summer book but still have never heard from them. Usually you will get a thank you from most businesses and an invoice you can use. I know in my job and also my businesses if I handled business like that I wouldn't have any. I also use these kind of opportunities to test a business to see if I want to do business with them. Maybe expecting the kind of customer service I strive to give is too much. I have received prompt replies from some who I've yet to do business with. These are some who I read on these boards to watch out for. So guess maybe we all have different experiences with each. I joined SSE because of what I had read here but don't plan to resubscribe. JD

Trudi August 30, 2006 07:07 PM

The bottom line of ANY business is customer service.

Eons back I was the saleswoman for a company that stood by its products so well that we guaranteed your money back for as long as you owned it. If you didn't like it anymore, for whatever reason, we offered to buy it back at the price you paid or we would replace it with a new one.

We sold custom made quilts, table linens, curtains, wall hanging, pillows and tzotchka whatnots. The linens and drapes, etc. were pricey enough, but a custom quilt could be $2k or higher, sometimes taking a year or more to produce. When a new customer walked into the shop I told them our service policy right up front--honesty sells plenty and our customer service brought new people through referrals.

IMHO, if you treat your customers like crap, they're not coming back, and even worse, they tell a dozen people about their bad experiences with your business. A satisfied customer tells less than five people, but those five act as good referals too. Bad news travels fast, good references travel far.

You have to please your heart and mind before you are comfortable enough to open your wallet. If you're not satisfied with any company, online or in your face, don't use them.

carolyn137 August 30, 2006 07:47 PM


I understand where you're coming from. And you can see here from the responses that some get quick replies and Feldon's took longer.

I don't see SSE as a business in terms of it's larger mission of seed preservation and the Yearbook, which is what it's all about.

I also don't think folks realize that the office staff is very small and if Joanne was busy trying to enter material into the Yearbook or setting up one of the other publications I can very well understand that she didn't get back to you.

Actually I don't know of anyone who has ever received a confirmation of membership. Honestly.

You pay your money and you're a member.

I'm sorry you feel the way you do about this, but you have to do what you think is right based on your expectations of dealing with businesses.

Again, I think few of us who are SSE members see it functioning as a traditional business as would be TGS or TT or Johnny's, etc, and again, no confirmation of membership is sent to anyone. Ever. So you were treated no differently than anyone else.

travis August 30, 2006 09:13 PM

When we were all trying to get things set up for Andrey's overseas membership, Joanne was very helpful and responsive to my emails. Sometimes it may have taken a few days ... in other cases just overnight ... but regardless, she is a very conscientious and helpful lady.

Besides, they have a telephone number if the email gets into a glitch. As Carolyn pointed out ... SSE is more a preservation thing than a traditional capitalist venture and they are doing the best they can considering their staffing limitations. Be happy to be a member of a worthy cause and make of it what you can.


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