Robert “Bob” Bassetti, 83, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, September 15th. Bassetti was a well-known produce industry veteran and longtime owner of B&B Produce in Hammonton, New Jersey.
His produce career began at R&B Produce, a partnership owned by his father, “Big Jim” and his Uncle John Ruggeri. When his Ruggeri passed away, Bassetti went to work with his father. He eventually left R&B in the mid-70s and started B&B Produce with his partner Richard Bacigalupo. He eventually became the sole owner.
An innovative and forward thinker, he developed microwaveable wrappers for steaming sweet potatoes. He had a passion for produce and eventually, expanded from into blueberries and worked with Driscoll’s.
Bassetti’s daughter Melanie Heath worked with him for 17 years. “He moved at a high speed with a relentless passion for his work. He was an amazing produce man and everybody that worked with Dad loved him,” she said.
“I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for my big brother Bobby,” said Bassetti’s brother Jimmy of Little Bear Produce. “He lived life to the fullest. He loved the action of the produce markets as much as he loved the craps tables. Bobby was an original “produce man”, constantly making deals whether he was in New Jersey, North Carolina or at his island home in St. Maarten. He had so many industry friends, colleagues and customers who loved him dearly, we will all miss Bobby.”
“Bobby was my oldest brother and I loved him dearly, but when it came to yams and blues, he was as tough as it gets!” said Bassetti’s sister Cheryl Densten of Little Bear Produce. “Nothing could stop Bob from making deals, no matter where he was. I will miss Bobby and all the wonderful family times we shared with him.”
Along with produce, Bassetti also loved sports, spending time with his family at the Jersey shore and in the Caribbean islands.
He is survived by his children, Elaine Buchberger (Dale), Laurie Trongone (John), Melanie Heath (Dave) and the mother of his children Phyllis Bassetti; brother James Bassetti (Diane); sisters Marlene Scott and Cheryl Densten (Bruce); his grandchildren Zachary Buchberger (Niki), Camille Doherty, Jenna Trongone (Rob), Anthony Venuto (Brittany) and two great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents James and Dolores Bassetti; second wife Janet (Stevenson) Bassetti; grandson Nicholas Venuto and brother-in-law Roger Scott.
A private family service is pending. Donations can be made to St. Mary's School, Vineland, New Jersey or The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - Ronald McDonald House. Memories and online condolences can be sent to www.RONEFUNERALSERVICE.com.