Design Icon – Builder

Meet Icon: Johnston Development

The Johnston family has a long history of creative thinkers and entrepreneurship. Herbert Johnston was an Ohio inventor who brought mechanism to the kitchen utensil industry. Founding Hobart, a commercial restaurant company know for Herbert’s invention, the stand up and counter mixer. His son Jim ventured to Arizona to become a farmer. Settling in Gilbert, he built a successful family farm. His son, Joe Johnston earned a couple of engineering degrees from Stanford, before returning home where he founded the iconic Coffee Plantation, with Mill Avenue and Biltmore retail stores. When development encroached on the family farm, the family used their inventive and entrepreneurial mind-set to reimagine their homestead. They created Agritopia, a modern village surrounding 11 acres of urban farmland. A place to call home, a place to connect, a place to belong.