Now a much loved heirloom tomato, Cherokee Purple was once a little known, unnamed variety. In 1990, Craig LeHoullier, a Seed Saver's Exchange member and tomato connoisseur, received a small package of tomato seeds and a note from John Green of Tennessee. In his note John explained this variety had been given to him from his neighbors, who had received seeds from members of the Cherokee tribe 100 years prior. Craig grew it, savoring the flavor and the unique deep purple color. He thought it was worth sharing so he approached Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and Johnny's Select Seeds about making it commercially available under the name Cherokee Purple. They, too, became such big fans of this wonderful variety that an heirloom star was born.