Garden Fresh Team Meets the Beets, Interest in Citrus, and Rock the Broc!

At Garden Fresh restaurants, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, we help our guests “Discover Fresh” by having fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, desserts, and more. We work closely with growers to ensure guests are only getting the freshest, high-quality vegetables available.

Last week, restaurant general managers and support center representatives from all over the nation
met to visit Muranaka Farm in Moorpark, CA, Limoneira in Santa Paula, CA, and Campbell Ranches in Lompoc, CA. These farm visits are a key part of the ongoing effort to help managers learn directly from Garden Fresh farmer partners and better share the farm to table brand stories.

Charles Muranaka provides details of his company's red and gold beets and explains the importance of food safety.

“Discover Fresh comes alive for our restaurant managers when they have the opportunity to engage with our farmers,” says Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg. He continues, “The visit to Muranaka Farm, where we heard from Chuck Muranaka and his farm managers, is a vital training opportunity for our teams to see firsthand what it takes to get fresh produce and fruit to our restaurants each and every day.” Muranaka Farm supplies Garden Fresh with beets (red and gold), cilantro, green onions and parsley.

Limoneira Director of Marketing John Chamberlain, left, explains the growing and harvesting requirements for lemons.

Limoneira Director of Marketing John Chamberlain, led the Garden Fresh team on a walking tour of the Santa Paula farm. John explained the growing and harvesting requirements for lemons and gave them a tour of the cooling and packing facility. The name Limoneira, means “lemon lands” in Portuguese and is one of the largest producers of lemons and avocados in the United States.

Broccoli Bob, right, explains to the Garden Fresh team what it takes to grow broccoli.

Broccoli Bob, of Campbell Ranches, shed light on what it takes to deliver farm-to-table freshness to Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants. Team members toured cauliflower and broccoli fields and the produce firm’s cooling facility in Lompoc. Campbell Ranches involves more than 2,800 acres under production and provides significant amounts of broccoli, cauliflower, and romaine lettuce to Garden Fresh restaurants.

Susanne Schwengel, General Manager at the Rancho Cucamonga Souplantation, said, “The farm-to-table story is important for us to be able to share with our guests and I’m thrilled to have been able to learn firsthand about all the work that goes into our restaurants being able to provide truly farm fresh produce. I am already sharing what I learned with my crew and they in turn are helping educate our guests.”

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