Meet our Kale Growers: Church Brothers Produce

Delivering you fresh and nutritious menu items (not to mention delicious) is one of our top priorities at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes. So, with the addition of three new kale menu items to our January Go Green menu, we wanted to introduce you to our kale growers – Church Brothers Produce. We sat down with the Director of Business Development and Logistics at Church Brothers, Vince Ballesteros, to learn a little more about this superfood.

Q: At Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes we are all about spending time with family and loved ones, what do you think is the best thing about working for a company built around and focused on family?
A: Working for a family owned company really fosters a sense of unity and team spirit. Despite our continuous growth and expansion, Church Brothers retains a strong sense of old fashioned morals, ethics and values second to none in our industry.

Tom and Steve Church of Church Brothers Produce

Q: We think of kale as a superfood – what are some of the nutritional benefits found in kale?
A: Kale is a low calorie vegetable with great anti-inflammatory properties and an outstanding source of Iron, Vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium.

Q: What are the benefits of eating fresh produce?
A: While vegetables in any form bring great health benefits, fresh produce is vegetables in their purest form. Therefore, they retain the most nutritional value and depth.

Q: What is the proper way to clean kale?
A: As with any vegetable, kale is in its commodity form, is grown and packed in the field, so should be washed thoroughly before eating. Tearing the leaves back and washing between them will eliminate any dirt or residue left from the harvest.

Q: We love our new kale menu items, but also want to know what some of the favorite kale recipes are at Church Brothers Produce.
A: In addition to using kale as a side dish or salad, there are a lot of options to incorporate kale, and its benefits, into your diet in delicious ways! We also have a great recipe for kale pesto for a pasta dish or topping for fish.

Q:  What are some of the sustainability measures Church Brothers Produce takes?
A: Our Growing Team aggressively implements Sustainable Practices on a daily basis. A few of our efforts include:

  • Controlling the manner and application of water to minimize runoff and soil erosion
  • Recycling all field waste and plant water
  • Our new Low Impact Harvester: These harvesters operate with the same productivity as our previous harvesters, yet this uses 5 gallons per week versus 100 gallons per week!


5 thoughts on “Meet our Kale Growers: Church Brothers Produce”

  1. I’m glad to see the kale, but have concerns about why you don’t choose an organic farmer to supply it. I’m glad Church Brothers conserve water and are not too far away in the Salinas area, but we don’t know anything about whether their sustainability model includes genetically engineered plants or harmful pesticides. The same goes for the tofu offered at Sweet Tomatoes. Most soy is GE. What reassurances do your customers have that your “superfoods” are really clean?

    1. Hi JR – In general, all of our fresh produce is GMO free. However, we currently don’t promote or guarantee it at this time, as we occasionally must make vendor substitutions based on product availability and seasonality. We can tell you that we always strive to provide the highest quality of produce and ingredients in our restaurants and ask all our growers and suppliers to provide us with a complete specification sheet for every ingredient that we purchase to ensure that we are always giving our guests the freshest and safest food possible.

  2. My comments is not in regards to Kale, because I do not see any other way to communicate with you, to post a simple question. When are you going to have any of your LENTIL soups on your menu???????? I don’t remember you having them at all during 2013.

    1. Hi Gloria – We post our monthly menus on our website and our Facebook, be sure to keep an eye out for your favorite menu items. You can also send us a question on either of those sites 🙂

  3. Pingback: Gluten-Free Goodies at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes

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