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Web stats helps artichoke growers provide cooks with seasonal recipes

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (Nov. 12, 2009) – Fall is the time to bring out the crock-pot, at least that is what the number of people searching recipes online showed the artichoke growers at Ocean Mist Farms.

Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of fresh artichokes in the country, has been tracking consumer recipe demand and trends since starting an online recipe library three years ago. The results show, not surprisingly, that in the fourth quarter a majority of online recipe viewers are searching for slow cooking or crock pot recipes followed by searches for holiday menu ideas and recipes.

“We find seasonal recipe trends within the fluctuating search volume for particular key words such as ‘crock-pot’ on both search engines such as Google and within our own site,” said Kori Tuggle, company marketing manager. “From the traffic trends we discover online, we customize the content of our home page, the number of seasonal recipes in our recipe library and make the recipes easy to find once they are on our site. We modify our site content year round, to cater to what consumers are looking for.”

For example, in November and December, the home page of www.oceanmist.com features both crock pot recipes and holiday menu recipes. Starting in January, the content will shift to hearty seasonal recipes such as soup.

“We aim to go beyond just offering a recipe to our site visitors,” Tuggle said. “We put a lot of effort into creating cooking videos and digital cookbooks to enhance their visit and give them more than what they were expecting with a traditional recipe library.”

On Jan. 1, Ocean Mist will debut a new digital recipe booklet online featuring soups and salads.

Ocean Mist receives a monthly average of 30,000 unique visitors a month to its Web site, with more than 50 percent of the visitors coming to the site specifically for artichoke recipes based on the volume of Web site pages viewed.

“We know people use the Internet for recipes and we want to be their source of information for cooking vegetables – and fresh artichokes in particular,” Tuggle said. “We’re using all forms of digital communication, from our Web site to social media, to help make cooking artichokes easier and more fun.”

PMA 2009

CASTROVILLE Calif. – (Oct. 3, 2009) -Ocean Mist Farms is one of six fresh produce companies named a packaging innovator by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) which bestowed its second annual Impact Awards Excellence in Produce Packaging at the organizations international convention and exposition in Anaheim Calif. earlier today. The award recognizes companies with exceptional produce packaging that demonstrates out-of-the-box-thinking and makes an impact on consumers.

Ocean Mist Farms was recognized within the marketing design category for its four-count fresh artichoke handle bag package designed specifically for the club store channel based on consumer and customer feedback. The packaging will be on display in the main lobby of the Anaheim convention center.
This award highlights our companys innovation with the primary goal of creating packaging that sells the product said Kori Tuggle marketing manager. The graphics showcase our consumer priorities of sharing health benefits of artichokes easy cooking methods recipe ideas and 100 percent product visibility.

The Ocean Mist artichoke handle bag is a result of years worth of collaboration between the Ocean Mist marketing team its club store consultant Bob DiPiazza its graphic design team of Full Steam Marketing-Salinas Calif. the companys new product development manager Maria Lopez and its supply sourcing manager Joe DeSante.

PMA created the awards program to recognize and encourage excellence in fresh produce packaging. This years contest was announced in June entries were accepted through September. PMA received more than 100 entries for six categories that were narrowed down to 30 finalists and submitted to a panel of six judges who selected the winners.

October 2, 2009

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (October 2, 2009) – Joe Pezzini, chief operating officer Ocean Mist Farms, has been elected to the Produce Marketing Association board of directors. The announcement was made at the organization’s international convention and exposition in Anaheim, Calif., yesterday.

The PMA board serves as the association’s governing body and directs the association in developing valued services events, and products for its 2,100 members in nearly 50 countries worldwide. Election to the PMA board is considered one of the most prestigious positions in the produce industry. Directors are drawn from a wide variety of member companies ranging from supermarket retailers to growers and from restaurant chains to exporters.

The Produce Marketing Association, founded in 1949, is a not-for-profit global trade association serving members who market fresh fruits, vegetables and related products worldwide. Its members are involved in the production, distribution, retail and foodservice sectors of the industry. The association’s core purpose is to sustain and enhance an environment that advances the marketing of produce and related products and services.

PMA’s board of directors is elected each October. Directors are drawn from the membership and serve in a voluntary capacity without remuneration. They typically serve for terms of up to three years.

“With the diverse membership PMA serves, we need expertise from leaders who both represent and understand the changing dynamics of the produce industry,” said Bryan Silbermann, PMA president.

Pezzini, who was also named The Packer’s Produce Man of the Year in May 2007, said “I am honored to be selected to serve as a PMA director.”

Bag giveaway, different menu daily and Twitter contest planned

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (September 28, 2009) – Ocean Mist Farms is planning multiple activities at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim.

To support development of the future generation of the industry, the company is a sponsor of the 40 Under 40 Event on Oct. 3 as well as the PMA FIT program. The Ocean Mist human resources staff will be participating in the FIT career fair as part of being a $50,000-level contributor to the FIT program.

Ocean Mist will be promoting eco-friendly practices at the Fresh Summit this year using earth-friendly serving ware for all food served (thousands of servings over the course of the show), along with offering recycling stations within its booth. In coordination with PMA the company will also give away 3,000 Ocean Mist Farms- branded reusable shopping totes at the entrance to the exhibition floor.

All of the activities are designed to bring attention to the debut of the company’s comprehensive redesigned new packaging and three new items: Leaf bikini bands, herb sleeves and an Ocean Mist branded wrap leaf, said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager.

“We plan for PMA’s annual Fresh Summit year round and want to leverage the exposure to the industry as much as possible,” Tuggle said. “There are several things the Ocean Mist booth is known for and one of them is having the best food at the show.”

Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., will do cooking demos throughout the show as well as serve a different menu daily in the Ocean Mist Farms booth #(4138).

For the first time this year, Ocean Mist will use Twitter as a tool to give away new generation iPod Nanos (with video and radio function) daily during the three days of the Fresh Summit expo.

To win, participants must follow Ocean Mist Farm on Twitter in order to receive the daily contest announcement via Twitter, be the first to arrive at the Twitter Spot in the Ocean Mist Farms booth (#4138) and show a retweet of any earlier Ocean Mist post.

To follow Ocean Mist Farms on Twitter visit, www.twitter.comoceanmistfarms; for more information, visit www.oceanmist.com.

Contest to giveaways iPod Nanos via social media tools

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (September 21, 2009) – Ocean Mist Farms will be “tweeting” from the show floor at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit.

A “tweet” is a 140-character answer on Twitter to the question, “What are you doing?”

The company has been using multiple social media tools for the past year, including YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager, and the upcoming trade show is an opportunity to engage with trade customers in a novel, new way.

“We plan to post tweets throughout the three days of Fresh Summit to share live show updates directly from our booth,” Tuggle said.  ”We know this year that some customers have cut back their number of attendees and we think Twitter is a great tool to keep people updated on what Ocean Mist Farms is doing at the show, even if they’re not in Anaheim.”

For conference attendees, Twitter is a quick, efficient means of real-time communication about activities within the Ocean Mist Farms booth (#4138.) such as live show floor updates, daily menu being served by Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif., or where to get the free tote bags Ocean Mist is distributing during the exhibition’s opening hours.

To increase its number of “followers” on Twitter, Ocean Mist is going to also be giving away new generation IPod Nanos (with video and radio function) daily throughout the three days of the Fresh Summit expo.

To win participants must follow Ocean Mist Farm on Twitter in order to receive the daily contest announcement via Twitter, be the first to arrive at the Twitter Spot in the Ocean Mist Farms booth (#4138) and show a retweet of any earlier Ocean Mist post.

“We are anxious to see how many people at PMA are already engaged with Twitter and to show case a new media tool we intend to use to build dialogue directly with artichoke consumers.” Tuggle said.

To follow Ocean Mist Farms on Twitter visit www.twitter.comoceanmistfarms

Packaging Design Based on Consumer Preferences

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (September 14, 2009) – Ocean Mist Farms will unveil a comprehensive re-design of its packaging for the more than 25 fresh vegetable commodities the company grows and ships at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit.

The features of the new packaging design, on display in the company’s booth #4138, are based on consumer research and input from retail partners, said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager.

“We focused on three areas of improvement with the new packaging design: Product visibility, nutrition information and consistent graphic design to enhance the product inside,” Tuggle said. “The first goal was to improve product visibility so shoppers can see more of the product — a unanimous priority with all Ocean Mist retail customers.”

The new packaging also features a nutritional benefit message and custom nutrient panel for each commodity.

“Shoppers and retailers told us they want to know more than just what vitamins or minerals a vegetable has they want to know specifically how it benefits their own health and wellness,” Tuggle said.

Ocean Mist Farms worked with a registered dietitian to research the nutritional value and benefits delivered by each commodity and then translated that information into a customized health value for each commodity.

The new cello wrap for cauliflower for example features a burst that reads, “Excellent source of vitamins C & K- helps boost bodies immunity.”

The comprehensive package redesign also allowed the company to bring consistency to its branding elements including name, logo and graphics, and feature the company’s Web site, www.oceanmist.com, on each pack as well.

“Our Web site usage showed that consumers are going online to find recipes and information about how to cook,” Tuggle said. “We are hoping to engage more with our customers through online efforts and our new packaging is a natural way to share our Web site information. All of our packaging includes an invite to the consumer that says for more recipes and cooking videos, go to oceanmist.com.”

The packaging was also redesigned with Ocean Mist Farms’ corporate sustainability efforts in mind.

For example, the cello wrapped items carry the recycling symbol number 4 which means the plastic is made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Including recycling symbol numbers where possible is important information for savvy green consumers as well as encourages recycling. In addition, the new packaging uses 60 percent to 80 percent less ink which also benefits the environment.

The new packaging will begin shipping in October and follows the roll out in April of a re-designed four-count artichoke bag created for the club store channel that is a finalist for the 2009 PMA Packaging Awards.

August 28, 2009

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (August 28, 2009) – Although no Ocean Mist Farms’ product has been identified, the company immediately began a precautionary, voluntary recall of 1,746 cases of iceless green onions. This decision follows confirmation from federal regulators of a positive test for salmonella on iceless green onions supplied by Circle Produce to several shippers, including Ocean Mist Farms.

“The health and safety of our customers and their consumers always comes first. As soon as we learned of the positive test, it became our immediate responsibility to begin a voluntary recall of the product in the interest of protecting public health,” said Ed Boutonnet, president, Ocean Mist Farms. “We quickly traced back the product using our tracking system and will work closely with our customers and officials.”

“It’s fortunate there have been no reported illnesses; regardless, we must remain vigilant in ensuring food safety.” The company has suspended receiving Circle Produce green onions. Ocean Mist Farms will continue to provide green onions from its own growing and packing operation.

“We’re seeing more inspections by regulators throughout the industry, which is good. It’s having a positive effect in ensuring food safety, and through our systems at Ocean Mist Farms, were able to trace back and quickly recall product.”

It is possible that a small amount of product may have already been purchased by consumers and therefore anyone who has purchased any of the following products with the trace back codes listed below should dispose of the product. For additional information, consumers can visit www.oceanmist.com.

The recalled iceless green onion pack styles and code dates are as follows:

  • 4 x 12 count
  • 2 x 24 count
  • 24 count 5.5 oz Cello Bag
  • 36 count 5.5 oz Cello Bag
  • 40 count 5.5 oz Cello Bag

Trace Back Code: 95ONCP7G
Production Dates: 80309; 80709; 80809; 81109; 81209; 81309

Company to help "Reel in the Fun" with multiple activities

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (August 12, 2009) – Artichoke tastings, short cooking demonstrations, recipe sharing and a produce stand are all part of the featured activities planned for Ocean Mist Farms Day at the Monterey County Fair on Friday, Aug. 14 in the Ag Building.

Prior to the fair doors opening on Friday, Ocean Mist Farms will host grade school tours from 9 a.m. to noon. Kids will get an introduction to Monterey County’s official vegetable, the artichoke, and get to taste the edible flower with “Arti-the Artichoke” mascot.

From noon to 5 p.m. the company will be offering a “fair favorite” of French fried artichokes. And the featured recipe served during Ocean Mist Farms Day is chili ‘n chokes. While enjoying artichokes, fair goers will have the opportunity to become an Artichoke Aficionado club member.

Ocean Mist Farms will also enter its entire product line of fresh vegetables, including artichokes, for judging against other locally grown produce. It is an annual tradition for the Ocean Mist Farms harvest managers, crew supervisors and quality assurance team to demonstrate their expertise at putting together special fair packs for the vegetable commodity judging competition.

As part of its fair participation, Ocean Mist also donates product to the Ag Against Hunger Country Store located in the Ag Building each day of the fair; all Country Store sales proceeds benefit the non-profit organization (www.agagainsthunger.org).

“We support the fair because we believe it is important to build awareness about Monterey County agriculture to local residents,” said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager. “The commodity competition allows us to demonstrate our strength in producing quality vegetables year round.”

Cisco Martinez, Ocean Mist Farms quality assurance manager said, “We brought home a lot of blue ribbons in the past for this vegetable judging event, and we plan to do the same this year.”

www.oceanmist.com

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (July 21, 2009) – Ocean Mist Farms has pledged $50,000 to the Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent (PMA FIT.)

This funding will support programs designed to broaden awareness about the rewards and opportunities of a career in the produce industry.

“With an impending labor crisis facing all industries, the competition for new and existing talent will continue to be fierce at all levels of staffing, operational and managerial. As an industry, we have to join forces to effectively compete for talent both on college campuses and within the current workforce. As a company, we feel we must support the Foundation’s efforts to reach out to these audiences with a unified message about the rewards and opportunities a career in produce affords said,” Joe Pezzini, company COO.

PMA FIT uses individual and corporate contributions to fund a number of programs including student outreach initiatives, internship best practices, visiting industry professors, industry job bank, online career resource center, event scholarships, PMA Leadership Symposium, Fresh Perspectives and the Tip Murphy Scholarship for Leadership Excellence.

Cindy Seel, executive director of the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent, said, “We are honored to be supported by organizations of Ocean Mist’s caliber. The generous support of companies such as this helps us achieve our goals of attracting and developing the produce leaders of tomorrow.”

www.oceanmist.com

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (June 24, 2009) – Ocean Mist Farms is making progress complying with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and the implementation of the GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number) system.

The need for a more effective traceability system throughout the supply chain has been recognized by the FDA in recent food borne outbreaks. The produce industry has been proactive in addressing this concern and industry groups such as the PMA, CPMA, and the UFPA are proponents of uniform electronic traceability between all participants in the supply chain.

PTI is a manifestation of these efforts and relies on the existing GS1 standard. GS1 is a global standard currently used for packaged items. The GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is similar to the UPC used at the item level. What UPC does for item level identification, GTIN does for case level in produce.

Ocean Mist Farms continues to address the challenges associated with the adoption and implementation of the GTIN system and the company is in the process of internally assigning GTIN codes to every case configuration within its product portfolio and will test the system in July with a retailer.

“Ocean Mist Farms is certain that these changes will enhance produce traceability and provide all stakeholders a more efficient and effective mode of tracing product through the supply chain,” said Joe Pezzini, company COO.

Ocean Mist Farms supports Relay for Life event in Castroville

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (June 8, 2009) – Employees at Ocean Mist Farms helped raise more $15,000 for this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life held May 30th in Castroville.

More than 40 Ocean Mist Farms employees raised money this year from over 300 individual donators. A company team of more than 50 walkers participated in the local relay event at Castroville Elementary School, which Ocean Mist gained the title of “game champions” in 2008 for.

The company’s participation in the event was led by Rosa Boutonnet with Herb Wong and Manuel Bernardo.

The top employee fund raisers this year were Rafael Haro, Ismael Hernandez, Serafin Ruiz and Patricia Rivera (with support from her supervisors, Rigoberto Bonilla, Arturo Hernandez, Pasqual Mendoza, Juan Navarro, Solomon Ramirez, Armando Rodriguez and Guillermo Covarrubias.)

Ocean Mist Farms has been a strong supporter of the event since 2004, raising more than $70,000 to date and has proudly been the “highest fund raiser” in North Monterey County since 2004.

More menus nationwide feature fresh artichokes year round

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (May 4, 2009) – Spring is peak artichoke season and more and more menus are featuring fresh artichokes due to the efforts of Ocean Mist Farms and Synergy Restaurant Consultants.

Ocean Mist Farms partnered with Synergy Restaurant Consultants in 2008 to help make fresh artichokes a mainstream vegetable selection on menus; as a result, restaurant chains are featuring artichokes year round including: the Cheesecake Factory, Houston’s, and Claim Jumper. In addition, several restaurants and institutions, such as Lawry’s Prime Rib Maggiano’s Seasons 52 and Capital Grille Steak House, are testing multiple artichoke applications such as grilled and stuffed.

Synergy provides on-trend menu innovation strategies to the restaurants and education about preparation and service.

“From a business perspective, artichokes deliver a low food cost and have very little waste, which makes them a winner,” said Dean Small, managing partner of Synergy Restaurant Consultants.

Kori Tuggle, marketing manager, Ocean Mist Farms, said because artichokes are available year round, they can be featured on any menu without fear about lack of supply.

“Artichokes are an affordable luxury for diners,” Tuggle said. “Fresh artichokes are not only healthy, but they’re uniqueness can also enhance a dining experience. They are great for sharing and that creates an interactive dining experience for restaurant guests.”

Town celebrates 50th anniversary of festival activities

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (April 28, 2009) – The artichoke capital of the world Castroville, Calif., will celebrate its 50th Annual Artichoke Festival May 16 and 17.

The residents of Castroville, a small coastal farming town located about 100 miles south of San Francisco, began celebrating the artichokes harvested in area fields with the first festival in 1959. As the country’s passion for artichokes grew, so did the festival’s roster of activities which now includes an art competition, musical entertainment, cooking demos, wine tastings, field tours, farmers market and an arts and craft fair.

The festival is most noted for discovering Marilyn Monroe in 1963, when the festival crowned her (then known as Norma Jean) its first parade queen.

With headquarters located in the town of Castroville, Ocean Mist Farms is a proud sponsor of the annual festival tradition. All events take place in downtown Castroville, for more festival information visit www.artichoke-festival.org.

Popular TV chef demonstrates why artichokes are "Oh sooo good"

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (March 17, 2009) – Ocean Mist Farms is working with nationally known food expert Art Ginsburg, also known as MR. FOOD, to show Americans just how easy it is to cook artichokes.

Ocean Mist partnered with MR. FOOD to produce two, 90-second segments that will air on local television stations in more than 200 markets across the country on March 30 and 31.

Hugely popular and watched by millions, MR. FOOD is an original. He was the first TV chef to promote practical, “anybody can do it” cooking and food preparation solutions, and after more than 30 years of sharing his unique brand of quick and easy food tips and recipes with viewers across the country, MR. FOOD continues to find fresh ideas for cooking up fun in the kitchen.

The first segment will focus on how artichokes are grown, harvested and brought to market.

The second segment features Mr. FOOD demonstrating how to use a fresh-cooked artichoke as an edible bowl.

“A lot of people still don’t know how to cook artichokes,” said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager, Ocean Mist Farms. “MR. FOOD is a natural teacher and he shows how to prepare an artichoke in three easy steps. He takes the hassle out of cooking and the timing is perfect for spring peak volume.”

More information and the MR. FOOD segments can be viewed at www.oceanmist.com.

New Web site attracts more than 3,000 members to Artichoke club

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (March 9, 2009) – Ocean Mist Farms redesigned its Web site and in less than one year, collected an online following of more than 3,000 artichoke fans.

The group is called the Artichoke Aficionados Club and its members can visit the Ocean Mist Farms Web site for farming insight, health information, recipes and videos.

Each week, one randomly chosen member receives a free case of artichokes sent direct to their home.

“We do things that are exclusive for members only, such as offering them special recipes, monthly newsletters and prizes,” said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager. “We’ll also use the club to get the word about the upcoming events such as the 50th Artichoke Festival or gain feedback on our Web site for improvement.”

The company is continuing to develop its Web site based on member feedback and on March 1 debuted an “Ask a chef” function.

The new function features the company’s chef, Tony Baker, executive chef and co-owner of Montrio Bistro in Monterey, Calif. Tony has worked with Ocean Mist Farms since 1999 and is one of the country’s foremost experts on cooking artichokes. Tony was also the recipient of the first annual 2008 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award from United Fresh Research and Education Foundation.

The link to the “Ask a chef” page is now featured on the Ocean Mist Farms home page and the company is encouraging consumers to test Tony’s skills and knowledge by sending him culinary questions related to any of the 30 fresh vegetables Ocean Mist Farms grows year round.

In addition to the Artichoke Aficionados Club, Ocean Mist Farms invested time and resources in building its online presence overall in 2008. The company now has the highest number of Web pages dedicated to artichokes on the Internet with more than 135 artichoke-related pages.

Ocean Mist joined the Web 2.0 trend this year as well, creating an Artichoke Aficionados Club group on Facebook and a MySpace page in order to create a direct dialogue with consumers.

“Research shows that consumers are going online in increasing numbers for meal solutions and we want to be a resource they turn to for fresh vegetables and all things artichoke,” Tuggle said.

Company replaces waxed cartons with greener option

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (February 23, 2009) – As part of an ongoing commitment to sustainable agriculture, Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower of artichokes and other fresh vegetables, is moving towards replacing its waxed cartons with new waxless cartons.

The recyclable waxless cartons are “encapsulated” in a thin film that makes the cardboard waterproof. Ocean Mist performed side by side shipping tests to confirm the new waxless carton maintained the same performance level as the wax cascaded versions during the cooling process and in transit.

There are several benefits of using waxless cartons.

Because waxless cartons are fully recyclable, for example, they can be placed by end users in regular corrugated container bales which minimizes the amount of paper that goes into a landfill and increases grocers’ recycling revenue.

Ocean Mist Farms’ new waxless cartons are approved and certified by the Fiber Box Association for their recyclability/repulpability and certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

As of January 2009, all of Ocean Mist Farm’s celery crop was transitioned into the waxless cartons and the company is developing plans to transition other commodities as well.

“It is in everyone’s interest to focus on sustainability,” said Joe Pezzini, chief operating officer for Ocean Mist Farms. “As farmers we are the ultimate stewards of the land; we are committed to preserving the land for future generations.”

Family Owned Company Announces Succession Planning

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (February 2, 2009) – While numerous companies in and out of the agriculture industry announce a myriad of changes to counter the effects of the dwindling economy, Ocean Mist Farms is doing so with sights set on future growth.

Ed Boutonnet, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Ocean Mist Farms stated “Much of our succession planning is generational and designed to mentor family members and others to take the helm and successfully carry our company well into the future.” “We have been very fortunate in our success over several generations, and we are preparing the next generation to carry on the tradition.”

On January 30, 2009 Ocean Mist Farms proudly announced to its employees the following changes:

  • New Board Member Mark Reasons, representing the Pieri/Reasons family. Mark’s father Don Reasons, will continue to attend Board meetings as a mentor;
  • Troy Boutonnet, new Board Member, representing Boutonnet Farms;
  • John Harrington remaining on the Board representing Bengard Ranches who will mentor Tom A. Bengard
  • Les Tottino continuing on the Board to represent the Tottino Family; and
  • Ed Boutonnet remaining as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the company, representing Sea Mist Farms.

In addition to the five ownership Board Members, Roberta Cook, Ph.D., Marketing Economist with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of California, Davis, will continue on the Board as an outside Director. The Board will consider electing another outside representative later in the year, bringing the total Board Members to seven.

“Most of the news we are hearing lately is about companies making changes to get through these tough economic times,” Boutonnet said. “Ocean Mist Farms is a strong, viable company that continues to do well during these challenging times, and our succession planning has us poised for continued growth and success”. “The past, current and future success of Ocean Mist Farms cannot be acknowledged without giving recognition to our employees” Boutonnet said. “Their unwavering dedication and commitment speaks volumes.”

To help drive Ocean Mist Farms’ future direction, the Board was pleased to announce the promotion of Joe Pezzini, Vice President of Operations to Chief Operating Officer. Joe will be responsible for strategic planning while retaining his current responsibilities overseeing Operations and Human Resources. “Joe is a true champion of Ocean Mist Farms, a leader who is keenly suited to help plan and direct our growth and success,” Boutonnet said.

Since 1924, family owned Ocean Mist Farms has pioneered the commercial planting and shipping of artichokes and fresh vegetables. Today, Ocean Mist Farms is recognized as the largest artichoke operation in the United States. Through this enduring legacy Ocean Mist Farms’ commitment to high quality product and superior service has never wavered. Commitment to its customers has always dictated a continuous emphasis on quality assurance from soil to consumer.

Ocean Mist Farms has maintained its leadership position as a quality grower and shipper of a wide variety of fresh produce, based on consistent standards of excellence in all aspects of its business. With satellite operations in Coachella, Valley Huron, Imperial Valley and Oxnard, California; Yuma, Arizona, and Mexico, the closely held corporation has long led the industry in farming practices, field packing, cooling technology and innovative packaging.

Home cooks should watch for "frost kissed" artichokes in stores

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (January 19, 2009) – As a result of the recent cold spells throughout California, highly flavorful fresh artichokes known as “frost kissed” artichokes are now in local grocery stores.

Artichokes are frost kissed when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Following a freeze, artichoke plants take two to three weeks to start producing frost-free artichokes again.

“The impact of frost on artichokes is similar to how human skin reacts to a sunburn,” said Kori Tuggle, marketing manager, Ocean Mist Farms. “Frost burns the outside layer of the artichoke causing it to turn dark brown, and then it flakes and peels.”

Cooking the artichoke removes the brown outer layer resulting in the soft green artichoke that people know and love.

“Frosting is strictly a cosmetic condition,” Tuggle said. “While the brownish color may not look pretty, frost kissed artichokes taste wonderful. The cold weather concentrates the natural artichoke flavors into a more intense, nutty flavor.”

Artichoke lovers can visit the Ocean Mist Farms Web site to learn more about these unique artichokes.

“A frost kissed artichoke is a very unique item that is only available during the winter months,” Tuggle said. “Because they are seasonal, we want people to look for them at the grocery store and be sure to buy them during the short time they are in stock.”

Save hundreds of calories by using artichoke leaves instead of chips

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – (January 16, 2009) – New Year’s resolution dieters can “healthy up” their favorite snacks at Superbowl parties this year by using steamed artichokes leaves instead of potato or tortilla chips.

Low in calories and fat-free, artichokes are an excellent source of fiber which makes their leaves a sturdy replacement for chips in favorite Superbowl party recipes such as nachos or chili with dip.

Kori Tuggle, marketing manager at Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of fresh artichokes in the United States, said there is growing interest in pairing steamed artichokes leaves with dips.

“People are looking for new, creative ways to add vegetables to their diet and artichokes work well as scoops for dip because they’re loaded with fiber,” Tuggle said. “Some people call them artichips.”

Dieters can save hundreds of calories by replacing fried tortilla chip with artichips as the base for nachos.

Another popular use for artichokes when entertaining is as an edible bowl for serving a favorite dip; once the dip is gone, guests can eat the artichoke.

“Artichokes are delicious as well as providing many health and nutrition benefits,” Tuggle said. “Because they are so highly versatile, they’re perfect for sharing and entertaining.”