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Ocean Mist Farms to debut new item at PMA

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – Sept. 20, 2016 – Ocean Mist Farms will debut the newest member of its award-winning Season & Steam value-added fresh vegetable line at PMA in booth 642.

Ocean Mist Farms’ Season & Steam Sweet Baby Broccoli is packaged in an innovative Steamfast microwavable pack that gives users the option to open the bag, pre-season the contents to their flavor preference, reseal with the zip lock and steam by microwave all within the same bag.

The SteamFast packaging is gusseted for a stand up, face forward shelf presentation and has a suggested retail price of $3.50 per bag depending on the region.  The 8-ounce package is bilingual, in French and English, for export and includes cooking instructions and usage ideas on the bottom gusset.

Diana McClean, director of marketing, said with the line extension the company wants to experience the same success in the broccoli category as it did with the Brussels sprouts category.

“Our Season & Steam bag addresses multiple culinary and consumer trends,” McClean said. “We want to meet consumer demand and make Sweet Baby Broccoli easy and convenient to cook at home.”

Ocean Mist Farms’ Season & Steam Sweet Baby Broccoli is a finalist for PMA’s annual packaging innovation awards.

In addition to the full Season & Steam line, Ocean Mist Farms will showcase its organic line, Ocean Mist Organic, and the more than 30 other fresh vegetables the company grows at the show.  And, through the Produce for Better Health Foundation, the company will host retail registered dieticians for a portion of the show, demonstrating the fast and easiest ways to prepare a fresh artichoke.

“We are looking forward to educating these important group of influencers about artichokes so they in turn can educate their shoppers,” McClean said.

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. – Sept 7, 2016 – Chris Drew, vice president of operations at Ocean Mist Farms, has been accepted into Class 47 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP).

The Ag Leadership Program, operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), is one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. More than 1,200 men and women have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, communities, government, business and other areas. Applicants must be growers, farmers, ranchers or individuals working in allied businesses and organizations who are emerging or mid-career leaders in agriculture.

The 17-month program, from October 2016 to February 2018, includes 56 days of formal program activities. Four partner universities—Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis—deliver comprehensive, diverse and high-impact curriculum designed to improve leadership skills. In addition to monthly seminars, fellows participate in an eight-day national travel seminar and a 15-day international travel seminar as valuable extensions to their studies.

CALF invests approximately $50,000 per fellow to participate in the Ag Leadership Program. The costs are underwritten by individual and industry donations.

Drew has been with Ocean Mist Farms since 2004, his duties include directing activities associated with the post-harvest of Ocean Mist Farms products; managing the cooling and shipping facilities; overseeing food safety and quality assurance, sustainability and value-added operations; and directing new product and service innovation.

“We are excited to see Chris participate in the Cal Ag Leadership Program,” said Joe Pezzini, company CEO.  “He has a team approach to solving complex problems; has leadership and intellectual acumen and he is a product expert.  We are thrilled that he will bring this additional training and perspective to senior management.”

Drew holds a bachelor of science degree in crop science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an MBA. He has more than 16 years of experience in nursery crops and vegetable production. He lives in Hollister, Calif., with his wife and two daughters.

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Ocean Mist Farms to help celebrate fair’s 80th anniversary with multiple activities

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – Aug. 29, 2016 – Artichokes will be part of the 80th celebration at the Monterey County Fair Aug. 31-Sept. 5.

Ocean Mist Farms will help celebrate the fair’s 80th anniversary by sending Arti the Artichoke to the fair on “Ocean Mist Farms Day” Friday, Sept. 2, to meet fans throughout the fairgrounds.  Interested visitors can visit Arti’s Facebook for more details about his appearances.

At the fair, Ocean Mist Farms will be serving fried artichokes and artichoke sourdough bisque while entering Ocean Mist’s 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 Farms donates product to the Country Store located in the Ag Building each day of the fair; all Country Store sales proceeds benefit the Monterey County Fair exhibit program and Ag department.

“Monterey County is filled with such a great community of people,” said Mary Catherine Langford, marketing and media specialist.  “We love interacting with them and sharing samples of our delicious produce.”

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. – JULY 26, 2016 – As record-setting heat blazes across most of the country, retailers could see scorching sales of artichokes this summer with a little promotional help.

Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, researched historical summer sales as it related to promotional activity and found there is an opportunity to increase sales in August.

“Our production has stabilized to a consistent year-round supply and the data points show that August is great potential time period for creative promotions that will drive sales,” said Diana McClean, director of marketing.  In addition to having promotable supply, the company also has almost all sizes of artichokes available this season.

Ocean Mist Farms is doing its part to increase sales of artichokes during the summer by developing new uses and recipes for artichokes such as its award winning Season & Steam package that allows users to enjoy artichokes without heating up their kitchens, same with throwing artichokes on the grill or for something completely new and different, Artichoke Ice Pops.

Nielsen data found summer sales of artichokes have experience steady year over year growth between 4 percent and 5 percent (Source: Perishables Group FreshFacts® Powered by Nielsen).

“There is a lot of competition for attention in the produce department during the summer months” McClean said. “But research shows retailers can increase sales with creative promotions.”

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. – JULY 21, 2016 – As record-setting heat blazes across most of the country, artichokes could be America’s favorite new summer vegetable with recipes that don’t require work in the kitchen.

Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, now sells two cleaned and ready to cook fresh artichokes in its award winning Season & Steam package.  What makes this value-added bag unique is the ability to open prior to cooking, season the contents reseal and cook in the microwave for seven minutes.  The culinary experts at Ocean Mist Farms suggest throwing the microwaved artichokes on the grill for a few last minutes to gain a charred/nutty flavor.

For something really different, however, the company created Artichoke Ice Pops. The secret again is using the Season& Steam artichokes to whip up these cool pops.

“We know families are busy this summer and helping parents get healthy, delicious meals on the table is our goal,” said Diana McClean, director of marketing. “People love the lime flavored artichoke ice pops; we hope everyone gives them a try.”

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. – June16, 2016 – Ocean Mist Farms is harvesting significant volumes of everyone’s favorite new vegetable, Kalettes®, just in time for summer cooking events.

Introduced in 2014, Kalettes® are the first new vegetable to enter the world in more than a decade – a marriage between Brussels sprouts and kale – which created a super food.

Kalettes® are a colorful combination of green and purple. Each “kale sprout” is gently hand harvested and may vary in size due to how they are grown on the plant stalk. Kalettes® are easy to prepare and are very versatile.

“We have a great crop now and we are excited to be able to meet customer demand,” said Diana McClean, director of marketing.

Ocean Mist Farms is shipping bulk Kalettes® as well as packaged in the company’s award-winning Season and Steam microwaveable bag.

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Monterey, Calif. — Ocean Mist Farms presented academic scholarship on Saturday, June 4, at the 57th Annual Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival in Monterey, Calif.

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. – May 18, 2016 – Ocean Mist Farms received a 2016 Produce Trailblazer Award from Grocery Headquarters for its value-added Season & Steam line of fresh vegetables.

Each year, Grocery Headquarters recognizes the hard work, vision and commitment put in by the country’s most notable growers, packers and distributors of fresh produce. According to the magazine, winners of Grocerypro Headquarters’ 2016 Produce Trailblazer Awards have flourished both at the farm and on grocery store shelves.

This year’s award was handed out in five categories: Beverages; dips and dressings; fresh fruits; fresh vegetables; value-added; and organic. Ocean Mist Farms received the 2016 Produce Trailblazer Award for the value added category for its Season & Steam line and in recognition of the company’s deep roots in Monterey County.

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Grand prize includes trip for two to Annual Castroville Food & Wine Festival in Monterey

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – May 16, 2016 – We have our #ArtiAdventurer! 

Congratulations to Trissina Kear from Valley Village, Calif., in the greater Los Angeles area, she is the winner of the Ocean Mist Farms’ Artichoke Adventurer Contest and will attending the 2016 Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival.

Kear was selected by Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, as the winner of its nationwide sweepstakes, Be an Artichoke Adventurer.  

Earlier this spring, home cooks were invited to upload a picture or video of themselves preparing or eating a fresh artichoke for a chance to win a trip for two to Monterey, Calif., including tickets to the Annual Castroville Food & Wine Artichoke Festival.

Entries were judged on creativity of the photo or video, and how well it showcased the cook’s adventurous spirit.  Kear submitted the winning video after purchasing artichokes at a Whole Foods store.

“I’m a massive fan of artichokes but additionally a fan of fresh veggies from Monterey. Every time we go there we always bring home a bunch of veggies,” Kear said. “I was cooking (an artichoke) and read the tag announcing the competition to win a trip for two to our favorite vacation place.

“We combined my love of artichokes with Dave’s fancy chef twist and had a fun date night making the video, laughing together and being creative with food and wine. That’s my favorite thing: All this came out of us just having fun together. We had no idea we’d get this far!”

Kear’s winning video showcases a recipe for a grilled artichoke accompanied by an adventurous sauce combining Habanero pepper, bacon and tzatziki – paired with a glass of Monterey wine.

Diana McClean, director of marketing for Ocean Mist Farms said, “We loved Trissina’s passion for artichoke and food.  She embodies what we’re looking for when we asked people to go on an artichoke adventure.”

57th Annual Event Returns to Monterey

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – The Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival returns to the Monterey County Fairgrounds June 4-5 to celebrate California’s iconic state vegetable. Now in its 57th year, the festival is anticipated to attract more than 30,000 visitors and will feature food and wine demonstrations as well as entertainment.

“We are excited that the festival continues to expand and is one of the region’s most anticipated events,” said Ron Stefani, president of the Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival. “This event is a unique opportunity to highlight the impact artichokes have in Castroville and Monterey, and our goal is to share the good fun, delicious flavors and long-standing festival traditions with the local community and visitors from around the world.”

Festival attendees can enjoy favorites such as a farmer’s market, the Ocean Mist Farms Agro Art competition, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, including an opportunity to meet beloved festival ambassador “Arti the Artichoke,” artichoke field tours and a competitive artichoke eating contest.

Festivalgoers can also expect delicious artichoke delicacies, prepared using freshly harvested artichokes. Options include artichokes creamed, steamed, pickled, deep-fried and grilled artichokes, and in burritos, soup, cupcakes and much more. Guests over 21 can enjoy wine tasting, micro brews and artichoke pairings.

The area’s finest chefs, including Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro and Baker’s Bacon; Todd Fisher of Tarpy’s; and Rene Herrera of Alfonso’s; will showcase the versatility of the artichoke and share unique preparation techniques.

The annual Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival started in 1959 in Castroville, where California’s first artichoke shoots were planted in 1922. Today, nearly all of America’s artichoke supply comes from California and nearly two-thirds are still grown in Castroville.

Over the years, the festival has become the primary source of funding for local nonprofit groups that thrive with the success of the festival. The festival continues to grow, and in 2014 moved to the Monterey County Fairgrounds to host more attendees and attractions. The festival still honors its artichoke legacy by name and through many of the Castroville events leading up to the two-day event, including a historic kick-off parade, car show and community dinner.

Castroville-based Ocean Mist Farms is the largest artichoke grower in the United States and a long-time supporter of the festival. Ocean Mist Farms has grown artichokes for more than 90 years and donated all artichokes being used at the event.

Joe Pezzini, chief executive officer of Ocean Mist, said “We’re proud to support the Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival and to celebrate Castroville’s long and storied artichoke history.”

This year for the first time, five, $1,000 Ocean Mist Farms Academic Scholarships will be awardedat the festival as part of Ocean Mist Farms’ community education initiative; the presentation will be on Saturday, June 4, at 12:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Also for the first time this year, Ocean Mist Farms gave a trip for two to attend the festival to the winner of its nationwide sweepstakes, Be an Artichoke Adventurer.

Earlier this spring, home cooks were invited to upload a picture or video of themselves preparing or eating a fresh artichoke for a chance to win a trip for two to Monterey, Calif., including tickets to the Annual Castroville Food & Wine Artichoke Festival.  Entries were judged on creativity of the photo or video, and how well it showcased the cook’s adventurous spirit.  The winning video was submitted by Trissina Kear from Valley Village, Calif.

For everyone else, tickets for the 2016 Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival are available for purchase at www.artichokefestival.org and may be purchased at the door. General admission for adults is $12; active military, seniors and children (4-12) $7; children 3 and under are FREE.

For more information about all of the exciting events in store for the 2016 Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival, visit the festival website page and follow festival happenings on Facebook and Twitter @ArtiFest.

Event is perennial favorite at the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – May 16, 2016 – Ocean Mist Farms will sponsor the Agro Art 2016 Competition at the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival this year.

This event encourages family participation and creativity. The competition consists of creating a three-dimensional fruit and vegetable display sculpture.  The quirky competition fosters imagination, creativity and is fun for participants and the viewing public.

The competition takes place on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  at the Monterey County Fairgrounds and Event Center and is open to everyone. Area artists, culinary whizzes and school teams are encouraged to participate, no prior experience is required.

Competition is in the following categories:

Adult – Individual or TeamHigh school (grades 9-12) – Individual or TeamMiddle School (grades 7 and 8) – Individual or TeamGrammar School (grades K-6) – Individual or TeamProfessional (chefs, florists and artists)

AGRO ART RULES:

- All competitors must fill out an entry form either in advance or at the entrance to the Competition.

- Spaces are limited: “First come – First Serve” basis.

- Only pre-registered entrants are guaranteed a table until 10:30 AM. After 10:30, hold on spot will be forfeited and given to person on waiting list.

- Each single entrant will be assigned one-half of a working table.

- Each team will be assigned a full working table.

- Sculptures must be constructed during the competition time of no earlier than 10 AM and no later then 1 PM.

- Entries must be at least 60% fresh product and 10% artichokes.

- Ocean Mist Farms will provide fresh artichokes and other “art pieces” such as cauliflower, broccoli and head lettuce. All is available on a first come, first served basis.

- Entrants must provide their own supplies except for veggies as noted above.

- No flowers may be used, however, it is permissible to use leaves, brush, grasses and other living foliage.

- It is permissible to use wire, wood, glue, tape and plastic to form a base for the sculpture or secure it.

JUDGING:

- Judging will begin at 1 p.m.; winners will be announced at 2 p.m.

- All sculptures must remain at the festival until Sunday

- All entries not picked up will become the property of the Castroville Artichoke Festival

Registration is free and there is more than $6,500 in cash prizes.  Interested participations may sign up online at AGRO ART 2016.

For more information on the Agro Art Competition and the festival, visit Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival.

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. – April 25, 2016 – Ocean Mist Farms named Chris Drew as the company’s vice president of operations.

In his new role, his duties will include directing activities associated with the post harvest of Ocean Mist Farms products; managing the cooling and shipping facilities; overseeing food safety and quality assurance, sustainability and value-added operations; and directing new product and service innovation.  He will report to Joe Pezzini, company CEO.

Drew has been with the company since 2004; his previous title was production manager for Sea Mist Farms, an Ocean Mist Farms-owned entity.

“Chris has a keen understanding of the supply chain,” Pezzini said. “He has a team approach to solving complex problems; has leadership and intellectual acumen and he is a product expert with the proficiency to interact with our customer base.  Chris is a strong addition to our senior management team.”

Drew holds a bachelor of science degree in crop science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an MBA. He has more than 16 years of experience in nursery crops and vegetable production. He resides in Hollister, Calif., with his wife and two daughters.

For more information about the company and its products, visit http://www.oceanmist.com/.

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April 6, 2016 — Castroville, Calif — Diana McClean, director of marketing, Ocean Mist Farms, received the Produce for Better Health Role Model award on behalf of the company at the annual Produce for Better Health conference  in Scottsdale, AZ., from Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, CEO/president, Produce for Better Health.

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Company adds signature item to award winning line

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – April 4, 2016 – Ocean Mist Farms is expanding its award-winning Season & Steam line of fresh convenient vegetables with cleaned and ready to cook fresh artichokes.

The Season & Steam line, first launched in 2012 with whole and multiple cuts of Brussels sprouts (SuperShreds SuperFood®, Quick Cook Sprouts®,  whole Brussels sprouts and Baby Sprouts), expanded with Kalettes® in 2015 and artichokes in 2016.

“Artichokes are what we’re known for but they are a highly fibrous vegetable and take longer to cook so we’ve perfected the offering,” said Diana McClean, director of marketing.

Ocean Mist Farms Season & Steam fresh vegetables are unique in that the package technology allows user to open the bag prior to cooking, pre-season the contents to their flavor preference, reseal with the zip lock and steam by microwave all within the same bag.

The ability to pre-season the fresh vegetable contents (prior to cooking) is an exclusive convenience attribute to the produce department.

“Some people are intimidated by eating artichokes,” McClean said. “The Season & Steam bag takes all the fear out of the process with home cooks easily making perfectly cooked artichokes in seven minutes.”

Ocean Mist Farms Season & Steam artichokes are available to customers in the United States; the company is supporting the launch with media relations and other activities designed to generate awareness for the new product.

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Whether you’ve cooked artichokes before or never tried, we want to see your culinary prowess

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – March 15, 2016 – Research shows that some people are intimidated by eating artichokes, but hopefully not the adventurous who will enjoy the fresh vegetable that is all heart.

This spring Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is inviting home cooks to Be an Artichoke Adventurer.

We want to help people overcome their artichoke fears by encouraging them to be bold and adventurous,” said Diana McClean, director of marketing. “We want to encourage people, specifically Millennials, who have never tried or prepared a fresh artichoke, to do so. At the same time, we want to celebrate our loyal fans by allowing them to show off their artichoke culinary know-how.”

From March 20 to April 16, home cooks can upload a picture or video of themselves preparing or eating a fresh artichoke for a chance to win a trip for two to Monterey, Calif., including tickets to the Annual Castroville Food & Wine Artichoke Festival, June 4-5.  Entries will be judged on creativity of the photo or video, and how well it shows off the cook’s adventurous spirit. See official rules for entry requirements.

“We are engaging with people who love to cook,” McClean said. “Whether you’ve been a fresh artichoke fan for years, or have never cooked or eaten one, we want to see what you create.”

Spring is an ideal time to be an Artichoke Adventurer because it is peak season for the vegetable grown in mild climates along the coastline of the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California where Ocean Mist Farms family of farmers has been growing fresh vegetables for more 90 years.

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Company invites home cooks to Be an Artichoke Adventurer

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – March 7, 2016 – Spring is the beginning of peak artichoke season and Ocean Mist Farms is supporting sales with multiple activities designed to generate awareness for the company’s fresh artichokes.

Peak volume of the Castroville crop is March through May, said Diana McClean, director of marketing, and this year most Ocean Mist Farms’ artichokes will carry branded petal inserts to help consumers find them in store.

“During peak season we activate a strong promotional strategy that includes display and sales contests with Northern California retailers, radio ads in Northern California, a nationwide new product launch featuring cleaned and ready to cook fresh artichokes in our award-winning Season & Steam packaging,” McClean said.  “This year we are excited to target Millenials with a consumer contest.

“Research shows that some people are intimidated by eating artichokes – but not the adventurous at heart. Our new consumer contest, Be an Artichoke Adventurer, is designed to help people overcome their artichoke fears, by encouraging them to be bold and adventurous. We want to encourage people, specifically Millennials, who have never tried or prepared a fresh artichoke to do so. At the same time, we want to celebrate our loyal fans by allowing them to show off their artichoke culinary know-how.”

From March 20 to April 16, home cooks will be asked to upload a picture or video of themselves preparing or eating a fresh artichoke for a chance to win a trip for two to Monterey California including tickets to the Annual Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, June 4-5.

“We are engaging with people who love to cook,” McClean said. “Whether you’ve been a fresh artichoke fan for years, or have never cooked or eaten one, we want to see what you create.”

Ocean Mist Farms will also leverage the more than 60,000 artichoke fans who are now members its Artichoke Club to communicate information about the contest as well as retail promotions throughout the peak season.

“We are looking forward to a strong season with good volume throughout the spring months of March through the artichoke festival in June,” McClean said.

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Company adds green onions and Romaine hearts to product mix

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2016) Ocean Mist Organic is expanding its product line this month with the addition of green onions and Romaine hearts.  The addition brings the total number of items sold under the Ocean Mist Organic label to 18.

The green onions are available in 48-count iced bunches and the Romaine hearts are available in a case of 12, three-count packages.  The items are added in response to continued demand for the Ocean Mist Organic fresh produce, said Joe Feldman, vice president of sales and marketing at Ocean Mist Farms.

“We are excited to be able to offer our partners new items in the organic space and anticipate continued growth as we move forward,” Feldman said.

The items are shipping from the expanded cooler in Coachella.

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Artichokes are heart healthy addition to your diet

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2016) This Valentine’s Day enjoy the vegetable that’s all heart – the artichoke – while you do something GOOD for your heart.

Aside from its impressive abilities at fighting cancer, artichokes are considered a heart-healthy food for a variety of reasons.

Certain ingredients in the leaves of artichokes have been found to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL, or omega-3 fatty acid).  Artichokes are also rich sources of potassium, the essential mineral that has an impact on numerous organ systems throughout the body. Potassium helps to neutralize the effects of excess sodium, which is notorious for increasing blood pressure.  A reduction in blood pressure can reduce the chances of heart attacks and coronary heart disease.

The artichoke is one of the most nutritious vegetables available during the winter months and Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of artichokes in North America, is shipping beautiful artichokes now to grocery stores nationwide.  For Valentine’s Day, heat things up with fire-roasted artichokes.  Your heart will love you.

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