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Company makes financial donation in time for the holidays

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – Nov. 25, 2013 – Ocean Mist Farms is supporting Ag Against Hunger this holiday season with a donation of $10,000.

Ag Against Hunger is a non-profit organization that collects excess produce from donating farming companies, consolidates it at its cooler then distributes it to food banks and non-profit agencies year round. Unlike typical food banks, AAH’s gleaning program is a unique and a resourceful way of collecting fresh produce from the Salinas Valley where it coordinates volunteers to harvest product direct from fields that would have been rotated/tilled back into the soil and gone to waste.

Laura Berlanga, product innovation and research manager at Ocean Mist Farms and Ag Against Hunger board of directors member, who presented the donation said Ocean Mist Farms has a long history of supporting the program through donating both product and acreage for gleaning.

“Ag Against Hunger’s mission is to alleviate hunger by creating a connection between the agricultural community and food assistance programs,” Berlanga said.

“Ocean Mist Farms has participated in AAH since 1990 and we have donated more than 5.2 million pounds of produce since 2002.”

Lindsay Coate, executive director, Ag Against Hunger said, “Ocean Mist Farms is a vital partner in Ag Against Hunger’s ongoing mission to bring the agricultural community and food assistance programs together to fight hunger. We are grateful for their belief inour organization and what we stand for. Their support, be it financial, donated product or fields to glean, has enabled us to reach a milestone of 200 million pounds of produce given to food banks in the past 22 years.”

Editors’ note: Image attached  Pictured left to right: LindsayCoate, Executive Director of Ag Against Hunger, and Laura Berlanga, Product Innovation and Research Manager at Ocean Mist Farms

Company to launch line extension with three fresh-cut formats of Brussels sprouts

CASTROVILLE Calif. Oct. 10 2013 Ocean Mist Farms one of the largest growershippers of Brussels sprouts in the country is expanding its value-added Brussels sprout product line that is ready to use cook and serve and will unveil the line at PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans in booth 1929.
The line extension selected as a finalist for the 2013 PMA Impact Awards features three fresh-cut formats designed to meet current culinary and consumer trends including: SuperShreds SuperFood, Quick Cook Sprouts, and Baby Sprouts.

Ocean Mist Farms Brussels Sprout Line Extension 2013 Fresh Summit

All three formats are packaged in Ocean Mist Farms’ award-winning microwavable steam pack that gives users the option to pre-season the contents to their flavor preference reseal with the zip lock and steam by microwave all within the same bag.
The three new microwaveable items are gusseted for a stand up face forward shelf presentation and have a suggested retail price of $2.49-$3.49 depending on the region.

According to Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts scan data, total sales of Brussels sprouts grew for the third year in a row.
In the past 52 weeks ending June 29 2013 Brussels sprouts category sales volume grew 24.5% over the same time the prior year. Fixed weight packages increased 31.9% during the same period.

“The three fresh cut formats offer consumers a convenient way to add fresh produce to their diet and new cooking solutions,” said Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development.

“The shredded and halved cut version of this old world vegetable creates a new avenue of texture and flavor for fresh salad making and other cooking methods,” Tuggle said. “Demand is still growing for Brussels sprouts we made them fast and convenient for the home cook.”

In addition to the Brussels sprouts items, Ocean Mist Farms is debuting three other produce items at PMA: Cooking spinach in a 16-ounce bag; a three-count artichoke clamshell package and a Crisp Cello Leaf Wrap.

Ocean Mist Farms 16oz Cooking SpinachOcean Mist Farms 3 count Artichoke Clamshell

Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro in Monterey Calif. will be demonstrating all of the Ocean Mist Farms new items every 30 minutes throughout the show in booth #1929 at the top and bottom of the hour. His demonstrations will be streaming live on video shared through Ocean Mist Farms Facebook and Twitter channels.
The show will also mark the launch of its Quality Assurance Micro site that was created as a resource for the companys in-house team and external customers.
“The site our team built gives us the ability to manage and communicate the detailed quality specifications that our reputation is built on and that we are known for,” Tuggle said. The site is password protected; filtered access will be provided to Ocean Mist Farms business partners with the goal of aggregating all the details they need in one easy-to-access online portal.

Beyond the quality assurance specifics that the Ocean Mist Farms harvest team is trained with, the site takes product information to the next level with common shipping details such as, cube, pallets, case GTIN numbers, and product packaging details such as UPC codes, legal weights, graphics for print ads, and more.
For more information about Ocean Mist Farms visit

Ocean Mist Farms Team Member Makes Annual List

Writer Mike Hornick of The Packer

When Ocean Mist Farms marketing efforts leading up to branding its artichokes became a case study for the Harvard Business School’s agribusiness seminar, it was another sign that Kori Tuggle’s commitment to digital and social media was paying off.

Tuggle, director of marketing and business development, and other Ocean Mist Farms representatives went to Harvard in January to tell their story.

The grower-shipper was the smallest of 12 agribusinesses participating.

“It’s a real coup when your company is of interest to Harvard,” said Roberta Cook, cooperative extension marketing economist at the University of California-Davis, and an Ocean Mist board member.

Kori Tuggle-2013 _small res format

When Tuggle, now 40, joined Ocean Mist in 2005, the company did not have a consumer marketing program. Its contacts seldom went beyond retail.

“Online digital marketing wasnt even on the radar,” Tuggle said. “Since then, it has become an everyday tool a permanent piece of our marketing plan. We now have a team of people working on it together.”

The centerpiece of the digital effort has been the Artichoke Aficionados Club started in 2008. It aims to answer any conceivable question – from how to select, prepare, and serve the vegetable to which retailers are promoting them – and keep content fresh over time. Thats put Ocean Mist in direct contact with 38,000 or so end users.

“Kori had the foresight to see this emerging a number of years ago and really got us on the bandwagon probably before a lot of companies realized what was going on,” said Joe Pezzini, Ocean Mist chief operating officer.

During the past two years, Ocean Mist worked to brand itself for consumers by labeling artichokes at field level, an effort in progress. Given the crops shape, that’s tough compared to some produce items.

She spent five years at Safeway, initially as a produce buyer in Watsonville. Later she had an export sales and marketing role.

“Kori has a wealth of knowledge of the industry which is somewhat unique especially having worked for Safeway as a buyer,” Pezzini said.

Tuggle spent four years at Church Bros. LLC, finishing as director of marketing and business development before joining Ocean Mist.

“Tom and Steve Church gave me my first chance and coached me along the way,” she said.

Link to Article online:

Two Staff Members Promoted

CASTROVILLE Calif. Sept. 10 2013 – Ocean Mist Farms the leading grower of artichokes and other fresh vegetables recently announced two new staff promotions.

“Afreen Malik was promoted to director of technical services, responsible for Ocean Mist Farms’ food safety, quality assurance, and sustainability initiatives,” said Joe Pezzini chief operations officer.

Afreen Malik_Ocean Mist Farms_smallres

“Afreen has the knowledge and understanding of these important functions and is in a unique position to oversee the alignment of our quality systems across the company,” Pezzini said.

Arlin Valenzuela_Ocean Mist Farms Quality Assurance Manager Sept 2013

Malik has been with Ocean Mist Farms since 2004. She held previous positions as manager of food safety, directing the companys food safety program from “Farm to Fork” as well as enhancing product traceability and recall protocols. She also was responsible for developing the company’s sustainability initiatives program.

Malik has served on various industry committees, including the Produce Marketing Association’s produce safety science and technology committee, Hartnell College food safety advisory committee, and the Monterey County sustainability working group.

“In addition to Malik, Arlin Valenzuela accepted a promotion to become the companys quality assurance manager in that role she will manage the Ocean Mist Farms’ quality assurance program and work closely with various departments,” Pezzini said.

Prior to this promotion, Valenzuela was a quality assurance in-house trainer. Most recently, she has played an essential role in digitizing the Ocean Mist Farms’ quality assurance program that will debut at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit meeting this October in New Orleans. She is a graduate of California State University at San Marcos.

“The company joins me in congratulating Afreen and Arlin on their promotions and we support them as they take on these new and challenging roles,” Pezzini said.
For more information about Ocean Mist Farms visit

Ocean Mist Farms to help celebrate fair with multiple activities

CASTROVILLE Calif. Aug. 26 2013 At the “Heart of It All” a play on artichokes and the recently proclaimed “California State Vegetable,” is the theme of this years 77th Annual Monterey County Fair from Aug. 28-Sept. 2.

As the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, Ocean Mist Farms will help celebrate the artichoke theme throughout the fair by using the company’s Arti the Artichoke as the fair themes “mascot.” Arti is starring in a local television commercial to promote the fair and interested fans can visit Artis Facebook page for more details about Arti’s appearances at the fairgrounds.

7Arti the Artichoke at Costco

On Friday Aug 30, Ocean Mist Farms will host the Ag Building of the Monterey County Fairgrounds serving fried artichokes and will 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 Farms donates product to the Country Store located in the same Ag Building each day of the fair; all Country Store sales proceeds benefit the Monterey County Fair exhibit program and Ag department.

For more information about Ocean Mist Farms visit for Monterey County fair information, visit http://www.montereycountyfair.comannual-fair.

Chef Tony Baker to participate in third annual chef demo

CASTROVILLE Calif. June 27 2013 Ocean Mist Farms will host produce industry visitors on a day-long field and operation tour as part of the PMA Fresh Produce Academy at the annual foodservice conference in Monterey Calif.

The company-hosted tour on Friday July 26, will showcase Brussels sprouts, one of the fastest growing cooking vegetable items at retail and on restaurant menus. The tour will start at an Ocean Mist Farm ranch in Castroville Calif., and continue on to the company’s cooling facilities followed by a visit to the corporate kitchen where Chef Tony Baker will demonstrate multiple applications for fresh Brussels sprouts and serve his popular Roasted Brussels sprout entree.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad Ocean Mist Farms Recipe 2

Chef Baker will also be featured on Saturday, July 27, as part of the chef demo challenge where participating chefs compete to create healthy menu items and compete to win the “half the plate” challenge. A previous winner of the chef competition, this year Baker will make Citrus Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Grilled Florida Shrimp and Lemon-Fennel Vinaigrette.

Chef 036

On Sunday: July 27, Ocean Mist Farms will exhibit its full line of fresh vegetable items in booth 147 from 11 am to 430 p.m. at the Foodservice Produce Expo.. For more information about Ocean Mist Farms visit

Hugo Tottino receives Appreciation Award

CASTROVILLE CALIF — Hugo Tottino, one of the family owners of Ocean Mist Farms, received an appreciation award at the annual Artichoke Advisory Board meeting June 19 for more than 53 years of dedicated service to the artichoke industry; Tottino was a founding member of the Artichoke Advisory Board in 1960 and has served as a director since its inception.

2 Hugo Tottino with Award_6.21.13

PG&E Rebate Check Presentation to Ocean Mist Farms

CASTROVILLE Calif. Mark Reasons, facility manager and member Ocean Mist Farms board of directors, receives a rebate check for $58,683 from PG&E Salinas representatives Charlene Iwata, customer and community relations, and Rob Cruz, senior customer relations manager, for savings generated by sustainability efforts at the Ocean Mist Farms cooling facility located at company headquarters.

PG&E Rebate check presentation to Ocean Mist Farms_6.13.13_resized

Agro-art competition, field tours and a farmers market

CASTROVILLE Calif. May 9 2013 – Ocean Mist Farms will help the artichoke capital of the world Castroville Calif. celebrate its Annual Artichoke Festival May 18 and 19.

The residents of Castroville 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 festivals roster of activities which now includes an afro-art competition, musical entertainment, cooking demos, wine tastings, field tours, farmers market, and an arts and craft fair.

CLICK HERE to view last years Agro Art Entries.

Agro Art 2012 Entries (20) resized for web

With headquarters located in Castroville, Ocean Mist Farms is a proud sponsor of the annual festival tradition.

All festival events take place in downtown Castroville tickets are $10 adults; $5 active military, seniors and children (4-12) $5. Children 3 and under are free.

Hours Saturday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. Sunday 10 A.M – 5 P.M. awards presentation 430 P.M.

For more information visit and vote online for the 2013 festival king and queen.

Display contests, Artichoke Club giveaways and annual festival planned during spring months

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – April 16 2013 – Ocean Mist Farms is supporting sales this spring with multiple activities designed to generate consumer awareness for fresh artichokes.

“Peak volume of the Castroville crop is April through May,” said Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development, with peak volume for baby-sized artichokes expected the last week of April through May.

To celebrate the start of the season, Ocean Mist Farms extended an exclusive offer to members of the Artichoke Aficiandos club to purchase a case of artichokes directly from the company. Last year was the first year Ocean Mist Farms made artichokes available to purchase for artichoke club members.

Ocean Mist Farms is further leveraging its more than 38,000 club members to communicate information about retail promotions in April and May. The company sends a weekly email to club members with retail ads specific to the region they live in to alert them where they can find Ocean Mist Artichokes on sale. The same message is also shared via Ocean Mist Farms’ 10,000 Facebook fans and other social media channels.

In Northern California, where fresh artichoke sales have the highest retail velocity, Ocean Mist Farms is working with several retailers on promotions and display contests throughout April and is running radio ads to drive shoppers into stores.

California is the largest fresh market for Ocean Mist Farms and the company was excited to see that artichokes won an online contest organized by KGO Radio in San Francisco and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, to name the “official state vegetable of California.” Company representatives will cook an artichoke dinner for Newsom later this season in Sacramento.

On April 27, KGO’s Chef Ryan Scott will broadcast live from Ocean Mist Farms’ kitchen at corporate headquarters in Castroville, Calif., he also filmed an episode of his show “Food Rush” in Castroville and featured artichokes when he participated in the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival.

Working with chefs is another component of peak season promotions this year and Ocean Mist Farms will be demonstrating artichoke menu concepts at Baldor’s The Bite on April 22 in New York City.

Ocean Mist Farms will wrap up peak season by sponsoring the annual Artichoke Festival in Castroville, May 18-19. The festival features Arti the Artichoke, Agro Art, art fairs, field tour,s and assorted activities for artichoke lovers of all ages. For more information about the company and its products visit

Lt Gov Gavin Newsom makes declaration on KGO Radio

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – April 10 2013 – California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared the artichoke as the official state vegetable this morning.
California produces 99 percent of the annual U.S. crop of fresh market artichokes and Ocean Mist Farms is the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America.
The drive to name the official state food of California was organized by KGO Radio in San Francisco and was based on votes made through Facebook. Other foods nominated by KGO listeners included almonds, avocados, crab, Sourdough bread, and grapes/wine.

California State Vegetable

“Our artichoke consumers fans and club members rallied to vote for the Artichoke- and won,” said Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development for Ocean Mist Farms. Newsom is acting governor while Governor Jerry Brown is on a trade mission to China. His first official act was to declare the artichoke as the California state vegetable this morning on KGO Morning News radio.

“We’ve been waiting for the Lt. Governor to make the announcement since hearing the artichoke received the most votes on the online contest to name the official state food of California,” Tuggle said. “It comes at a perfect time just as we are just hitting the peak of artichoke season in Castroville the artichoke growing region capital.”
Representatives from Ocean Mist Farms will go to the state capital with Chef Ryan Scott to make Newsom an artichoke dinner in celebration of this official state proclamation.

For more information about Ocean Mist Farms and its products, visit

Company promotes one and adds new staff

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – March 26, 2013 – Ocean Mist Farms announced changes to its marketing department with the promotion of one employee and the addition of another to the team.

Laura Berlanga 2012

Laura Berlanga was promoted to product innovation and research manager; in that role she will be responsible for the research and development of improving and expanding the Ocean Mist Farms’ product line. Berlanga has been with Ocean Mist Farms for 15 years, her previous titles include marketing associate, sales coordinator, and account assistant.

She is a graduate of San Diego State University and lives in Salinas with her family. Mary Langford joined Ocean Mist Farms in a new position as marketing and media specialist.

Mary Langford_Ocean Mist Farms

Langford was previously a marketing packaging and graphics coordinator at Dole Fresh Vegetables in Monterey, Calif. Langford came to the produce industry from National Geographic School Publishing where she was the associate editor and project coordinator for K-12 textbooks. At National Geographic Learning, she worked on various award-winning educational programs including Edge, Inside, and Reach for Reading.

Langford graduated from California State University Monterey Bay.

For more information about the company, its employees, and products visit

Plaque presentation

CASTROVILLE, Calif. – March 4, 2013 – (Pictured left to right) Karen Franck, Farm to Family Food Resource Manager, presents Joe Pezzini, COO Ocean Mist Farms, with a plaque recognizing the more than 1 million pounds of fresh produce Ocean Mist Farms growers donated to the California Association of Food Banks in 2012.

food bank b

Shrink wrapped Napa cabbage and bok choy added to grower

Just in time for Chinese New Year, Ocean Mist Farms is shipping two new vegetable items; shrink-wrapped Bok choy, and Napa cabbage.

Often associated with Asian cooking, bok choy is finding mainstream consumer appeal and is used as an ingredient by chefs and home cooks in soups and stir-fries, appetizers, and main dishes. Like Bok choy, Napa cabbage is also a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. Napa cabbage is an Asian vegetable that resembles regular green cabbage, but is longer and oval-shaped. Napa cabbage has slightly more protein and fewer calories than regular cabbage and a unique taste similar to a mild celery or bok choy.

Ocean Mist Farms is shipping both items now for Chinese New Year promotional opportunities and will offer the new pack styles year-round as a longer shelf life alternative to a non-cello pack.

For more information visit

Shrink Wrap Bok Choy & Napa Cabbage

Harvard Business School (HBS) Agribusiness Seminar looks at digital marketing issues

CASTROVILLE, Calif. –  Jan. 4 2013 – Ocean Mist Farms, the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is the subject of a case study at Harvard Business School.

Every year since 1961, leaders from across the global agriculture and food industry meet at Harvard Business School (HBS) for the Agribusiness Seminar, an event that puts the spotlight on the best growth opportunities and most pressing challenges for the agricultural industry.

The week of Jan. 7, top executives will convene at HBS to discuss issues that are changing the industry, discover new ways to drive revenue, and secure profits at a time of economic and market uncertainty, share best practices, and prepare for the future.

One of those case studies will examine Ocean Mist Farms and its marketing efforts in the artichoke category. Another case study will focus on HEB, the Texas retailer. Members of the Ocean Mist Farms management team will attend the seminar.

Through discussions and interviewswith the HBS team, the Ocean Mist Farms case study covers several ideas. The first is to help students (either executives or MBA students) understand the fresh produce industry and the challenges that firms such as Ocean Mist face in trying to balance supply and demand. The second is to educate about the new world of ‘digital marketing’ and how that is helping companies connect directly with consumers. Finally, the HBS wanted to introduce the idea of branding and stimulate a discussion of the opportunities and costs associated with that in fresh produce.

For information about the HBS Agribusiness Seminar CLICK HERE.