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.