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CASTROVILLE, Calif. (October 14, 2021) – Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S. and premium supplier of fresh vegetables for nearly 100 years, is pleased to announce the promotion of Christopher Drew to President and Chief Executive Officer.

In his new role, Drew will be responsible for leading all commercial, operational, financial, and administrative aspects of Ocean Mist Farms. Drew will provide a clear vision allowing for organizational growth and financial success in addition to fostering innovation and cultivating strong relationships internally and with external stakeholders. His role as President and CEO will require the analysis and evaluation of product line offerings, building business plans to drive expansion, and ensuring Ocean Mist Farms has the proper infrastructure to support such growth.

The Board of Directors unanimously selected Drew from among many distinguished Produce and Consumer Packaged Goods executives sourced through a national search conducted by executive search partner Kincannon & Reed.

“Chris has been integral to executing the strategic growth plan and Ocean Mist Farm’s vision of becoming the partner of choice for produce solutions in his role of Chief Operating Officer here,” commented Kirk Martin, Ocean Mist’s Board Chair. “His history with our company spans nearly two decades in various roles and his knowledge base is unparalleled. The passion he has for this industry and our organization is apparent and we are confident he will be instrumental in the future success of Ocean Mist Farms.”

In his previous role as COO, Drew collaborated with teams across the organization to streamline strategies and processes in addition to overseeing the operational departments and facilities across the organization: cooling, shipping, production, harvesting, food safety, quality assurance, and value-added operations.

Prior to joining Ocean Mist Farms, Drew earned his Bachelor of Science in Crop Science from California Polytechnic University – San Luis Obispo followed by his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix – San Jose.

Drew is active in several affiliations including the Cal Poly - SLO Horticulture and Crop Science Advisory Council, where he is Chairman of the Board and is a member of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Advisory Board among others.

“Chris embodies the spirit of Ocean Mist Farms and embraces our company values,” Martin commented. “We are excited to be a part of this next chapter with him.”

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business based in Castroville, CA. and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation, and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com/. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (October 14, 2021)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., welcomes the Cardone vegetable for retail distribution and shopper consumption ahead of the annual holiday season.

“Cardone is an Italian favorite that we seasonally grow between October and Jan in two California regions, Castroville and Coachella,” said Diana McClean, Senior Director of Marketing at Ocean Mist Farms. “We take pride in growing Cardone that is extremely tender with a robust flavor, anticipated each holiday season Ocean Mist Farms Cardone is among the finest examples of the vegetable in North America and is anticipated each year by home cooks and professional chefs alike.”

Ocean Mist Farms provides tips, like storage and eating, as well as recipes for how to incorporate Cardone into weeknight meals on their website for shoppers to learn more about the multifaceted vegetable.

Cardone, also known as Cardoon, is a traditional Mediterranean vegetable considered a delicacy by many who specialize in traditional French and Italian cuisine. A cousin of the artichoke, Cardone has an edible stalk like celery; however, it is not eaten raw. The best Cardone stalks are a grey-green color very similar in color to the artichoke plant. Stalks should feel heavy and moist. They will not be crisp like celery.

The Cardone stalk is hand-harvested from the plant and packed and cooled within four hours. Ocean Mist Farms’ strict cut-to-cool standards ensure quality product is delivered to retail stores. To learn more about Cardone and Ocean Mist Farms, please visit https://www.oceanmist.com/products/cardone.

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business based in Castroville, CA. and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation, and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com/. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (September 21, 2021)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., has the perfect fresh solution for busy families this fall with five new additions to the award-winning microwavable cut vegetable product line, Season & Steam. The line includes 10 varieties that are sure to spice up dinner time, each with the same convenience, customizable seasoning and exclusive resealable bag technology shoppers already love.

The varieties include:

  • Sweet Baby Broccoli
  • Artichokes
  • Whole Brussels Sprouts
  • Brussels Sprouts Shreds
  • Brussels Sprouts Halves
  • Broccoli Florets – NEW!
  • Floret Medley – NEW!
  • Vegetable Medley – NEW!
  • Cauliflower Florets – NEW!
  • Cauliflower Rice – NEW!

“We’ve found busy families want Season & Steam because of the packaging technology that uniquely allows them to customize seasoning for their personal taste preferences and reseal the microwavable bag prior to cooking,” said Diana McClean, Senior Director of Marketing at Ocean Mist Farms.

Per the FMI’s “Power of Produce 2021” study, value-added produce items have increased 8.1% to reach $15.5 billion in sales, with an 11.4% increase for vegetables in 2020 versus a year ago. More shoppers (37%) purchased value-added vegetables frequently or whenever available, and shopper expectations point to accelerated growth in the year to come.

Recipe Inspiration

The Season & Steam line is completely customizable and includes endless ways to make a meal for everyone. In line with this thinking, Ocean Mist Farms has launched their fall “Meals in Minutes” campaign driving home this point with a variety of recipe options to choose from. In addition to this, Ocean Mist Farms provides shoppers with recipes and cooking class videos year-round at www.oceanmist.com/season-steam-meal-inspiration.

This is the only steam bag that gives the option to pre-season your vegetables, reseal and steam by microwave all within the same bag. This exclusive technology is available for artichokes, sweet baby broccoli, broccoli, cauliflower, vegetable medleys, and three Brussels sprouts items (SuperShreds SuperFood®, Quick Cook Sprouts® and Microwavable Wholes).

Recipes are inspired by culinary flavors that can be found around the world, including:

To build consumer awareness and demand for this easy-to-use and customizable product line, Ocean Mist Farms will engage a wider audience with a fall consumer promotion and sweepstakes that will engage shopper audiences and drive store traffic. To learn more about Season & Steam, please visit oceanmist.com/products/season-steam. Ocean Mist Farms, please visit www.oceanmist.com/.

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business based in Castroville, CA. and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com/. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (August 19, 2021)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., is once again investing in partnerships with national influencers for the 2021-2022 crop year. Ocean Mist Farms will partner with The Real Food Dietitians, What Great Grandma Ate and Food With Feeling to create entertaining and educational content and expand the brand’s reach to new audiences.

 “We are pleased to announce our influencer partnerships for the next 12 months, , which includes previous partners as well as some new faces as we continue to evolve our reach with our influencer program,” said Diana McClean, Senior Director of Marketing for Ocean Mist Farms. “This year, we will be expanding the program further with the addition of more TikTok influencers over the next few months.  We’re excited to have this additional engaging platform to share our brand story with shoppers.”

The influencer partners chosen cover a wide range of audiences. The Real Food Dietitians are registered nutritionists and dietitians who create credible and nutritious dishes, while What Great Grandma Ate and Food With Feeling are creating TikTok and Instagram Reel content to continue driving brand and product awareness across every platform.

For more information and to stay up-to-date on these partnerships, follow Ocean Mist Farms on social media or visit the website at: www.oceanmist.com.

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business based in Castroville, CA. and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com/. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (July 21, 2021)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., is pleased to announce the 2021 scholarship recipients. Since 2018, the Ocean Mist Farms Academic Scholarship Program annually awards seven scholarships to recipients who demonstrate the guiding values of Ocean Mist Farms – integrity, quality, passion, and success – with $1,000 toward their college tuition.

“We are thrilled to announce our scholarship recipients for the class of 2021,” said Jonelle Wong, Scholarship Committee Chairperson at Ocean Mist Farms. “At Ocean Mist Farms, one of the most rewarding things we do each year is to support our local students through this scholarship program. We look forward to continuing in this tradition of recognizing students for their hard work for years to come.”

After reviewing 23 applications, the committee selected seven students to receive the $1,000 scholarship:

DEPENDENT SCHOLARSHIP WINNER

  • Layla Ruiz, daughter of Serafin Ruiz (Operations Manager, Sea Breeze Harvesting – Castroville).
    • Layla will be attending UCLA and majoring in Biology.
  • Victoria Sager, daughter of Jonelle Wong (Operations Controller, Ocean Mist Foods – Castroville).
    • Victoria is currently attending San Jose State and was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from San Diego State University.

PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

  • Erick Torres will attend Stanford University (North Salinas High School)
    • Majoring in Aerospace Engineering
  • Katherine Hodges has been accepted to Pepperdine, St. Marys, UC Davis, UC San Diego and UCLA (Notre Dame High School)
    • Majoring in Human Biology, Pre Med
  • Lena Noya will attend Brown University (Santa Cruz High School)
    • Majoring in Neuroscience
  • Consuelo Vidal-Perez will attend USC (Watsonville High School)
    • Majoring in Law, History and Culture
  • Julia Hicks will attend Boise State University Honors College (San Benito High School)
    • Majoring in Criminal Justice

The scholarships are open to local residents of Monterey, Riverside, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, and submissions require an essay, letters of reference, completed scholarship application and proof of higher education acceptance.

For more information, please view the application and full list of requirements at: oceanmist.com/scholarship-program.

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com/. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (June 14, 2021)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., is pleased to announce Louis Rakoczy has joined Ocean Mist Farms as Chief Finance Officer and Kevin Healy has joined as the new Grower Relations Manager.

As CFO, Rakoczy will oversee the Accounting, Finance and Information Technology departments to include Risk Management and Tax & Audit practices. Prior to joining Ocean Mist Farms, Rakoczy spent 25 years in finance and was previously Sr. VP of Finance with Curation Foods / Landec Corp. Louis graduated with a degree in Math and Operations Research with a Specialization in Computing from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“We are glad to have Louis join our team in this key role,” said Joe Pezzini, CEO and President of Ocean Mist Farms. “We look forward to the experience Louis brings to this role and the impact he will make for the company.”

In his new role as Grower Relations Manager, Healy will be responsible for emerging and cultivating relationships with the company’s grower partner community. Prior to his new position, Healy was the VP of Operations for Sambrailo Packaging. Healy has been actively involved in agri-business for more than 25 years and earned his Master of Science degree in Agriculture, with a specialization in Crop Science from Cal Poly.

“With Kevin’s prior experience and years in the industry at hand, we know his impact as Grower Relations Manager will be instrumental to Ocean Mist Farms' future success,” said Paul Scheid VP of Production of Ocean Mist Farms.

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com/. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (June 09, 2021)Ocean Mist Farms has announced that CEO / President, Joe Pezzini will step down from this role effective June 30, 2021. Mr. Pezzini has been a consistent face and voice of this nearly 100-year-old brand for 21 years, and his legacy will be evident as the Company moves forward toward their centennial celebration.

“There is never a good time to make a change of this magnitude.  Ocean Mist Farms will celebrate its centennial in 2024.  In that long and rich history, we have grown from very humble beginnings in 1924 to a full-service year-round supplier of the finest artichokes and fresh produce.  I am proud to have been a part of that journey along with all the other Ocean Mist Farms team members over the years,” comments Joe.

An executive committee and senior management team is in place to continue the success of this well-known Company during this transition. “This is a very significant change for Ocean Mist Farms, however, I have no doubt that the service and supply expectations that the industry has come to expect from the Ocean Mist Farms brand will continue at the highest levels,” comments Kirk Martin, Chairman of the Board. “On behalf of the Board and the family owners of Ocean Mist Farms, we thank Joe for his steadfast service and leadership. We will miss his passion, professionalism and commitment to our collective success. In the meantime, we will move forward with confidence in our growers, people and leadership team to continue to serve the needs of our customers and stakeholders as a valued produce solutions provider. “

The Company has initiated an executive search for Joe’s successor. Please help us to wish Joe success in his future endeavors as we look forward to continuing our connection with this Ag Industry Legend. 

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com/. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (June 1, 2021) Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., recently concluded its two annual promotions: Peace, Love & Artichoke winter promotion (February 15 - March 15, 2021) and the annual Gold Standard spring promotion (April 19 - May 19, 2021). Since 2019 these annual promotions have grown engagement with Ocean Mist Farms consumer audience - proving there is an audience ready for information about fresh artichokes. As a result, Ocean Mist Farms has realized a 5% increase YOY in artichoke cases sold over the duration of the two promotions.

Consumer response to the 3rd annual Gold Standard promotion proved shoppers were receptive to and eager to engage with helpful and entertaining content. With the third year of the promotion complete, Ocean Mist Farms earned a total of:

  • 273,832,480 total brand impressions since 2019
  • 25,997 total growth in shopper database since 2019
  • 337,770 total shopper participation in the sweepstakes opportunity since 2019

“These annual promotions are proof that there is an audience hungry for inspiration and education with both Ocean Mist Farms, and artichokes,” said Diana McClean, senior director of marketing at Ocean Mist Farms. “Because of the tremendous consumer following we’ve developed, we have become a reliable and trusted resource for artichoke information that encourages shoppers to purchase Ocean Mist Farms artichokes for health benefits, eating experience and from a trusted supplier of the highest quality of fresh produce.”

The response to the Coachella Peace, Love & Artichoke also saw dramatic response and engagement from shoppers. With the third year of the promotion complete, Ocean Mist Farms earned a total of:

  • 525,201,102 total brand impressions since 2019
  • 36,502 total growth in shopper database since 2019
  • 503,422 shopper participation in the sweepstakes opportunity since 2019

With these promotions and other marketing efforts to shoppers, we have seen above average performance confirming that people do look to fresh produce brands for information and inspiration. Whether it be news about nutrition benefits, how to keep their produce fresh or different ways to spice up their dinner routine, we have continued to grow this engaged shopper audience.

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (May 5, 2021)Ocean Mist Farms (OMF), the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., is pleased to announce the hiring of John Georgalos as Sales Commodity Manager. In this role, Georgalos will be responsible for managing iceberg lettuce, Ocean Mist Farms’ leaf program (red, green and romaine), and will handle select key accounts for the company.

“We are glad to have John join our team and have a key role in our iceberg and leaf programs,” said Joseph Angelo, Director of Sales of Ocean Mist Farms. “With his experience, he will make us stronger and bring value in the day-to-day management of our operations.”

Prior to accepting the position, Georgalos served as Commodity Manager at Tanimura & Antle for 16 years. Georgalos earned his Associates degree at Hartnell College and has since taken sales classes at Pete Purcell Sales School and an intensive Marketing Class at Cornell University.

“I look forward to being part of the Ocean Mist Farms team,” said Georgalos. “I’m honored to work with this team and make a difference along the way.”

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About Ocean Mist Farms

Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability. The company’s full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2020 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist.com. For recipe inspiration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.