2024 News & Press Releases

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. (JAN 11, 2024) – Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, announces their first Frost-Kissed® crop of the season currently being harvested out of their southern growing region in Coachella, Calif. These specialty artichokes are shipping now and will be intermittently available throughout the winter. Special petal inserts have been developed to help educate the consumer about the unique condition of these artichokes.

“Frost-Kissed artichokes are truly a specialty item and the very definition of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’,” said Bobby Bellew, Director of Farming. Created naturally after enduring a frost which occurs when the temperature drops to 32 degrees or colder, the artichokes’ skin darkens due to the freezing condition. Continuing, “The brown outer layer is strictly cosmetic – similar to a sunburn – and peels off once cooked resulting in a green (cooked) artichoke that consumers are familiar with.”

According to Sr. Director of Marketing, Mark Munger, “The browning of the exterior petals of the artichoke in no way effects the eatability or quality of the artichoke, and in fact seals in the flavor which has a distinctive nuttier flavor that many consumers prefer.” Munger added, “These unique artichokes with their nutty flavor are only offered by Ocean Mist Farms, and are only available on a limited basis after a frost occurs in our winter desert growing region.”

Bellew noted “In the winter of 2022-2023 there were no frosts, so no Frost-Kissed artichokes found their way into the marketplace, much to the disappointment of many artichoke aficionado’s.” “As much as frosts can be destructive to vegetation and farming, sometimes Mother Nature produces something truly amazing from what many consider to be an unfortunate weather condition,” Bellew concluded.
Ocean Mist Farms has developed POS materials for retailers to help educate consumers about these limited artichokes. They can order materials today by clicking here to go to our website and complete the POS form.

 

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About Ocean Mist Farms
Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business in Castroville, Calif., the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for product quality, food safety, sustainability, customer service, and innovation. The company’s full line of 30+ fresh vegetable commodities include their Gold Standard green and purple artichokes, as well as a valued-added and Season & Steam product line. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit oceanmist.com or follow them on their socials on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (December 1, 2023) – Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, advises their Oxnard winter crop artichoke program is in full production – and the Coachella season is just beginning – providing excellent volumes to meet customer demand and keep consumers happy through the holiday season and into the new year.

VP Sales & Marketing, Rick Bravo, said “The quality of these artichokes coming out of Oxnard look exceptional and volumes are strong.” Continuing, “After the weather challenges from last year which contributed to a lighter December harvest, this is a great opportunity for retailers to generate some strong year-over-year performance to close out Q4 of 2023.”

According to Ben Wilson, commodity manager for the artichoke leader “We have the quality and promotable volumes to support customer demand through the holiday season.” Adding, “This is the perfect opportunity for ads and promotions that will generate buzz and excitement in produce departments and get artichokes in carts. Consumers will be left feeling like the holidays came early this year!”

As they migrate their growing operations in the fall each year, Ocean Mist Farms has four winter growing regions, with their main winter crop operation being Coachella, California. Developing the perfect science of what crops are grown when and where as they migrate their ops north to south, ensures the year-round availability of virtually their entire product line. Coachella, however, is a strategic differentiator for this industry giant.

Ocean Mist’s Coachella VP of Production, Jeff Percy, shared “The sandy soil is the real game-changer for us. The higher sand content in the soil makes for lighter material that allows us to work faster and still be able to harvest after heavy rains.” Adding “Because the land in the Coachella Valley hasn’t been as heavily farmed as some other growing regions, it has less insect and disease pressure.” Lastly, Percy noted “We’ve also been using drip and sprinkler irrigation for over twenty years now which means we’re utilizing the ground water more effectively. It also means we can farm virtually every square inch of the fields without the need for water basins.”

 

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About Ocean Mist Farms
Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business in Castroville, Calif., 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 30+ fresh vegetable commodities include their premium coveted green and purple artichokes, as well as their valued-added line and Season & Steam products. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit oceanmist.com or follow them on their socials on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (November 20, 2023) – Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, mourns the passing of beloved former President and CEO, visionary and industry titan, Ed Boutonnet.

Ed was a devoted grower/owner of the industry-leading company for over forty years, where his vision as President and CEO from 1990 – 2015 helped develop the company into a strategically focused industry leader. The Boutonnet family, who first started consolidating acreage with one of Ocean Mist’s original founding family members, Hugo Tottino, back in 1970 remain actively involved as valued grower/owners of the company.

In 1972 the Boutonnet family joined forces with Sea Mist Farms (an Ocean Mist Farms affiliate) to bring artichokes – and eventually mixed vegetables – into the offering, helping to bolster and diversify the company’s product line. A decade later, in 1982, the Boutonnet family became partners in the California Artichoke and Vegetable Growers Corporation (Ocean Mist Farms formal company name).

For the next couple decades, the Boutonnet family continued to add to their farming roster, adding leaf lettuces in the early 1980s. By 1990 Boutonnet was named President and CEO and began evolving the company into the largest grower/shipper of artichokes in North America. Under Boutonnet’s leadership Ocean Mist expanded its acreage, facilities, and product offering. Ed’s unwavering commitment and focus lead sales to grow exponentially during his tenure.

As a farmer he was a proud and steadfast steward of the land and understood the many facets of farming and the inherent challenges that exist in this extremely demanding, and honorable, profession. As a leader, Ed’s passion for farming, this community, and developing and mentoring next generations of Ocean Mist employees into future leaders was unrivaled. Ed had an uncanny ability to connect with all employees – from field workers to senior management. When making long-term strategic business decisions, Ed’s first and final consideration was always the welfare of Ocean Mist Farm employees.

Ocean Mist President and CEO, Chris Drew, remembers Ed with great respect and reverence and a deep sense of appreciation for his mentorship and guidance when Chris first joined Sea Mist Farms in 2004.
Chris reflects on early words of wisdom Ed shared with him, which Chris notes Ed also regularly emulated in his relentless pursuit of excellence. “There is no such thing as luck. Luck should be defined as when good preparation and opportunity meet. Pay attention to the details – opportunity lies behind the smallest details. And if you don’t make a mistake every now and again, you’re not trying hard enough – just don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Possibly one of the most noteworthy things Ed championed while at the Ocean Mist helm was positioning the company to be a major player in a very competitive landscape of grower/shippers. Creating an organizational structure and working with the leadership to identify, create and implement a strategic plan, mission, vision, and values laid the groundwork for what was to come. His commitment, efforts and perseverance left an indelible mark on Ocean Mist Farms to this day.

Over the years Ed served on multiple Boards sharing his time, passion, insights, and expertise to support and further worthy causes that were near and dear to his heart. He rightfully received several awards, honors, accolades, and recognition for his many contributions to, and accomplishments in, the agriculture industry.

The Ocean Mist Farms corporate headquarters office in Castroville has a reserved sign in its parking lot that has been for the exclusive use of Mr. Boutonnet since 2010. He was always a welcome friend and colleague here, and his memory will live on as we near our centennial year in 2024 which Ed was so excited to celebrate with us.

The Boutonnet family is now into its fourth generation of proud farmers.

 

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About Ocean Mist Farms
Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business in Castroville, Calif., 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 30+ fresh vegetable commodities include their premium coveted green and purple artichokes, as well as their valued-added line and Season & Steam products. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit oceanmist.com or follow them on their socials on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (November 2, 2023) – Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, debuted their new 30 x 30-foot booth at the International Fresh Produce Association’s Global Produce & Floral tradeshow in Anaheim October 19 – 21, 2023.

“As we are fast-approaching our centennial anniversary in 2024,” said Ocean Mist Farms President & CEO, Chris Drew, “we recognize this historical milestone is the perfect opportunity to assess where we are as a brand – and a company – and where we want to be going now and over the next hundred years. While we are very much rooted in history, we are focused on the future.”

Continuing, “One of the many things we took a look at and evolved was our tradeshow booth.” Drew went on to note “We felt there was an opportunity for us to tell the story of this 4th generation legacy company in a more effective way, while better showcasing our growing and evolving product and value-added lines of fresh vegetables to our customers and potential customers.”

“One of the objectives of this new booth,” according to Drew “was for us to create an environment that was a reflection of our rich farming heritage.” Adding, “To that end, we had live artichoke plants in the booth in custom-made planter boxes, which we went to great lengths to secure, transport and plant – the first time the company had successfully taken on this challenge.”

Additionally, the new booth featured six multi-media screens that played a seven-minute looped video that was newly produced for the show, taking viewers through virtually every facet of Ocean Mist’s farming operation. From breathtaking aerial footage of the fields, to ground-level harvests of multiple products, to cooler footage including washing, weighing, and packing value-added vegetable mixes into bags, and finally loading pallets onto trucks.

Booths reviews ranged from ‘better traffic flow,’ and ‘ease of viewing entire product line in bank of coolers,’ to ‘beautiful graphics.’ And, of course, much love and attention was paid to the new bright green 8-foot tall artichoke ornament in the airspace over the booth, clearly identifying Ocean Mist Farms as the artichoke industry leader that they are.

 

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About Ocean Mist Farms
Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business in Castroville, Calif., 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 30+ fresh vegetable commodities include their premium coveted green and purple artichokes, as well as their valued-added line and Season & Steam products. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit oceanmist.com or follow them on their socials on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (October 12, 2023) – Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, will be debuting their new 30’ x 30’ booth at the International Fresh Produce Association’s Global Produce & Floral tradeshow in Anaheim October 19 – 21, 2023.

“Our new booth is an enhanced reflection of our rich farming heritage and provides the perfect platform to demonstrate our industry leadership in the fresh artichokes segment,” said Sr. Director of Marketing Mark Munger. Continuing “The new booth’s layout – with its sleek lines and improved flow floorplan – will display Ocean’s Mist’s comprehensive product line in a stylish environment emulating the feel of a European outdoor market. This new layout will also include a larger footprint to feature our value-added items – about one-third of the booth’s total merchandising area,” said Munger.

Director of Supply Chain & Compliance, Glen Alameda noted “We felt it was important to better showcase our value-added products which are the fastest growing segment of our business.” Adding, “Ocean Mist has continued to invest in the expansion of our value-added program with infrastructure expansions, new machinery, additional production shifts, and overall capacity to bolster and grow production.” Alameda concluded “Along with increased volumes, exciting line extensions and innovations are in process and slated for launch in 2024 – our centennial year.”

“One message we are sharing with our retail and foodservice customers is that whether packed in our label, or theirs, we are a reliable and rapidly growing value-added partner,” said Jeff Hutterer, director of value-added sales.” Hutterer also noted “We are unique in that nearly all the produce we process for our value-added program comes from our own farms. Our customers recognize Ocean Mist Farms for our consistency, variety, and ability to regularly deliver on our Gold Standard quality, which they can expect from our value-added programs as well.”
IFPA 2023 Booth #3485

 

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About Ocean Mist Farms
Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business in Castroville, Calif., 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 30+ fresh vegetable commodities include their premium coveted green and purple artichokes, as well as their valued-added line and Season & Steam products. To learn more about Ocean Mist