Over the past few years we’ve been extremely fortunate to experience wonderful cuisine from all over Southeast Michigan, yet it’s always the people and families that we meet along the way that excite us the most. The stories behind why people like Jack and Annette Aronson decide to start a food related business is fascinating, and reminds us of the many talented entrepreneurs and business professionals looking to make a difference in their community.
If you’re not familiar with the Garden Fresh story, you can check it out here. From humble beginnings, The Aronson family started making fresh salsa in the back of their Ferndale restaurant (they no longer own) which lead to their now very popular Garden Fresh brand. This past Tuesday we were invited to spend time with Jack and several of his family members who are working hard to not only create a world class company but also give back to the city of Detroit, a place very near and dear to the Aronson family.
After a delicious lunch, where we shared wonderful food stories and plenty of laughs, we put on our gear and headed into battle.
As we walked around the very impressive plant, we got to hear about the massive equipment, its functionality, and the special care required to maintain such a fast paced production schedule straight from Jack himself.
One of the most fascinating machines we learned all about was the HPP (High Pressure Processing) system where only 100 exist in the entire world. The state-of-the-art high pressure (87,000 psi) processing system enables Garden Fresh to provide cleaner, fresher products that are preservative-free and delicious. For food retailers, that means an extraordinarily long shelf life for refrigerated deli products.
For the healthy eater who is always concerned about what they put in their body, most of Garden Fresh products: salsas, chips, hummus, and dips are going to meet your strict dietary needs. They only use the freshest ingredients as we witnessed the great looking products and smelled wonderful aromas. I could set up my office where the cilantro takes a bath for cleaning, and soak in the wonderful scent all day long.
So what are the main advantages of the HPP system?
- Safer Food (inactivates food-borne pathogens)
- Lower Cost (drastically reduces spoilage bacteria)
- More Natural (eliminates the need for preservatives)
- More Tasty (avoids degradation of heat pasteurization)
During our trip we were able to sample all the delicious dips, salsas, and chips. As most have already experienced Garden Fresh products, they were extremely tasty while maintaining the healthiest of ingredients not often found in their competitors. The high quality ingredients coupled with extreme care and state–of-the-art equipment produces a product that is often sought after by foodies across the world. While we truly enjoyed sampling their products and taking a tour of their facilities, the lasting moments will be the fascinating stories with a wonderful family. These are the stories we look forward to sharing and why we do what we do.
Until the next time, we enjoy sharing food one bite at a time.
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