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Picnics are a summer favorite with friends and family. How do you spend your picnic days? Outside on a grassy field at the park lounging on blankets catching up on each other’s life…or at a breathtaking scenic spot toasting a glass of bubbly and nibbling away?

In August, we are bringing picnic recipes indoor to Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants.

Salad is a picnic staple and you will find the freshly tossed “Classic Greek Salad,” where Ithaki Feta is one of the key ingredients. The rich and creamy soft cheese is produced in Tucumcari, NM. The “Famous BBQ Chicken Salad w/ Scratch Made & Saucy BBQ Sauce” is made with all natural, hormone-free chicken that is roasted in the oven, cooled and tossed with our homemade BBQ sauce. “Arugula Pesto Orzo w/ Pine Nuts,” “Joan’s Sunny Veggie Slaw,” and “Picnic Macaroni w/ Ham” are a few of the many more salads in August.

If you love corn and Cotija cheese, you will love the [click to continue…]

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What makes the “Make-Your-Own Chicken or Vegetarian Wraps” so delicious besides the savory chicken or vegetarian filling?

The butter lettuce!

But, how is that butter lettuce grown?

Pierre Sleiman Jr., CEO and Founder of Go Green Agriculture will be sharing his local 100% organic hydroponic farm-to-table fresh lettuce story with guests this Thursday, July 21, 2016 at Point Loma Souplantation beginning at 5:30p.m. Guests will also receive one free “Living Butter Lettuce” per family, while supplies last.

“I am excited to speak with San Diego guests who enjoy our organic lettuce at Souplantation from our organic hydroponic farm in Encinitas, CA. Looking forward to hear what questions they have about hydroponic technology. We deliver farm fresh organic lettuce to Garden Fresh within hours of harvesting,” says Pierre Jr.

Joining Pierre Jr. will be Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg. “Go Green and their integrating technology with agriculture provides the absolute freshest and highest quality product like the local 100% organic lettuce at our restaurants, that support our ‘Discover Fresh’ message that includes a focus on farm-fresh food and made-from-scratch menu items for nearly 40 years,” says John.

John Morberg, CEO of Garden Fresh (middle) speaking with Go Green Agriculture founders, Pierre Sleiman, Sr. (left) and Pierre Sleiman, Jr. (right) in Encinitas, CA.

Go Green Agriculture are innovators and game changers. They employ the latest in water conservation technology, greenhouse design, and organic growing methods. Pierre Jr. was recognized at The White House at the “Champion of Change” event where he received a “Future of Agriculture” award, recognizing his innovating use of technology for sustainable delivery of fresh produce products to the marketplace.

Go Green’s 100% Organic Living Butter Lettuce is used for the “Make-Your-Own Chicken or Vegetarian Wrap” recipe throughout San Diego until July 26.

Learn more with Pierre Jr.! Find out what it is like to grow hydroponically!

Point Loma Souplantation at Midway Shopping Center

3960 West Point Loma Blvd.

San Diego, CA  92110

July 21, 2016 beginning at 5:30p.m.

About Go Green Agriculture

Go Green Agriculture is a family farm with big ideas and strong values for growing the healthiest and highest quality produce while using super sustainable growing methods. All of our produce is grown with utmost care and the finest nutrients, resulting in the freshest and finest produce in the world.

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The “Make-Your-Own Lettuce Wrap” star at Howard Hughes Souplantation became more interesting Thursday night, July 14, when guests met the local hydroponically greenhouse grower as they ate the butter lettuce wraps from his greenhouse.

About 150 “Living Butter Lettuce” heads were also given out to guests, courtesy of Hollandia Produce LP. Those who wondered how hydroponic vegetables are grown got their questions answered by Pete Overgaag, CEO of Hollandia, based in Carpinteria and Oxnard, CA. John Morberg, CEO of Garden Fresh Restaurants was also with Pete to speak with guests.

Pete Overgaag CEO of Hollandia Produce LP at Howard Hughes Souplantation

Pete Overgaag CEO of Hollandia Produce LP at Howard Hughes Souplantation speaking about his hydroponically-grown lettuce with Juan Moreno.

Let’s take it back to the 1920’s in Holland where it all started. A man named Leo Overgaag started growing vegetables in a greenhouse. Fast forward to 1953, Leo’s son, Art Overgaag, started his own nursery in Den Hoorn, Holland, growing tomatoes in the spring and summer and lettuce in the winter. Since Holland was cold and rainy, Art decided to move to the United States, settling in Carpinteria, CA, in 1968 with his wife, Magda, and four children, Pete, Ellen, Leo, and Karin.

In 1970, Art and Magda bought the greenhouse property where Hollandia operates to this day. Pete and his brother, Leo, switched the family crops from flowers to vegetables and harvested its first hydroponically-grown greenhouse lettuce crop in 1987.  Today, Hollandia’s vegetables include: Living Butter Lettuce, Living 3 in 1 Lettuce, Living Upland Cress, and Living Red Butter Lettuce. In 2011, they began their certified organic brand, Grower Pete’s, with Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress.

Now that we have the back story, you must be wondering what those answers are about hydroponically-grown vegetables in greenhouses. [click to continue…]

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Working at a new job, you meet many new faces. At one Souplantion in San Diego, Rancho Bernardo, four faces became very familiar for one another. That’s because these four are sisters who love Souplantation so much, they all wanted to work and be a part of the team.

The Dolan sisters are together in a rare moment when all four are working at the Rancho Bernardo Souplantation. L-R: Rusty Rickman, General Manager, President Emeritus and Operations Vice President Greg Keller, Paxton, Kaelen, Jill, Teagan, and Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg.

It all started to come together about a year ago, but the roots of the story is about 15 years old when the Dolan family – the sisters, twins Jill and Kaelen, Paxton, and Teagan, their parents, Lynn and Sean -  began eating at Souplantation’s around San Diego.

“When we were growing up we did not eat out a lot, but when we did, I always wanted to go to Souplantation because it was my favorite spot,” says Jill, who has worked at the Rancho Bernardo Souplantation for just less than a year.

“Our entire family enjoyed the endless variety of food combinations we could make and everyone was able to get what they wanted. So, when it came time for me to look for a job, I naturally thought of Souplantation,” Jill added.

Just over a year ago, Jill began a job search, applying at several restaurants, including Souplantation. She interviewed with three restaurants prior to interviewing with Rusty Rickman, the Rancho Bernardo General Manager (GM). Jill was called back by the restaurants, but she hesitated in accepting an offer, wanting to talk to Souplantation prior to making a decision. [click to continue…]

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Squeeze Them into Recipes! Limoneira Company Part Two of Two

by GFBlog July 14, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

In continuation of part two about Limoneira Company, we take a closer look at the water conservation and technology at the lemon farm courtesy of the Limoneria Company website. Limoneira Company has been operating for over a century and is recognized as an industry leader with a number of innovations that have helped contribute to [...]

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Los Angeles Souplantation Guests! Meet Pete, a Hydroponic Farmer that Serves Up Butter Lettuce

by GFBlog July 12, 2016 Events

As the delicious limited time menu offering of Chicken and Vegetarian Wraps are being devoured in Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes in California and Arizona, Los Angeles guests are in for a real treat! Pete Overgaag, a third-generation greenhouse grower and CEO of Hollandia Produce LP, will be sharing his hydroponically-grown vegetables story at The Promenade [...]

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Pleasant Hill’s Sharon James Drives Home Company’s Values with a Personality

by GFBlog July 8, 2016 Careers

During those times you sit and look around as you eat at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, is there someone you have seen over the years that come up to you and make you feel warm and happy like seeing a friend again? And they feel passionate about what they do? Little did Sharon James know [...]

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July’s Post-A-Hack Instagram Contest!

by GFBlog July 1, 2016 Fun Stuff

The Stars of Summer is yours to create, indulge, enjoy, and most importantly, Discover Fresh! At Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes restaurants, food is made from scratch every day. Our salad bar buffet features over 50 fresh ingredients, including specialty tossed and prepared salads. In addition to salads, we serve original recipe hot pastas, hand-crafted soups, [...]

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Distant Lands Coffee Brings ‘Farm-to-Cup’ Freshness to Restaurants

by GFBlog June 30, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

Since the 15th century coffee has been a popular drink, primarily because of the stimulating effect of its caffeine content. During the past several decades, countless retail coffee shops and chains have sprung up offering specialty coffees that have helped drive the interest and consumption of coffee to new levels. At Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., [...]

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The Beacon-News Calls Sweet Tomatoes ‘Sweet Thing for Area Diners’

by GFBlog June 30, 2016 In The Community

The Aurora, IL, newspaper, The Beacon-News recently featured the Aurora Sweet Tomatoes in a story written by freelancer Jane Donahue. Here is her story. When an all-you-can-eat buffet delivers fresh, healthy and wholesome food options – as Sweet Tomatoes on the west side of Route 59 in Aurora does — it’s a sweet thing for [...]

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Discover Fresh Abundance

Let's just say within 24 hours of being in the ground, it's on a refrigerated truck on its way to us. Our food is made from scratch every day. Our salad bar buffet features over 50 fresh ingredients, including specialty tossed and prepared salads. In addition to salads, we server original recipe hot pastas, hand-crafted soups, scratch-made muffins, and Focaccia breads in our hot buffet. Create. Indulge. Enjoy.

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