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The holiday season is officially here and you know what that means – lots of time shared with family and friends over a meal. More family time is one of the reasons we love this time of year, but we get it – all of the dinner parties and extravagant get-togethers can become stressful…and awkward if you let them. Read on to see why having your next family dinner at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes is a better option than hosting it yourself.


1). You’re not responsible for the cooking.

Remember that time you messed up the one dish everyone had been waiting to enjoy all year long? *Major facepalm* Don’t let that happen again – at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes, everyone can have their favorite seasonal dish, with no pressure on you.


2). No decorating required.

We all want to be festive, but there is such a thing as going overboard (have you tried to get glitter out of a couch cushion?). Our décor is juuust right (especially in our newly refreshed locations!).

3). Picky eaters are satisfied.

They loooved peas last year, but now they won’t eat anything but corn with raisins. No worries – we’ve got something that will please every picky eater in your group.

(Our menu is also full of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-friendly dishes for family and friends who have dietary restrictions!)

4). You won’t run out of food.

Not to worry, we have enough mac & cheese for you to have seconds, and thirds, and fourths…

5). Your mom won’t have time to tell that embarrassing story…again.

You know what will stop any family member from retelling that horrific story from when you were a teenager? Fresh muffins. Right out of our oven. You’re welcome.

6).  There won’t be texting at the table.

With over 50 fresh ingredients on our salad bar and (probably) a million different ways for you to design your own meal – no one will have time for their phone… unless it’s to Instagram a pic of their culinary creation!


Dishes…for a party of 10…no thank you! We’ll tackle the chore of clearing and cleaning your plates so you have more time to enjoy the company you’re with.

8). Houseguests won’t overstay their welcome.

You can’t ask Cousin Tom to leave your home, but Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes does have a closing time (but, don’t fret, it’s not until 9 or 10pm, so you can enjoy a leisurely family dinner!).

Now that you see how much easier your next meal could be, turn off your oven, call your friends and family, and plan on meeting at your local Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes. Even better, you don’t need a reservation!


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Imagine over 100 acres of planted broccoli. Imagine that it’s all yours. Imagine how much Joan’s Broccoli Madness Salad you could make and indulge in with the tasty crop. Guess what? We’re here to share that this daydream is (kind of) a reality. While we don’t recommend eating that much Joan’s Broccoli Madness in one sitting, Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes does have 120 acres of broccoli planted at Campbell Ranches exclusively at our disposal to create as many tasty dishes as possible (yum!).

You may wonder how that much broccoli makes it to your table still fresh, and Bob Campbell (our grower and owner of Campbell Ranches) has the answer with his agricultural cooler. With the ability to cool produce quickly in three different ways, this technology is able to immediately ice down our broccoli, which allows Campbell Ranches to move it into refrigerated trucks and then rush it to our kitchens where we hand cut the produce – all within the same day it is harvested. Pretty cool pickings, huh?

We consider Bob Campbell an integral member of the Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes family and have bestowed the nickname “Broccoli Bob” upon him. Since we also consider each of our guests an important part of our family, we hope that if you are in the San Diego area on Saturday, November 22nd, you’ll join us at our Give up a Can and Discover Fresh event at the Del Mar Souplantation location. Along with the chance to meet Broccoli Bob, we’ll be handing out produce samples straight from Campbell Ranches to the first 100 attendees. We will also be collecting canned food donations for the North County Food Bank, offering a free meal pass to each person who donates a non-perishable good to use that day! Come along, enjoy the taste of farm-fresh broccoli with us & make sure to share your excitement during the event using the hashtag, #SouplantationDelMar.

From raw to steamed to grilled, what ways do you like to enjoy broccoli? Share in the comments below.

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Bigger isn’t always better, but in the case of Muranaka Farms – the largest U.S. shipper of bunched leeks – we firmly believe we’ve found the best leek grower for all the dishes at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes. As you get to know them, we think you’ll come to the same conclusion.

Muranaka Farms was established 50 years ago by Minoru and Matsue Muranaka after working as sharecroppers long enough they were able to purchase their own land. After passing the farm down to their children, their grandson, Greg Emi is now in charge. Three generations of knowledge and hard work has been put into perfecting the growing, harvesting and delivery process of Muranaka leeks and the efforts have paid off. Today, Greg prides himself and Muranaka Farms on securing all of the best, GMO-free leek seeds, hand-picking the leeks to reduce damage to the produce, and the expansion to different regions so produce can be delivered to our restaurants in a matter of hours!


Growers Charles (left) & Greg Emi (right) displaying Muranaka leeks

Want to get to know Greg even more? If you’re in the San Diego region, you can meet us at the newly refreshed Kearny Mesa Souplantation on Saturday, November 15th for a meet and greet event featuring Greg, his leeks and, of course, all of our delicious November menu items. We also encourage all attendees to bring a canned good donation for the North County Food Bank. To thank you for your donation, our team will give you a free meal pass. If you have any questions you’d like to ask Greg, leave them in the comments below or on Facebook, and we’ll ask him for you!


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Whether it’s deep fried or roasted or barbequed – you are always in charge of the Thanksgiving Day turkey. Great Aunt Susan will bring her famous pecan pie, your brother is in charge of ice and the kids of the family are in charge of decking out the table. When it comes to a holiday meal, the more cooks in the kitchen the better (in our opinion!). Not only does everyone get to share their creations with the group, it’s tradition! Since the dinner table quickly becomes the epicenter of activity on Thanksgiving, we thought we’d give your kiddos a bit of help when they start decorating the table.

We’ve developed three different printable guides that you and your children can choose from to help them set the table. Not only will setting the table be a breeze, you can even include each guest’s name on the placemat so everyone knows where to sit. Once you decide how formally you’d like to set the table, have your kids break out the crayons, stickers and colored pencils to start decorating! One idea we love is to ask each attendee to write down what they’re thankful for on their place setting. Then, once everyone has settled in for the meal, you can go around the table and ask everyone what they have written.

Ready to get started? Read on to discover the different Thanksgiving table styles.

Formal Place Setting

Dressing up for dinner may require a more dressed up table using this formal place setting guide. Consider adding a few tapered candles to the centerpiece for additional ambiance.

Simple Place Setting

Not ready to set out your full wedding china? This simple place setting still exudes a bit of elegance, especially when paired with a few tea lights and mini pumpkins placed down the center of your table.

Casual Place Setting

If you have a large group attending your dinner, a more casual place setting may be in order. This guide will help your table still look beautiful, without some of the accoutrement that may make an already full table seem cramped.

Tell us what table set up is your family’s style and don’t forget to bookmark these printable place setting guides so you can reference them throughout the years. Simply use the SHARE button below to save them to your favorite social media site or go ahead and print them now.

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November’s Vegan, Vegetarian & Gluten-Friendly Menu at Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes

by admin November 4, 2014 Health & Nutrition

Nothing signifies the start of fall and the holiday season like sitting around the table with family and friends to share a meal. To celebrate the comfort found in a warm, hearty meal we’ve introduced our November menu, filled with traditional seasonal favorites that will warm you up no matter how cool the day is. [...]

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Creepy Carvings: 3 Pumpkin Carving Templates for Halloween

by admin October 30, 2014 Fun Stuff

    The spider webs have been hung in the eves with care, spooky snacks have been prepped and the perfect pumpkin is already sitting on your porch. The only thing left to do is show off your creativity, in carved format, and finish your Jack-O-Lantern! From a simple spooky face to the more advanced [...]

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by rharper October 22, 2014 Company News

  Garden Fresh Activates Discover Fresh™ Campaign, Reiterates Commitment to Farm-Fresh Ingredients Revitalization strategy to involve updated restaurants and improved guest experiences   SAN DIEGO, Calif. – October 22, 2014 – Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., the parent company of Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation, announced today its activation of a brand revitalization plan called Discover Fresh™. [...]

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A Hair-Raisingly Wholesome Halloween

by admin October 21, 2014 Fun Stuff

Halloween is just around the corner and we’re busy prepping for the holiday! Our chefs have already perfected our Pumpkin Spice Cobbler and Pumpkin Soft Serve recipes so these treats are ready for you to enjoy later this month (see when!), and our October menu is chock full of additional seasonal superfoods to enjoy. Even [...]

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3 Superfood Salads with Surprising Benefits

by admin October 16, 2014 Fun Stuff

When you reach the end of the salad bar at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes, does your plate always look eerily similar, or do you tend to mix up your salad toppings based on the day or your mood? Here at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes, we like to change it up every once in a while (evidenced with our monthly [...]

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by rharper October 8, 2014 Company News

  Garden Fresh Names Krueger Communications Agency of Record   SAN DIEGO, Calif. – October 8, 2014 – Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. today announced that it has retained Krueger Communications as its advertising agency of record. Krueger will handle print, radio, and TV responsibilities as well as serving as a key strategic partner. The partnership [...]

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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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