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San Diego Union-Tribune readers began nominating for their “best” picks in 176 categories in April for the annual San Diego’s Best Union-Tribune Readers Poll. Categories ranged from auto, entertainment, restaurants, shopping, and finance. Votes were casted in June and it was revealed on August 21st that Souplantation won Best Buffet!

This is the fourth year in a row as San Diego’s Best Buffet and we have you to thank!

David Hayes, Director of Operations at Garden Fresh Corp. says, “It’s wonderful to see our guests nominate and vote Souplantation as their best pick for buffet. It shows they really enjoy what we have to offer as we strive to provide fresh, healthy, and wholesome food. Our hardworking team aims to give guests a great experience in addition to the food. I’m really proud of the management teams, crew leaders and members, central kitchens, and the support staff. It takes a team to achieve the best of anything we do. Thank you to all the San Diegans voting for us in the Union-Tribune Readers Poll.”

To see all winners, visit

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As part of its commitment to sourcing farm fresh food, Sweet Tomatoes in Albuquerque will host two informative farmer events beginning tomorrow evening. Fourth generation cheese maker Chuck Krause and third generation dairy farmer Art Schaap will be on hand to greet guests and share secrets about farming in the region and the techniques they use to harvest some of the best New Mexico-grown products on the market.

Sweet Tomatoes restaurants in Albuquerque and in other states utilize Chuck’s Creamy Ithaki Feta in prepared salads and on the salad bar, while Art’s dairy farms supply most of the milk used in the cheese. The special feta cheese was perfected over many years and Chuck refers to his unique recipe as a closely guarded “state secret.”

Wed. August 24, 6-8 p.m.

Sweet Tomatoes-Albuquerque NE 4901 San Mateo Blvd. 87109

Thurs. August 25, 6-8 p.m.

Sweet Tomatoes-Albuquerque NW 10126 Coors Blvd. 87114

First 100 Club Veg members receive a free package of fresh, local Feta Cheese from Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory. If you haven’t signed up for the Club Veg e-mail, click here to join. [click to continue…]

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Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., parent company of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants across the nation are joining St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® in their battle to help kids beat cancer and other serious diseases once again with a second campaign.

The passion and effort of the Garden Fresh restaurants teams, combined with the generosity from staff members, suppliers, and most importantly you-our guests, have raised $300,000 to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in our first campaign!

The initial effort that ran from January 15 to the end of February was such a success that Garden Fresh CEO, John Morberg, decided to launch another campaign beginning September 1st and continuing strong to the end of September. “I am so proud of what the entire Garden Fresh team did to support St. Jude in our first campaign and look forward to raising a significant amount of money through the generosity of our guests, the efforts of our team members and the support of our suppliers,” says John.

“As we build on our fundraising success, our ultimate goal is to raise $500,000 a year for St. Jude in two separate campaigns, the one that we’re launching in September and another one next January.  That is a stretch goal, but I am confident we can achieve it with focused attention. Helping others beyond ourselves created a spirit of pride in the entire organization and it was heartwarming to see that pride in our first St. Jude fundraiser,” he added. [click to continue…]

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Secret ingredients and recipes are the heart and soul of food. But those recipes, like the fast food fried chicken chain that claims it has “Eleven secret herbs and spices” in its signature chicken, are closely guarded and for good reason.

Chuck Krause, a fourth-generation cheese maker at his Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory, displays some of the cheese made at his plant in Tucumcari, NM. The facility also makes the Ithaki feta now used in Garden Fresh restaurants.

Fourth generation cheese maker Chuck Krause, majority owner and operator of Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory, Inc., says in his more than 45 years as a cheese maker he has learned that once you find the “sweet spot” of your recipe it is best to keep that to yourself. “I call my feta cheese recipe a ‘state secret’ as I have evolved with flavors, cultures and learning little things that make our feta different, and better,” the gregarious Chuck says. “Something I add to the milk is different than anybody else and the result is a creamy flavor that is unmatched. Our feta is even creamier than the Wisconsin guys and that says a lot,” he notes.

The Ithaki feta that Chuck makes at his Tucumcari, NM, plant is currently used in this month’s Classic Greek salad.

Chuck grew up in Wisconsin making cheese with his father and grandfather in the small community of Morgan, about 30 miles north of Green Bay. From 1938 to 1988, his family, led originally by Chuck’s great grandfather, made Cracker Barrel Cheese for Kraft Foods, one of the nation’s largest cheese makers. [click to continue…]

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Fowers Fruit Ranch Provides Cherries for Cherry Nut Muffin

by GFBlog August 9, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

Don’t you just love the smell of freshly baked muffins, bread, and focaccia’s when you gaze around deciding what to eat? You might smell the freshly baked cherry-walnut duo, “Cherry Nut Muffin” available until the 10th at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants. Cherries used in the recipe for the Cherry Nut Muffin, come from Fowers [...]

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Wawona Frozen Foods Provides Peaches for Summer Harvest Cobbler

by GFBlog August 4, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

California’s San Joaquin Valley provides ideal conditions to grow stone fruits, particularly freestone and clingstone peaches. A blend of freestone peaches from Wawona Frozen Foods, a third-generation family business based in Clovis, is one of the ingredients in the Summer Harvest Cobbler, available in the restaurants from August 8-14. Wawona Frozen Foods predecessor company, Wawona [...]

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Responding to Voter Dissatisfaction, Garden Fresh Offers Two Fresh Choices to Create Savory Presidential Election Year Options

by GFBlog July 29, 2016 Fun Stuff

Can’t make up your mind on who to vote for in this year’s presidential election?  The Garden Fresh Marketing Creative Team is busy putting together some options, nominating two saucy choices that are both fun and tasty. John Krueger, owner of Krueger Communications, Garden Fresh’s advertising agency of record, says he wanted to give everyone [...]

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Lady Lake Sweet Tomatoes Featured in the Villages Newsletter

by GFBlog July 29, 2016 In The Community

The following story was published in The Villages Homeowners Association Voice. It is a review of the Lady Lake Sweet Tomatoes, managed by Carlos Gonzalez. “For the last six years Sweet Tomatoes has provided Villagers with the freshest, most wholesome, and delicious salads, soups and entrees. In a unique all-you-can-eat dining experience, you can create [...]

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Schaap’s ‘Back Nine’ Dairy Provides Milk for Garden Fresh Feta Cheese

by GFBlog July 28, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

In August’s Picnic menu, we are featuring the “Classic Greek Salad” offered at dinner only. One of the key ingredients that makes the Greek salad so delicious is the feta cheese. Feta is a rich and creamy soft cheese of Greece. In order to make great feta, it starts with the milk. One example of [...]

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Guests ‘Discover Fresh’ as they Meet Innovative Urban ‘Nerd’ Farmer

by GFBlog July 28, 2016 Farmers & Fresh Produce

Pierre Sleiman Jr., CEO of Go Green Agriculture and self-professed “nerd farmer,” and Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg teamed up again to enlighten guests about the local farm-to-table “Discover Fresh” story at the Point Loma Souplantation last Thursday. The two first met with San Diego area guests last September for a similar “meet the farmer” [...]

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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.

© 2014 Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.
All Rights Reserved.

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