Delivering you fresh and nutritious menu items (not to mention delicious) is one of our top priorities at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes. So, with the addition of three new kale menu items to our January Go Green menu, we wanted to introduce you to our kale growers – Church Brothers Produce. We sat down with the Director of Business Development and Logistics at Church Brothers, Vince Ballesteros, to learn a little more about this superfood.
Q: At Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes we are all about spending time with family and loved ones, what do you think is the best thing about working for a company built around and focused on family?
A: Working for a family owned company really fosters a sense of unity and team spirit. Despite our continuous growth and expansion, Church Brothers retains a strong sense of old fashioned morals, ethics and values second to none in our industry.
Q: We think of kale as a superfood – what are some of the nutritional benefits found in kale?
A: Kale is a low calorie vegetable with great anti-inflammatory properties and an outstanding source of Iron, Vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium.
Q: What are the benefits of eating fresh produce?
A: While vegetables in any form bring great health benefits, fresh produce is vegetables in their purest form. Therefore, they retain the most nutritional value and depth.
Q: What is the proper way to clean kale?
A: As with any vegetable, kale is in its commodity form, is grown and packed in the field, so should be washed thoroughly before eating. Tearing the leaves back and washing between them will eliminate any dirt or residue left from the harvest.
Q: We love our new kale menu items, but also want to know what some of the favorite kale recipes are at Church Brothers Produce.
A: In addition to using kale as a side dish or salad, there are a lot of options to incorporate kale, and its benefits, into your diet in delicious ways! We also have a great recipe for kale pesto for a pasta dish or topping for fish.
Q: Our locations are Two Star Green Certified Restaurants and one way we maintain our certification is by purchasing locally sourced produce from eco-friendly growers, like Church Brothers Produce. What are some of the sustainability measures Church Brothers Produce takes?
A: Our Growing Team aggressively implements Sustainable Practices on a daily basis. A few of our efforts include:
- Controlling the manner and application of water to minimize runoff and soil erosion
- Recycling all field waste and plant water
- Our new Low Impact Harvester: These harvesters operate with the same productivity as our previous harvesters, yet this uses 5 gallons per week versus 100 gallons per week!