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SALINAS SCENE: T&A pleased with Father's Day promotion

Lara Grossman, director of business and marketing development for Tanimura & Antle, said that the company's Father's Day retail promotion with Iceberg lettuce in a baseball themed cello wrap was a big hit.

T&A Chief Executive Officer Rick Antle had wanted a holiday associated with the company, and he chose to "own" Father's Day. So this was an "evergreen" promotion, not a one-time promotion just for this Father's Day holiday.

T&A captures a baseball theme with an image of red baseball-like stitches on the wrappers of its individually wrapped Iceberg lettuce. Additionally, the wrapper includes an Iceberg wedge salad recipe framed with a look of a baseball card. The words "Iceberg lettuce" appear inside a pennant.

A number of large retail players in the United States and Canada participated in this year's promotion. Ms. Grossman said that sales for the entire promotion exceeded T&A's expectations by 72 percent.


Colorful Harvest adds color to new office space
Colorful Harvest is aptly named, with its orange cauliflower, red sweet corn and carrots it grows in several colors.

But when the company moved a few months ago from its cramped quarters in nearby Monterey to its new, spacious headquarters in Salinas, there was a whole lot of wall space just asking for decoration.

So Doug Ranno, Colorful Harvest's chief operating officer and general manager, commissioned Monterey Peninsula artist Laurel Gaylord to paint a wall mural and Salinas artist Deamer Dunn to provide digital photos. Mr. Ranno said that he wanted to contract with local artists to have them provide artwork that "plugs Colorful Harvest's unique products."

As of July 10, visitors to Colorful Harvest's office could see the fruits of the artists' labor. Ms. Gaylord's mural -- three four-foot-square panels -- takes up 12 feet of a 19-foot wall behind the reception desk in the outer reception area. Five of Mr. Dunn's photographs adorn the walls in the main hallway.

Ms. Gaylord's mural depicts a cornfield as the centerpiece, flanked by a panel of strawberry fields and another of melon fields. Each of the panels is a large- scale painting of fields with a smaller inset painting of detailed portraits of the fruits and vegetables.

"Each painted field has its own atmosphere and feeling, depicting different times of day," Ms. Gaylord said. "This was a nice challenge for me, and I was honored to be chosen to do these paintings for Colorful Harvest."

The painting of melon fields is particularly timely, since two months ago Colorful Harvest became the exclusive grower-shipper for "Green Giant Fresh" melons nationwide. That deal added to Colorful Harvest's presence as the exclusive national grower-shipper of "Green Giant Fresh" strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Mr. Dunn's photos consist of digital images taken in the fields and later altered using Adobe Photoshop computer software.

"[The photos are] very dramatic, very colorful," Mr. Dunn said. "I do custom shots -- images from their production."

Mr. Dunn's photos hanging at Colorful Harvest are of various scenes in the growing fields, such as tractors in use and field workers during a harvest. Mr. Dunn - an artist who also paints -- is the owner of Pajaro Street Grill in Salinas. The restaurant has provided him a venue to showcase his art. His mother, Marian Dunn, also is an accomplished artist who has sold a number of her paintings off the walls of Pajaro Street Grill. She also has been commissioned to provide artwork for several agricultural operations.


Epic Roots rolls out new mache blend
Salinas, CA-based Epic Roots LLC, a leading grower and distributor of mache- based salads, unveiled its new foodservice mache product at PMA's recent foodservice conference in Monterey, CA.

The "green mix," as the product is called, is a new blend that contains 51 percent mache rosettes, with wild arugula, mizuna, frisee tango, green oak, green Romaine, tat-soi, red stem chard, green mustard leaf and red mustard leaf. The product comes in a one-pound bag.

(Contact Western Editor Brian Gaylord at briangaylord@sbcglobal.net.)