It is easy to understand why an increasing number of New England foodservice professionals are turning to Garden Fresh Salad Co. for their processed vegetable needs.
Among Garden State Salad Co.’s services is a pre-cut program where it will dice up and package custom combinations for its customers’ specific needs, including for salad blends and stir-fry, helping restaurateurs to enrich their menus.
“We offer consistency in the quality of our product,” Patrick Burke, sales manager, at Chelsea, MA-based Garden Fresh Salad Co. told The Produce News.
“There is consistency in our whole fresh cut line,” he continued. “There is also set pricing. Our customers know what they are getting on a daily basis.”
Take lettuce, for example.
“If you go out and buy a case of whole lettuce, you don’t know how much product you are actually getting, but when you buy 20 pounds of cut and processed lettuce from us, you are getting 20 pounds of usable product,” Burke noted. That is of special importance in the restaurant and foodservice industries where shrink cuts into already razor thin margins.
The family owned and operated business was started by Burke’s father-in-law in 1970. “We’ve been going strong ever since,” Burke said. “We’re actually transitioning to the third generation as we speak.”
In fact, many of Garden Fresh Salad Co.’s initial customers still do business with the company.
“It has been our tradition to work as a team,” Burke said. “From management, sales, warehouse and the production departments, our employees work closely to service our customers.”
Garden Fresh specializes in processed vegetables in foodservice packs marketed under the Garden Fresh Salad Co. label. “We do wholesale items from both the West Coast and the East Coast, running the gamut from all of the lettuces, broccoli crowns, cauliflower and celery from the west, to peppers, cabbages, cukes and other vegetables from the East Coast,” Burke said.
The company services all of New England, along with portions of upstate New York, with most customers picking up their product at the company’s facility in the New England Produce Center in Chelsea.
Another reason foodservice professionals turn to Garden Fresh Salad Co. is because of its stellar reputation when it comes to food safety. “We are in the forefront of all the food safety,” Burke said. “We recently had our outside audit and we scored a 99. We have two people on our quality control team, but everyone here kind of takes a hand in doing food safety too. We have two people who head up and oversee our food-safety program, but there are a lot of other people responsible for certain aspects of it.”
In addition to processed vegetables, Garden Fresh Salad Co. also offers a variety of fruit and vegetables at the wholesale level, including a full line of lettuces, herbs, carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, squash, tomatoes and other items.