GARDEN FRESH GOURMET HONORED AS 2013 “MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR” BY MICHIGAN FOOD AND BEVERAGE ASSOCIATIOGarden Fresh Gourmet has been named by the Michigan Food and Beverage Association and Detroit Association of Grocery Manufacturers Representatives as 2013’s “Manufacturer of the Year.” The company will be honored at the 85th Annual Trade dinner, celebrating the food, beverage & agricultural industries, and benefiting the Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation, on Thursday, March 14, 2013, at 6:00PM ET. The event, co-sponsored by Michigan Food and Beverage Association (MFBA) and Detroit Association of Grocery Manufacturers Representatives (DAGMR), will be held at 42° North in the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.

“We’re incredibly honored to receive this award by the Michigan Food and Beverage Association,” said Jack and Annette Aronson, founders of Garden Fresh Gourmet. “Our number one goal has always been to make a great tasting product for our customers, and to be able to successfully do this from our own backyard while boosting the economy of Michigan in the process, is rewarding for us on every level.”

“What makes Garden Fresh so successful is that we employ an artisanal approach on the front end of the manufacturing process, literally making our products by hand,” said Dave Zilko, Vice Chairman, Garden Fresh Gourmet. “This is the only way we can maintain our chef’s orientation toward quality. Additionally, we use state of the art, even futuristic, machinery to not only package our lines but to ensure they’re the cleanest, safest food items on the market. No other food manufacturer in the United States combines hand labor and world-class technology to this extent. The results speak for themselves with respect to Garden Fresh’s position in the marketplace.”

“Garden Fresh Gourmet is one of the fastest growing food manufacturing companies in the country,” said Ed Deeb, Founder and Chairman of the Michigan Food and Beverage Assn. “Led by Jack and Annette Aronson, it is the largest fresh salsa manufacturer in North America. Our Associations honor those companies and individuals who have made an impact in the food industry. They have shown leadership and reach out to the people from the local community.  We are proud to present this award to Jack and Annette, and Garden Fresh Gourmet.”

Garden Fresh is the largest manufacturer of fresh salsa in North America
Garden Fresh is the leading brand of tortilla chips merchandised at deli counters
Garden Fresh is the fifth leading brand of hummus in the United States and the third leading manufacturer
There are only roughly 100 High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) machines in the world and Garden Fresh has two of them. *It is the only company in Michigan to have even one.
Garden Fresh has the exclusive rights to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville brand for products featured in deli spaces
Garden Fresh is currently shipping roughly one million units per week

Additional categories at the event will be Retailer of the Year; Beverage Distributor of the Year; Institutional Wholesaler of the Year; Restaurateur of the Year; Family Restaurateur of the Year;Media Distinguish Service Award; Lifetime Achievement Award; and Special Community Service Award.

About Garden Fresh Gourmet:
A family-owned company based in Ferndale, Michigan, Garden Fresh Gourmet employs over 400 passionate food professionals. Jack and Annette Aronson’s family-run enterprise not only makes America’s #1 refrigerated salsa, it also makes the number one tortilla chip in the deli, plus a line of premium hummus and gourmet dips. Garden Fresh salsa is made every day in small batches. This micro-batch approach ensures extraordinary flavor. Garden Fresh Gourmet uses a state-of-the-art high-pressure pasteurization system that allows its preservative-free products to stay fresher longer. This means extra shelf life for food retailers and happier customers. Garden Fresh Gourmet is committed to quality and food safety, garnering over 400 awards for excellence. Garden Fresh also features a robust recycling program, and is constantly looking for new ways to decrease its carbon footprint. Perhaps most important, Garden Fresh Gourmet is committed to giving back to the community through their support of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center for blood disease, Children’s Hospital and Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army Bed and Bread Club, and Forgotten Harvest.

About Michigan Food and Beverage Association and its affiliate Detroit Association of Grocery Manufacturers Representatives:

The Michigan Food and Beverage Association is a trade organization that represents over 3,500 members who employ over 60,000 persons throughout the State of Michigan. Members include independent grocers, convenience store operators, local food chains, restaurants, food establishments, taverns, gas station operators, manufacturers, processors, wholesalers and brokers. We help our members to succeed with discounts on a wide variety of products and services, educational events and seminars, health care insurance, advocacy in Lansing and working with them to solve their individual challenges. What differentiates our organization from others is our personalized approach with each member to create positive, memorable experiences for them every day.