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Stayin' Fresh in Ferndale: Top Salsa Company Continues to Grow

"I couldn't ask for a more supportive city," says Jack Aronson, co-founder of Garden Fresh Gourmet, which is expecting record sales and working on a new stuffed burger lineup.

One of Ferndale's greatest success stories is getting greater all the time.

, which Ferndale natives Jack and Annette Aronson started 15 years ago in the back of a diner, is set to make $110 million in revenue this year, MLive.com reported in May.

The best-selling fresh salsa company in the U.S., Garden Fresh is also the third-largest seller of hummus and is continuing to expand, releasing a new stuffed burger line next year.

"It humbles you, it really does," Jack Aronson said Wednesday during Social Media Day at the company's Ferndale headquarters off E. Nine Mile Road. "This was our child. Ferndale helped us get this [headquarters] built ... I couldn't ask for a more supportive city."

And Aronson and his wife say they wouldn't want to be based anywhere else. Aronson said he played softball as a kid with Tony Bielski, who owns , and said was one of the first businesses to use his salsa. They still have many friends in the city.

"This is like a Norman Rockwell town to me. We love the community," he said.

Annette Aronson agrees: "We both grew up here, we both went to high school here. We love Ferndale."

She says it's been "a fun kind of busy" as the company continues to grow.

"We have the most amazing employees," she said of Garden Fresh's team of 420. "They deserve all the kudos. We couldn't do it without them."

And for Annette, record sales doesn't mean new shoes or anything like that - that's not her "thing," she says. What means the most to her is continuing to support community organizations like the Boys and Girls Club.

"That's what makes us so proud," she said. "We wouldn't have it any other way."

Retail specialist Cher Mitchell has been with Garden Fresh all 15 years since it began. "It's been fun, it's been a trip," she said of the company's growth. "I'm just proud, proud to be a part of it."

tina welcher July 14, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Congratulations Jack and Annette! I remember coming up to Clubhouse BBQ and getting carry outs for my husband and I and remember your little cooler on the right hand side when you first started making the salsa and I am proud that the two of you have made such a success out of what started at that tiny little place! I have such fond memories of that little building! When I was little, my Grandmother and I went there to get ''Heather Hills" fish and chips! I wish you more success in the future with your hamburger line. Congrats!

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