Garden 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, which is headquartered at 1505 Bonner Street in Ferndale, will be honored at the 85th Annual Trade dinner on Thursday, March 14, celebrating the food, beverage and agricultural industries.
The event, co-sponsored by Michigan Food and Beverage Association and Detroit Association of Grocery Manufacturers Representatives, 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," Jack and Annette Aronson, founders of Garden Fresh Gourmet, said in a press release. "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."
Dave Zilko, vice chairman of Garden Fresh Gourmet, said 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."
"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," he said. "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, which is the largest manufacturer of fresh salsa in North America and the leading brand of tortilla chips merchandised at deli counters, is currently shipping roughly one million units per week.
"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 Association. "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."
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.
Source: Garden Fresh Gourmet press release.