Circle Fresh Farms, Colorado:
Are health benefits the number one reason people eat produce?
Well yes, but by a smaller margin than you might think. So what else is closing in on that number one spot? How about the sweet, tangy, goodness tickling your taste buds as you bite into a tomato? That’s right, it’s taste. According to the National Grocers Association, the joy people get from eating healthier is increasing. Just ask the number of farms that make up Circle Fresh Farms in Colorado. According to their CEO, Rich Naha, their Zebra Tomatoes fly off shelves at Whole Foods, prompting customers to actually memorize the delivery dates.
On one of my Harvest Trail Farm Visits's, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Circle Fresh Farms. The company is relatively new, starting business in 2011. They already have a large presence in the Colorado tomato market. And while the company, Circle Fresh Farms, has “farm” in the name, it isn't actually a farm—it’s the marketing and branding arm for eight independently owned farms throughout Colorado. The branding company also carries the Organic Certification for all 8 farms and has taken on the responsibility of teaching each farmer “best practice techniques” to grow the best produce possible (they also grow other produce items such as mini cucumbers and lettuce). They were gracious enough to let in me on a few of their secrets that make their organic tomatoes taste so great.
The “MAC Phenomena”, Naha compares the company’s success to what describes as “ MAC Phenomena”.
“Making laptops used to be about, how can we make the computer cheaper? For years and years it was this way. Then Apple came in and said ‘Wait a minute, we don’t need a cheaper computer, we need a better computer—one that doesn't break down all the time and one that doesn't have viruses, and ultimately, one that will keep people coming back again and again, regardless of price. We kind of went down the same path with food. Now we are saying, ‘Hang on, we need food to be better not cheaper.’ So, Circle Fresh is getting our consumer to invest in better, not cheaper,” Naha said
So what’s making people line up at Whole Foods? Naha simply says, “Taste”. And they are doing this by providing a fresh product. There is only about a three-day gap between the picking and the selling of their produce. And this brings many benefits along with it besides of course, great taste.
“Our consumers get higher nutritional value from our produce. We teach our farmers how to grow the best product, and because you are getting a product that was picked when it was ripe, with no pesticides or herbicides, it keeps that nutritional value and great taste,” Naha said.
This leads us right back to the number one reason people eat produce to begin with: to be healthier. And now you can get the best of both worlds with Circle Fresh Farms. So where can you pick up these great tasting and nutritious tomatoes? Just look for the Circle Fresh Farms logo at Whole Foods or you can check them out online at Circle Fresh to find many of their other local grocers or farmers’ markets carrying their produce. If you are not lucky enough to live where Circle Fresh Farms provides produce, just attend your local farmers markets or go to a local grocer. Look around for the nearest organic tomato stand, and remember to ask the question, “when were these picked?”.
Want to know more about how Circle Fresh Farms Grows their tomatoes? Check out this quick video about planting tomatoes on the Yarrow Farm.