Babé Farms Inc., which grows and ships specialty vegetables year-round in Santa Maria, Calif., expects good supplies of its multicolored lineup for spring. That includes baby carrots, baby cauliflowers, specialty radishes and romanesco cauliflower.
“This spring we will be increasing our volume of baby kales that are packed as a salad blend for foodservice,” said Ande Manos, saleswoman.
That item is available in a 3-pound unit.
Kale’s popularity is an example of a trend crossing the boundary between foodservice and retail. Babé Farms anticipates more business in both markets, Manos said, as food bloggers, cooking magazines and websites and The Food Network motivate home cooks to use more colors and flavors.
“Retailers are looking to have that unique variety of specialty vegetables that sets them apart from their competition and also gives the produce department that farmers market look and feel,” she said.
Babé Farms veteran Jeff Lundberg, previously vice president of operations and production, was recently named president and chief executive officer. Co-founder and owner Judy Lundberg-Wafer stepped down as president but remains active as board chairwoman.
“Jeff is looking to really fine-tune Babé Farms and continue to be the premium label in specialty vegetables,” Manos said.
Chris Cordero is vice president.
Lundberg-Wafer and her late husband Frank Lundberg formed the company in 1986. Besides serving as chairman, the third-generation grower plans to travel and spend time off with her grandchildren.