Garden Fresh cooks up big deal with Margaritaville

February 18th, 2008

Crain’s Detroit Press has an article on Ferndale-based Garden Fresh Gourmet, Inc., who just inked a deal with Margaritaville Foods to produce Buffett’s newest creation: Margaritaville Salsa.

On Dec. 21, Garden Fresh signed a manufacturing and production deal to produce a full line of salsa, hummus, tortillas and dips for singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Foods.

“It’s really a great move for us. We have a shot at doubling the size of our company in 18 months,” said Garden Fresh Vice Chairman Dave Zilko.

Margaritaville Foods, inspired by songs written by Buffett, already has several other lines of food and drinks that include frozen seafood, beer, tequila and margarita mix.

After considering other manufacturers, Margaritaville President Tom Keane said they chose Garden Fresh for two reasons.

“First of all, they make great products. But that was sort of a minimal threshold for us,” Keane said. “What really separated them from other people was just the passion they have for the business.”

Already, Garden Fresh is distributing Margaritaville salsa nationwide to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp.’s Los Angeles division. It’s planning to begin distribution in April to Kroger Co. and is close to an agreement with Meijer Inc.

Margaritaville Foods was established about four years ago as the consumer and packaged goods division of Orlando, Fla.-based Margaritaville Enterprises L.L.C.

Zilko said sales of Margaritaville’s frozen seafood line went from zero to $50 million in about three years and believes Garden Fresh products have the potential for similar growth.

Read the entire article here, or learn more about Buffett’s business empire here.

Tagged in Business Empire, In The News