Hollandia Produce & Food Leaders Join Together for the Walk for Hope


imgresOn Sunday, November 8, the Hollandia Produce, LP team will be traveling to the Los Angeles area for an exceptional cause, the Walk for Hope. The 2K/5K walks are organized by the world-renowned cancer treatment hospital and research institution, City of Hope, to raise awareness and funds for women’s cancer research. Did you know? About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, and in 2015, it was estimated that 98,280 women would be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer.

City of Hope researchers are dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by cancer through cutting-edge treatment programs and developing clinical studies. One trial involves developing a new drug treatment for women with hard-to-beat triple-negative breast cancer, and they’ve found early success. Their commitment to this field has inspired hundreds of companies like ours and we will join together this weekend to support the cause.

Hollandia reusable bagsDuring the course of the walks, the Hollandia Produce, LP Team will be distributing 1,000 reusable Live Gourmet® and Grower Pete’s bags to attendees while our friends of the fresh produce and floral industries will pass out their own goods — our bags will help folks transport their produce donations!

Gather your family and friends and join us in the Walk for Hope on Sunday. You can also do your part by making a donation to cancer research. Go to http://nationalevents.cityofhope.org/ for details.

Where Bright Ideas Mean Business


Where Bright Ideas Mean Business

PMA Fresh Summit Convention + Expo is right around the corner and we can’t wait to see you there! Hollandia Produce has participated in PMA hosted events for years and our passion to exhibit our award winning living leafy greens continues to grow. With more than 1,000 exhibitors and 20,000 industry associates expected, it’s no wonder PMA Fresh Summit continues to be the most anticipated networking event of the year.

Pssst! We have some exciting developments to share with you! Our Live Gourmet and certified organic Grower Pete’s (organic line) brands, have become so popular, we’ve decided to expand these lines into Food Service this winter. To support this effort, we have hired Brandi Potter as our new Food Service Manager. She will join our CEO Pete Overgaag and Sales Manager Baltazar Garcia on the show floor to showcase our current products and to preview (by appointment only) two new organic Food Service entrants currently in test market.  If you’re interested in a sneak peek, contact Brandi for more information.

Wait, there’s more! Last year’s response to our Wall of Lettuce at PMA was so well received; we’ve decided to bring it back for an encore. Once you get “up close and personal” with these beautiful greens you’ll be amazed they’re NOT GMO. No, we’ve just figured out how to grow our produce so consistently uniform that folks can’t believe it’s real. It’s so consistently uniform that you might even ask us to pass the salad dressing. Better yet, why not join our legions of fans who’ve taken a photograph in front of the famed living greens?

Fans – we want to hear from you this year on social media! So have some fun and post your favorite selfie or comical picture of you with our Wall of Lettuce on your social media!  Don’t forget to tag us using @LiveGourmet, #WallofLettuce and #FreshSummit in your tweets or social media announcements.bi_1445010549

Hollandia Produce: The Best of 2014

As 2014 winds down, we’re reminded of how far we’ve come and how much further we hope go. Yet, before we rush into a whirlwind of New Year’s goals, let’s first acknowledge the seasonal milestones that our staff, customers and consumers have helped us to achieve.

Winter –Sowing the Seeds of Distinction

stacks_image_50While January is always a busy month, we started this year on a particularly high note. All of our living lettuce and living cress products became Non-GMO Project verified! With our ongoing commitment to using only all-natural ingredients in the production of our crops, whether conventional or organic, we were very pleased to receive thisWatercress and Upland Cress Named Superfoods distinction.

Additionally, our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress products became Antioxidant Super Food Certified by SCS Global Services. Both products contain 127% higher antioxidant density than the USDA reported averages and high levels of magnesium, lutein, phosphorous, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E and K.

Spring – Food Safety First

In March, we demonstrated our commitment to food safety when we earned 100 percent compliance in all three key areas of our Primus GFS certification audit. These included: Food Safety Management, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP)/Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

salad bar dedicationThe following month, we participated in one of our most gratifying initiatives. As supporters of the United Fresh Foundation’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools” campaign, we donated two salad bars to the Conejo Valley Unified School District. This effort helped to provide children better access to healthy lunches and, hopefully, influence their families to make healthier food choices overall and increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.

Summer — On the Road… Again

By mid-year, we were busy traversing the country as an exhibitor at some of our industry’s most important trade events, including United Fresh and the Midwest Produce Expo, both held in Chicago and, the trendsetting PMA Food Service show held in annually in Monterey, CA.

Autumn — Planning for the Future

In October, we experienced record attendance at the year’s most prominent event: The PMA Fresh Summit. Here, we gave key customers a sneak peak at new product plans, and met with a variety of companies to explore strategic partnerships and opportunities to leverage upcoming trends.

Yet, through it all, we continued to push forward on our biggest accomplishment to date: our facility expansion in Oxnard, CA. Recently, the entire Hollandia Produce staff toured the property and witnessed prolific progress being made including new grow houses and other technological innovations. It was truly an exciting day.

Thematically, 2014 could be described as the year of the “shun”, not as in exclusion, but rather the appreciation for our certification, verification, expansion, and most, importantly, the lasting impression these efforts have had on all of us as we bid farewell to another year!

Hollandia Produce Celebrates 44 Years in Business

On September 20, 2014, Hollandia Produce, L.P. celebrates its 44th anniversary. The company’s roots trace back nearly 100 years to Holland, where CEO Pete Overgaag’s grandfather Leo first began farming. Although we have remained a family run business, Hollandia has undergone many changes. In honor of our storied past, here’s a peak at some of our most memorable milestones. It’s true what they say, time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Milestones in Time

Art Overgaag, Hollandia Produce founder at his first greenhouse in Holland.

1920: Leo Overgaag began farming in Holland and soon after adopted “flat glass” agriculture technology, which uses the same basic concepts greenhouses do today. A few years later he installed the family’s first greenhouses and began growing a variety of vegetables.

1953: At age 19, Art Overgaag, Pete’s father, started his own nursery in Den Hoorn, Holland, growing tomatoes in the spring and summer and lettuce in the winter.

1968: Art moved to America with his wife and four children (three of whom still work for the company). Soon after arriving in New York, Art moved the family to California, where he began working as a groundskeeper for a large Montecito estate.

Present day greenhouse at Hollandia Produce.

1970: Art bought the Carpinteria property where Hollandia Produce operates today and officially began greenhouse operations, growing cut flowers. As business flourished, Art later purchased the adjacent property to expand Hollandia’s footprint.

1987: Pete Overgaag and his brother Leo began shifting the family crops from cut flowers to greenhouse grown vegetables. This is also the same year Leo formed Hollandia Produce’s sister company: North Shore Living Herbs and the company landed its first retail account.

1989: Art retired from the day-to-day business and let his children take over.

1997: Hollandia harvested its first hydroponically grown greenhouse lettuce crop. This is the same lettuce we grow today!

1998: Hollandia launched a multi-city radio campaign promoting its Live Gourmet® line of living lettuce and leafy greens (listen to radio spot).live-gourmet-on-the-radio

2000: As sales for its lettuce crop began to grow, Hollandia began phasing out its tomato and cucumber crops and focused on growing its lettuce and cress products with their roots still attached.

live_gourmet_greens_on_tv2004: Live Gourmet® went national with commercials airing on such channels as Food Network, Lifetime and HGTV (watch TV commercial) and a specialty feature with PBS’ Huell Howser.

2005: Hollandia brand went mobile with the introduction of its graphically enhanced trucksHollandia-Produce-truck

2011: New Oxnard, California facility began production of Grower Pete’s certified organic brand of hydroponically greenhouse grown lettuce and watercress.stacks_image_69 Hollandia also earned the PMA Impact Award for its innovative, clamshell package design, called the Squircle.

Showing their support for the Netherland’s during the 2014 World Cup, the Overgaag family thoroughly enjoys the summer family reunion.

2014: Twenty two members of the Overgaag family return to Holland to celebrate Art’s and Magda’s 55th wedding anniversary. Art was ecstatic to share his hometown and visit the original Hollandia farm for the first time with his grandchildren, especially while the Netherlands were winning in the World Cup.

As you can see, it’s been a busy few decades. We’re proud to share our journey and look forward to many more successful years to come. Thanks for all of your support!

Check out this article on page 16 from The Produce News to learn more about Hollandia Produce’s history:  http://www.theproducenews.com/digital_editions/pn081114issue/index.html

Hollandia Produce Earns a Perfect Score on their PrimusGFS Certification Audit

Hollandia ProduceGreat news, we have earned a perfect score on our PrimusGFS certification audit! According to the recent press release, the audit was conducted by Primus Laboratories. PrimusGFS is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized audit scheme for the certification of produce sector products – from the growing operations to minimally processed (fresh-cut) produce products.

The Primus audit covered various stages of our operation, including pre- and post-harvest activities, cooling, packing, and processing and storing. It also assessed  our company’s compliance in three key areas: Food Safety Management, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP)/Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP). We received a 100 percent compliance score across all sectors.

Food safety is something that is deeply important to us.  We have a commitment to provide superior products that are the freshest and safest produce possible. Earning this GFSI verification is an achievement we are very proud of.   Thank you to our wonderful customers who have helped make this happen.

Live Gourmet’s Greenhouse Farming

The owners of Hollandia Produce have been practicing greenhouse farming for about three generations. Today, the company still proudly practices greenhouse and sustainable methods.

In addition, all waste is recycled. This includes plastic, cardboard, wood, and overall green waste. In comparison to field growing, Live Gourmet uses 75% less water with the help of hydroponic methods.

In this YouTube video, Peter Overgaag, the president of Hollandia products, talks about Live Gourmet’s greenhouse and hydroponic methods. He also discusses the company’s background and explains packaging methods so families can have the freshest greens possible.

We invite you to watch this video to learn more about the history of Live Gourmet as well as their great sustainable practices.

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Hollandia Produce Sponsors Carpinteria Movies in the Park

Finding Nemo Family-Friendly Movies in the ParkAt Hollandia Produce, we are always happy to help sponsor community events we believe in. This summer, we are proud to be sponsoring Movies in the Park located in Linden Field in the city of Carpinteria. This nonprofit began in 2008 and features open air movies to families in the neighborhood during the summer. This summer, movies will be featured every Thursday from July 25th to August 29th, 2013.

Carpinteria Movies in the Park feature family friendly movies, and  here are some of the films that are scheduled for this summer: Finding Nemo, The Lorax, and The Never Ending Story. Guests bring their own chairs and blankets, and snacks are available for sale at concessions. If you live in the area, visit Carpinteria this summer with your family and enjoy your Thursday nights with us, as we watch family-friendly films under the stars.

To get the full schedule and times, please visit here: http://bit.ly/1ak378c.

Carpinteria Movies In The Park


Hollandia Produce Receives Fleet Owner Magazine Vehicle Graphics Award – Again!

We are very pleased to announce that Hollandia Produce, LLC has won a Fleet Owner Graphics award for the second year in a row. As you know, Hollandia Produce is all about providing fresh lettuces and leafy greens. And to convey that message appropriately, our trucking fleet must be clean, safe and fresh. Our trailers are outfitted with living butter lettuce images and the side of the trailers say all that needs to be said, “Live Gourmet. Absolutely fresh because it’s still alive.”

According to Fleet Owner magazine, “from the giant head of lettuce at the rear of the trailer to the nicely packaged lettuce as it appears on store shelves, the entire trailer graphic evokes pride in the product.”

“The main reason for having graphics on our trailers and also for introducing new graphics on our trailers is to increase consumer and brand awareness,” says our CEO Peter Overgaag. “Everyone is a potential customer, and what better way to reach everyone out there than to have artwork on the streets for the public to see? It’s the perfect advertising tool to showcase our name, as well as new products.”

We are honored to receive the Vehicle Graphics award and look forward to next year. Here is a photo of our new graphics for our transport trucks:

Hollandia Produce Fleet Owner Magazine Vehicle Graphic Award

Organic Butter Lettuce at Natural Products Expo

The Hollandia Produce team had an opportunity to revisit our trip to the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, Ca. when we saw a Specialty-Retailing.com article called To Your Health: From Babies to Babes! by Dennis Weaver.

organic butter lettuce
Pete Overgaag at Natural Products Expo

Weaver’s article shared these great photos of Pete Overgaag, President of Hollandia Produce.

Here he is at the National Products Expo with our own Grower Pete’s living butter lettuce – harvested with roots attached!

Weaver highlights many of the great finds of the Natural Products Expo. He also shares featured products including our own Grower Pete’s organic butter lettuce and organic watercress. His article was a great way to revisit the Natural Products Expo!

organic living butter lettuce

Hollandia Produce Donates 3 Salad Bars to Local High Schools

LMSBTSAs part of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools initiative, Live Gourmet’s parent company has donated three salad bars to local Santa Barbara schools. The three new, fully equipped, salad bars will be utilized in the cafeterias at Dos Pueblos High School, San Marcos High School and Santa Barbara High School. As articulated by CEO Pete Overgaag, “it is Hollandia’s hope that by donating these salad bars, students will develop healthy eating habits and influence their parents to purchase fresher produce at the grocery store.”

Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools initiative supports Team California for Healthy Kids, a program started by California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to increase access to fresh foods and salad bars. United Fresh and its membership, including Hollandia Produce, is collaborating with the California State Department of Education to achieve these shared goals.

Below, San Marcos High School parent and Hollandia Produce Controller Ellen Seyle reviews a newly installed salads bar with Santa Barbara Unified School District Director of Food Services Nancy Weiss at San Marcos High School.

Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools initiative
Pictured: Nancy Weiss left and Ellen Seyle on the right

For more information about the Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools initiative, visit United Fresh.
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