Crystal Hope Award
The Crystal Hope Award honors a company or individual who has provided continuous support to the American Cancer Society Celebration of Life Fashion Show. In doing so, they have helped the Society invest in groundbreaking research and provide answers, care, and support to cancer patients and their families when they need it most.
Ed and Rosa Boutonnet
Ocean Mist Farms has a more than 90‐year legacy of growing fresh vegetables in California. Since 1924, Ocean Mist Farms has led the commercial growing and shipping of Artichokes from Castroville, a town that is now synonymous with the thorny, odd‐looking little vegetable, and today it is recognized as the largest Artichoke operation in the United States.
Through the Depression, labor strikes and two world wars, Ocean Mist Farms’ commitment to high quality and superior service has never wavered. That commitment to customers dictates a continuous emphasis on quality assurance from soil to consumer.
CALIFORNIA ARTICHOKE & VEGETABLE GROWERS
Daniel Pieri and cousins Amerigo and Angelo Del Chiaros launched the California Artichoke & Vegetable Growers Corporation in 1924, renamed Ocean Mist Farms in 1995.
Pieri had been in the produce business in San Francisco since 1908 having earlier formed the San Francisco Artichoke Association and the Santa Cruz Vegetable Company. He had considerable experience growing Artichokes and Brussels sprouts in the San Gregorio and Half Moon Bay areas. He and the Del Chiaros leased land south of Castroville and soon the three men were in business joined by Alfred Tottino, a local vegetable grower.
The foursome set up business in a wood and tin shed at the Del Monte Junction. Into the 1930s, many growers had no electricity or telephone service. Business was done by a handshake or through the mail. The Pieri/Reasons and Tottino families continue to be involved in Ocean Mist Farms daily operations.
GROWTH & EXPANSION
Before WWII the company started growing broccoli and in the 1950s and 1960s added fava beans, English peas, cabbage, cardone and fennel sprouts (sweet anise).
In 1972, Ed Boutonnet, now chairman of the board of Ocean Mist Farms and a native of Salinas, joined the company, bringing with him Sea Mist Farms (Artichokes) and later Boutonnet Farms (mixed vegetables) further diversifying the company’s vegetable offerings. The Boutonnet family is a third-generation farming family and active in managing Ocean Mist Farms.
Since the early 1980s, asparagus, cauliflower, celery, green onions, leeks, iceberg lettuce, mixed lettuce, and rapini have been added to Ocean Mist Farms’ commodity list. In 1983, the Bengard family became part of Ocean Mist Farms with representation on the board of directors. This farming family grows approximately 1,800 acres of product annually for the company.