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eMacomb - Groundbreaking News, Spring 2014

Great Fresh Foods new product ready to hit shelves

Gourmet stuffed chicken patties, fire-roasted chicken breast, Jamaican-style chicken, stuffed meatballs, stuffed beef patties, stuffed chicken meatballs—is your stomach growling yet? This is the product line for the emerging company Great Fresh Foods. If you have not heard of them yet, you will.

Great Fresh Foods is the brand-new sister company of the well-established Garden Fresh Gourmet—the salsa sensation out of Ferndale that has taken the salsa industry by storm. In a few short years, Garden Fresh Gourmet has grown from its humble beginnings to become the largest fresh salsa company in North America. It carries several gourmet lines including hummus, tortilla chips, guacamole, dips and salad dressings.

Co-founders Jack and Annette Aronson have expanded into new territory with their line of gourmet stuffed burgers and meatballs. Having already mastered a state-of-the-art, high-pressure process that enables them to provide fresh products that are preservative-free, they have applied the process to their new company’s products as well. The result is a delicious, never-frozen entrée that is ready to eat after one minute in the microwave.

In April of 2014, Great Fresh Foods acquired a 12,000-square-foot facility in Clinton Township. They employ a staff of 15 and are currently accepting applications. After obtaining final approval from the United States Department of Agriculture, Great Fresh Foods is scheduled to have products on the shelves as soon as next week.

“We are about to launch a new company that offers a breakthrough in the fresh burger and meatball category: chicken and beef burgers that are truly stuffed, not mixed, with premium fillings that both in terms of visuals and flavor profile are unlike anything else on the market,” says Vice Chairman of Garden Fresh Gourmet Dave Zilko. “To be featured under our new Jack's Special Grilled brand, the initial line will feature four varieties of fully cooked, all natural, gluten-free stuffed chicken burgers: Spinach & 3 Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon & Cheddar, Roasted Red Pepper & Mozzarella, and Pepper Jack.”

Choosing to locate Great Fresh Foods within Macomb County put the up-and-coming company on the Department of Planning and Economic Development’s (MCPED) radar. Senior Economic Development Specialists Camille Silda and Jack Johns reached out to the company to offer assistance. They were able to refer valuable resources to the business and put them in touch with development partners Michigan Works and Macomb Community College. MCPED also worked as a liaison between Great Fresh Foods and Consumers Energy to get the Clinton Township facility up and running. Preparing an Industrial Facilities Exemption tax abatement was another service MCPED provided.

So where can you find these delicious new products? As of next week, they will be carried at BJ’s Wholesale Clubs on the east coast, and soon thereafter at all Meijer stores. Look for Jack’s Special Grilled brand in the meat department.