Is there anything better than a plate of fresh, crisp, glistening lettuce? We think not! Luckily, there are vegetable growers like Rainbow Fresh to keep an eye on this sometimes overlooked, but important produce.
Rainbow Fresh is a South Australian family-owned business started by Giuseppe (Joe) Giangregorio. He migrated from Italy to Australia in 1960 and met his future wife, Antonietta, in Adelaide. Joe started work as a baker and in 1968, when had he saved up enough money, he purchased 20 hectares of land at Lewiston and started by growing tomatoes, potatoes and onions. Eventually Joe began growing lettuces and realised that his competitive edge lay in producing special mixes of baby salad leaves.
The Giangregorio family have been primary producers on the Adelaide Plains at Lewiston since the 1970s and have been specialising in gourmet lettuces since the 1990s. Now, with the second generation also involved, product branding has given the brand an added exposure in the marketplace.
At Rainbow Fresh the focus is on quality produce from paddock to plate. “We grow from seed in rich fertile soil, at the mercy of Mother Nature!” Joe said. All of the growing, harvesting, processing and packing is done on-site in Lewiston. They even use their own truck to transport the produce to their store at the Adelaide Produce Market.
Adelaide Plains is renowned for its fresh produce due to its growing climate, rich loam soils, geographical location and market distribution. Since Rainbow Fresh is locally produced it allows for modifications to meet market demands on the same day. The growing conditions in the Adelaide Plains gives Rainbow Fresh salads a rich flavour and high nutritional value. That’s also where the unique taste and texture in the Rainbow Fresh produce comes from.
The mesculin mix is the most diverse mixture of leaves and other leafy herb greens, making it the most popular range and its signature salad. The company was named after the variety of coloured leaves in its salad blends, after all.
Other core lettuce lines include sweet mix, baby spinach, wild rocket, caesar cos, chard, kale and snow pea tendrils. Rainbow Fresh will also happily accommodate any requests from customers.
In 2014 Rainbow Fresh was proudly named the Primary Producer of the Year in the South Australian Food Industry Awards Programs. It’s safe to say that they know exactly what they’re doing.
In order to showcase the versatililty of dishes available with its produce, the company website features creative recipes you can make at home. The recipes range from chicken, pumpkin and baby spinach risotto, to cos lettuce cups with roasted tomato vinaigrette. With Rainbow Fresh produce, your lettuce is only the beginning.