The Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch held a free sampling event on Saturday, March 2. 

Taste of the Farm Store ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and allowed customers to try all of the delicious food sold at the Farm Store. 

Free samples included fresh-off-the-farm produce grown on campus by the College of Agriculture, fresh-squeezed orange juice, sparkling drinks and juices, chips and salsa, crackers and dips, cheeses and jams.

“We like to have these events to let people come out and taste things at the Farm Store. It introduces people to the Farm Store,” said Brenda Orozco, an employee at the Farm Store. 

“It opens up Cal Poly. We believe the Farm Store here on campus is the jewel of Cal Poly. It is sometimes hidden and unknown, and so we like to have it out there. We feature things that are grown by our Ag department and everything sold in the store goes back to the department, so we are nonprofit.”

The vendors at the event were all businesses locally run, most with ties to campus. Melissa’s is currently the largest distributor of specialty produce in the United States. 

Customers flocked to the Farm Store on Saturday, March 2 to try out the tasty items our campus has to offer including jarred delights, fresh produce and many items. (Sabrina Zelaya / The Poly Post)

The company’s full line of organic produce was present at the event, and representatives handed out samples and sold goods to those who came to support. 

The family-owned business prides itself on providing healthy snacks for families in the community to enjoy. 

“It’s always nice when there’s an event for free, because it draws people in. It’s pouring rain but people are still here,” said Jeanne Mastick, a sales rep for Melissa’s. 

“It’s built a name for itself and it gives people the opportunity to try stuff. Sometimes people are hesitant to buy it because they think ‘What if I don’t like it?’ It’s great opportunity for our company to expand customer awareness.”

People of all ages lined up to test various free samples of campus-grown treats. (Sabrina Zelaya / The Poly Post)

Mastick is a CPP alumna, so being able to support campus activities is important to her. As a sales rep, she rarely does field events such as sampling, but she will make an exception when it comes to the school.

Another family-owned business whose booth was popular at the event was Grand Marceline Cocoa & Coffee. 

The non-dairy gourmet quality cocoa and coffee are made in Walt Disney’s hometown in Missouri, so the company centralizes itself on creating the magical feel of Disney. 

The business is run by Frank Peck, Joseph Peck, Joshua Peck and Levi Francis.

“Fortunately for me and my kids, we have a large family. we grew up here in Walnut,” Frank Peck said. “So, it’s important for us to do things in our own community.” 

“Cal Poly offers a lot of these products. Our company is all about quality, to be able to make sure it’s above everyone else’s. We’re very competitive, it doesn’t matter what it is. But Cal Poly is in our backyard. They’ve asked us to come and share some of the things they offer so people can actually know how good it is.”

Grand Marceline Cocoa & Coffee also sponsors the Rose Parade and offers beverages to VIP viewers. 

The company has an office in Chino Hills for all inquiries.

Other vendors included Rub This Spice, Hubert’s Lemonade, Vegan Jerky, Power Crunch, Brother’s Jam, Elki, Ringo Burrito, Batch Ice Cream, Yancy Fancy Cheese and more.

 A petting zoo was scheduled for the event, but due to heavy rains it had to be canceled. It did not stop the event from being a fun way to bring the community together and highlight the successful tastes of the Farm Store.

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