SALINAS, CA -- The evening prior to the opening of the Produce Marketing Association's Foodservice expo, several hundred members of the industry gathered at the Church Bros. ranch in Salinas to get reconnect and indulge in some good food, drinks and fun. But doing business was not necessarily on the agenda.
"This is designed to be a casual gathering of our many customers, vendors and friends," said Ernst Van Eehgen, director of marketing and product development for the company. "We all work very hard during the year, and this is a way to have fun and blow off some steam. We're not talking about work too much here."
The 500 or so guests in attendance at the July 27 reception were able to wander the grounds and visit various food and drink stations, as well as participate in a number of activities, including horseshoes, a golf driving range and target shooting. The more adventurous tested their mettle on a mechanical bull.
"This party has been growing larger every year," said Van Eeghen. "Every year more people want to come, and I guess we're not good at saying no."