Garden-Fresh Foods Announces Additions To Management Team

MILWAUKEE — Garden-Fresh Foods, Inc. announced several key appointments to its executive leadership team, including Mike Walz as Chief Operating Officer. The new management team, led by Walz, will work together to support the company’s aggressive plan for continued growth as one of the nation’s leading food suppliers.

Walz brings a wealth of national food experience to Garden-Fresh Foods, most recently as the Vice President of Operations at Palermo Villa, Inc., (Palermo’s frozen pizza). As COO, Walz will be responsible for guiding Garden-Fresh Foods into a new era of growth. Plans include expanding into new markets, introducing new products and driving continuous improvements in the manufacturing process.

Tom Hughes and Vicki Hughes co-founded Garden-Fresh in 1978. Tom Hughes will remain as President.

“We’ve built a reputation as a highly responsive fresh foods supplier with quality ingredients, exceptional taste profiles and the ability to meet the demands of today’s busy and discerning consumer because we listen to our customers.

“Recently we’ve brought on some exceptionally talented and experienced management leaders who will help Garden-Fresh Foods continue to grow and prosper in an increasingly competitive industry,” said Hughes.

Joining Hughes and Walz on the senior leadership team are:

  • Jim Gawronski, Director of Sales and Marketing. Gawronski brings more than 30 years of national consumer product goods, food sales and marketing experience to Garden-Fresh Foods. Previously, he held positions at Deep River Snacks, Unilever and Mars Chocolate North America. As Garden-Fresh Foods’ Director of Sales and Marketing, Gawronski will be responsible for building the product portfolio including creating new brands and developing line extensions for the retail food service, convenience and industrial trade channels.
  • Robert Clark, Executive Chef, Director of Research and Development, is expanding his role with Garden-Fresh Foods. In his more than 24 years with the company, he has been responsible for some of the most successful and popular taste profiles in the industry. Clark will be leading a company-wide initiative to develop new products based on proprietary market research and consumer insights that provide modern twists on classic flavor profiles and foods.
  • Claudette Wildes Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. Drawing on her work with several leading food companies, Wildes will administer all aspects of quality assurance for Garden-Fresh Foods including food safety and regulatory compliance.

Garden-Fresh Foods is a leading supplier of fresh wholesome foods with the highest quality ingredients. Family owned and operated since 1978, Garden-Fresh Foods today is recognized as one of the country’s leading manufacturers of deli salads, dips, desserts and kits. Garden-Fresh Foods is a SQF level 3 certified company, committed to the highest standards of excellence. For more information, visit

Source: Garden-Fresh Foods