The Annual NatureSweet Homegrown Tomato & Chef’s Challenge Returns to Sacramento

San Antonio, TX — NatureSweet® and Raley’s will host the Annual Homegrown Tomato & Chef’s Challenge this summer. This year’s event will be held at Raley’s located at 2075 Fair Oaks Blvd. on Saturday, August 17th from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Local amateur gardeners are invited to enter their homegrown tomatoes the day of the event. There will be one $1,000 grand prize winner for each category and two (2) runner up winners. The second-place runner up will receive $500 and the third runner up will receive $250.

All homegrown tomato entries will be Brix tested first (a scientific test used to measure the sugar content in a tomato), and then finalist tomatoes will be taste tested by a panel of judges including Produce Man Michael MarksRaley’s Produce Merchant Michael SchuttRaley’s Team Leader Bill LackeyPatrick MulvaneySacramento Master Gardener Marlene Simon and Robert Bruno from Rocket Farms.

A simultaneous cherry tomato cooking competition will allow amateur chefs the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills in a secret ingredient cook-off. Three finalists will be pre-selected from an online entry contest ( to compete in the cook-off. The grand prize winner will receive $2,000 while the second runner up will receive $500 and the third-place winner will receive $250. All remaining tomatoes will be donated to the Sacramento Food Bank after the event.

“The Annual Homegrown Tomato & Chef’s Challenge is a way to communicate our company purpose of honoring the people behind the produce,” said Lori Castillo, VP of Marketing at NatureSweet, “we look forward to partnering with Raley’s to bring local Sacramento tomato enthusiasts together.”


  • To enter the Homegrown Tomato Challenge, bring either 3 large/ medium or 10 small tomatoes in a clear, labeled, zipper-sealed bag to the Raley’s located at 2075 Fair Oaks Blvd. on Saturday, August 17th. Entries will be accepted from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. No pre-registration necessary. One entry per household.
  • To enter the Chef’s Challenge, visit  and submit why you love cooking with tomatoes. Entries are being accepted until August 1, 2018. Three finalists will be pre-selected and notified before the event on August 17th.  

About NS Brands, Ltd.®

NS Brands, Ltd.® is the single source solution for organic and conventional greenhouse grown vegetables in North America driven through the consumer’s preference and demand for snacking tomatoes. Always vine-nurtured and hand-picked at the peak of freshness, only NS Brands, Ltd. produce guarantee great taste all year round. NS Brands, Ltd produce is carefully grown, harvested and packaged by more than 9,000 full-time Associates, and are sold at major grocers, mass retailers, club stores and food service operators in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Known for amazing Associates, award-winning quality, and innovative packaging, NS Brands, Ltd. ® is also committed to having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the communities in which they operate.