A warm welcome from Monica set the tone for the weekend.
There was definitely an aura of celebration in the air as I stepped off of the plane in Indianapolis last Friday. It was Super Bowl Weekend, after all. The whole state of Indiana was abuzz. Greeters representing the state, stood at all points in the airport, just greeting visitors. A high school glee club was performing. At the bottom of the escalators, there were rows of people holding placards, awaiting their guests: NBC Sports, ESPN, M&M's--a boatload of corporate sponsors and media. That's where I saw Monica holding the Red Gold Tomato sign. She was for me! My tomato infused weekend had begun...
A local high school glee club entertains at the airport.
Before I start waxing poetic about Red Gold Tomatoes (and I will--they are fantastic), let me share with you the people behind the product. A happy company makes for a better product, don't you agree?
Our first contact with the Red Gold company was with Monica, who works in marketing. For lack of a better term, Monica was the "blogger wrangler" for the duration of our stay. She was with us from the airport until we all hugged goodbye. Monica was joined by Theresa, when we got to the hotel. The two of them made sure we had lunch, got to know one another, and each received a goodie bag full of Red Gold logo products. Two sweeter people can not be found.
Theresa and Monica--don't they look good in red?
Friday night, we were taken to Bonges Tavern, where we met the Reichart family, Brian and Selina and their son Colt. Red Gold began in 1942. Now, 4 members of the third generation Reichart family are involved in the day-to-day operations, and several of the fourth generation work there as well. Today, Red Gold is one the largest privately owned tomato processing companies in the country. I have to tell you, though, the Reichart family is as down to earth as can be. They made us all feel very welcome.
Here I am with 6 of my new blogger buddies.
Theresa, Monica, Colt Reichart, Selina and Brian Reichart and ---all the way at the end---is the Red Gold Home Economist, Linda (The Red Gold Lady).
Prime Rib Medallions with Grilled Shrimp
The food at Bonges Tavern was fantastic! The waitress rattled off a list of things for us to choose from--all of them sounded delicious. We shared some appetizers, including a crab cake that was to die for and for dessert we all had a taste of the house favorite, Sugar Cream Cake with Blueberries. Yes--I will hunt for the recipe!
As the night grew to a close, the weary bloggers climbed into their chariot...a big white limousine that was theirs for the weekend...and went back to the hotel for some shut eye. Saturday was going to be an even bigger day.
Stay tuned for Part II--The Tomato Tour......
Disclaimer: My trip to Indiana to meet with the Red Gold company and to go to The Taste of the NFL was given to me as a prize by the Red Gold Tomato Company. As always, my opinions are my own.