For More Information:
Mark Olson, President/Farmer
Renaissance Farm, Inc.
608-588-2230, Fax: 608-588-3285
Mark Olson, president of Renaissance Farm, Inc., of Spring Green, WI was thrilled when the editors of Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine picked a package of Dane County Farmers’ Market (DCFM) products to include in January’s “Ten Best” list. The trio of gluten-free products includes pasta from RP’s Pasta Company, bread from Silly Yak Bakery, and Renaissance Farm Frozen Pesto.
“I am honored to have one of our pestos picked by Oprah,” says Olson. Pesto has come a long way in the 27 years I have been growing basil and making pesto. From a little known green sauce to what can only be described as main stream is absolutely thrilling.”
Olson well remembers the days when his green sauce wasn’t so well known. Back in the 80s, as one of the early vendors at the DCFM, in Madison, WI, he introduced basil pesto to market goers, educating those who knew nothing about the product, which was most of them. Providing plenty of samples with a little explaining on product use started building a loyal following. Olson still goes to the market each Saturday. Many of his original customers continue to make their weekly stop at the farm’s stall.
Besides his pesto, the product line now includes nationwide distribution of Renaissance Farm brand infused extra virgin olive oils, herb-infused salts, vinaigrettes, cinnamon rolls, and frozen dinner entrees.
The original line of Renaissance Farm sweet basil pesto has grown to include lemon basil, cilantro, spicy cilantro, spicy Thai, sun-dried tomato, and diary-free pestos. All of the pestos are gluten-free, which makes them a logical choice for the gluten-free DCFM product bundle featured in O Magazine.
With brokers and distributors putting Renaissance Farm products into the hands of customers in several U.S. regions, the company remains committed to using top quality ingredients. Whenever possible, those ingredients not produced by the farm are sourced from local farmers and other local producers.
The plan is to, “replicate mid-tier scaled processing in distant regions as markets develop,” says Olson. In other words, build relatively small processing plants in regions so that wherever they’re sold, Renaissance Farm ingredients will be essentially locally sourced and produced. “We will be supporting regional farmers, providing regional jobs, and stay true to the philosophy and values of Renaissance Farm,” he concludes.
Olson notes that, “A huge thanks needs to go out to all of our customers, those from the market and those across the country, who knew about our products way before Oprah. What’s really exciting about this is that farmers first started experimenting with their ‘value added’ thing. They figured that out and now we’re experimenting with this product bundling.
“Our customers have supported us farmers all along, says Olson. “All of us in the community can take pride in this recognition from Oprah. It’s a statement as to who we are as a food community.”
For purchasers of the featured product bundle it means those suffering from gluten-intolerance can now enjoy pesto on pasta with bread at their meals.