John’s passion for the Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes brand began in 1982 while a college student in San Diego. He was a fan of the brand from the beginning, dining there every chance he could. Today, his guiding principle is to stay true to the founders’ vision, yet adapt and grow to meet the needs of today’s demanding marketplace. He is dedicated to providing simply delicious food from fresh ingredients, prepared the way folks cook at home when they have the time. Fortunately, being the pioneer in farm-to- table produce genuinely fits John’s leadership style. He’s just as comfortable talking to his farmers in the fields and guests in the restaurant, as addressing investors in a boardroom. John loves to visit with his favorite farmers and even pick fresh produce directly from the fields. His machinist father taught him to “use his hands” which extends from farming to even building his own office desk.
Since becoming CEO, John has reignited Garden Fresh’s commitment to being the leaders in farmfresh, wholesome food by creating authentic and lasting partnerships with the folks who really deliver: The Farmers. It’s this hands-on, handshake approach that is rapidly changing the culture and fortune of Garden Fresh.
As the CEO, lead visionary and Chief Brand Manager, John is passionately motivating team members and guests to rediscover the unique qualities of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants and to Discover Fresh™. John is proud of the 6000 managers and crew members who devote their expertise and passion to serving millions of guests every year.