Go Green Agriculture Founder and CEO Pierre Sleiman, Jr. (right) with Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg and Sleiman’s father, Pierre Sleiman, at Go Green’s hydroponic farm in Encinitas.

The popular Rancho Bernardo-based Souplantation chain is partnering with an innovative, high-tech grower in Encinitas to provide organic lettuce to 13 restaurants in San Diego and Temecula.

Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., the parent company of Souplantation, announced an agreement with Go Green Agriculture to supply 100 percent organic lettuce beginning this week. The company’s “Happy Living” brand of butter lettuce has been available in San Diego-area supermarkets for some time.

“Our commitment to farm-to-table freshness is once again bolstered with our agreement with Go Green Agriculture,” said Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg. “For nearly 40 years, our restaurants have been bringing farm fresh food to our guests. Now, with Go Green we will have organic lettuce grown literally in our neighborhood in an environment that capitalizes on integrating technology with agriculture for the absolute freshest and highest quality product.”

Go Green uses hydroponic technology in converted flower greenhouses to produce organic lettuce year-round. Last summer, Go Green Founder and CEO Pierre Sleiman Jr. was recognized at the White House with a “Future of Agriculture” award for his innovative use of technology for sustainable delivery of fresh produce.

“We’re thrilled to begin working with Garden Fresh,” said Sleiman. “With hydroponic technology, our system uses up to 80 percent less water than conventional outdoor farms, an added benefit in our current drought situation. We will be delivering fresh organic lettuce to Garden Fresh within hours of harvesting and you can’t get fresher than that.”

Garden Fresh operates restaurants in 15 states under the Souplantation name in California and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.