A Family Legacy of Healthy Food

Published on October 18, 2019

More than 75 years ago, when the basement of Faneuil Hall was home to the largest produce market in Boston, Giovanni DeMichaelis began selling his hand-washed celery hearts under the business name State Garden.

Today, the Chelsea-based company sells healthy, organic produce all over the U.S and Canada—mostly under its brand name, Olivia’s Organics—and is a major supporter of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB).

Since 2001, State Garden has donated over 1.1 million pounds of healthy food to GBFB, consisting mostly of celery, spinach and organic salad mix.

“My father instilled in us the importance of giving back,” said Mark DeMichaelis, third-generation CEO of the family-run business. “And we recognize the importance of helping people eat healthier.”

When the food pantry at Mass General Hospital in Chelsea expanded to serve more patients two years ago, it sought support from local businesses. State Garden answered the call by donating fresh produce items.

This effort, along with help from GBFB and other local businesses, resulted in a 75 percent increase in the number of patients the pantry served weekly.

“Between the donated produce and the financial support we receive through the Olivia’s Organics Children’s Foundation, State Garden is an exemplary partner,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB president and CEO. “They’re steadfast supporters of our mission to get healthy food to hungry people and end hunger here.”

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