"I closed my eyes expecting to dissolve into stars or lava or a brutal sequoia when the famous writer appeared and leaned down over me. Lifting my head he put his lips on mine and breathed into my mouth one word and then another, and another, words upon words then numbers, then notes. I swallowed it all while my mind filled with language, measure, music, knowledge." - Toni Morrison
The first few days in August were unforgettable and proved our newly developed partnership with Major League Soccer to be outstanding.As a part of the MLS All-Star Week events, we kicked off Sunday, August 3rd at the MLS Soccer Celebration at Waterfront Park. We had fan-favorites lined up all day to sign autographs and talk soccer.Even 2013 MLS All Star and 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year, DeAndre Yedlin, of the Seattle Sounders stopped by to visit with fans!Then came Monday – game day. For the first time ever, we hosted the Chipotle MLS Homegrown game, played at Providence Park.This game featured 20 Homegrown players from clubs around the country, including Harry Shipp of the Chicago Fire, Wil Trapp of the Columbus Crew, and Erik Palmer-Brown of Sporting Kansas City. These Homegrown players faced off against the Portland Timbers U-23 team.AC Portland, an organization committed to transforming communities through youth soccer, and also our beneficiary for this event, got to play a few roles in the game, too!The ball boys had a great time!Some of these amazing kids even got to walk out with the Chipotle Homegrown and Portland Timbers U-23 guys for the Walk of Champions, prior to kickoff.Our founder and Co-CEO, Steve Ells, flipped the coin and the teams were off!It was a game of defense, and both teams went into halftime scoreless.Halftime featured Steve presenting AC Portland Executive Director, Ben Dudley, with a check . This donation was made to fund their mission of supplying the tools to empower students to lead healthy lives, succeed academically, and inspire positive community engagement. After a quick 15-minute break, the teams were back to what they do best.In the end, the score remained 0-0, but John Kempin of Sporting Kansas City walked away with a win – MVP.
After the game, the guys finally got to feast on some Chipotle catering to re-fuel!The inaugural Chipotle MLS Homegrown game couldn’t have been more of a success, and we cannot wait for next year.
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL
Ballast Point Brewing/Chipotle Launch Party
This promotion involves registration through Facebook for one of 20 reservations for 2 people to the Ballast Point Brewing/Chipotle VIP event at the Ballast Point Old Grove Tasting Room in San Diego on August 26, 2014 from 5-7pm PDT. The promotion is first-come, first served and is subject to the following Official Rules:
- No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
- The promotion period will run from 7 PM PDT, August 20, 2014 until all reservations are awarded.
- Each eligible registrant will be permitted to apply by commenting on the post on Chipotle’s Facebook page announcing the event and this promotion. Registrations will be tracked and only one registration will be allowed per person. In case of dispute as to the identity of a Facebook registrant, registration will be deemed to be made by the authorized account holder of the Facebook account. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned a Facebook account by Facebook. Message and data rates may apply for mobile registrations, in accordance with the terms of entrant’s mobile service agreement.
- The first 20 eligible registrations during the promotion period will be registered to attend (for 2 people), subject to these Official Rules.
- Successful registrants will be notified by reply Facebook post within 48 hours of registration. In the event a registrant is ineligible or does not attend, Chipotle may in its sole discretion select a substitute attendee, in which case such originally-notified registrant will be disqualified and all rights and privileges of such originally-notified registrant as an authorized attendee at the event will be immediately waived. Chipotle assumes no obligation to choose a substitute registrant. Odds of successful registration depend on number of attempted registrations.
- Registrants must be a resident of the United States (excluding residents of Florida, New York and Rhode Island), 21 years or older, who have not won any prize from Chipotle within the 30 days prior to the event. Employees of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ballast Point, and any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, and promotion agencies are not eligible registrants.
- Each successful registration will consist of two entries to the Ballast Point Brewing/Chipotle VIP tent at the Ballast Point Old Grove Tasting room on August 26, 2014. No substitution for or transfer of prizes permitted.
- Late arrivals cannot be guaranteed entry.
- Event admissions are not sold at retail and do not have a retail value, and may not be redeemed for cash. Chipotle reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value as determined by Chipotle in its sole discretion, if the event is not held or if attendance is not possible for any other reason. Registrations to attend may not be assigned, transferred, or changed except at the sole discretion of Chipotle. CHIPOTLE MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OR GUARANTEE IN CONNECTION WITH THE EVENT OR ATTENDANCE AT THE EVENT.
- All Federal, State, provincial, local and other applicable taxes are the sole responsibility of the recipient.
- Chipotle reserves the right to implement policies and procedures as may be necessary to enforce compliance with any element of these Official Rules. Registrants and their guests must be able to provide proof of legal drinking age, and may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release of Liability, or other documentation required by Chipotle. Each successful registrant’s first initial, last name, hometown and state will be disclosed on a Winner’s List which will be distributed upon request, if required by law.
- By participating in this promotion, registrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and any other rules and regulations adopted by Chipotle. This promotion shall only be construed and evaluated according to the laws of the State of Colorado, USA, and the federal laws of the United States of America, without regard to the provisions of conflicts of laws thereof. Registrants further each hereby submit to the personal jurisdiction of the federal and state courts located in the State of Colorado in connection with any legal proceeding relating to this promotion or brought to enforce or interpret these Official Rules, and further agree that such federal and state courts located in the State of Colorado will be the sole and exclusive venue for any such proceedings, and hereby waive any objection based on lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, inconvenient forum or similar grounds in any such proceeding. Registrants further each hereby irrevocably waive any right to bring or join in any class action relating to this promotion, and agree that any legal proceedings relating to this promotion will be brought and litigated only on an individual and not a class basis.
- Attendees assume all liability for any injury or damage caused or claimed to be caused by participation in the promotion or attendance at the event. By attending, registrant agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ballast Point Brewing and any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all liabilities, damages or causes of action (however named or described), with respect to or arising out of: (i) registrant’s participation in the promotion (including with respect to Internet access charges for all attempted registrations, whether or not made in error or accepted in a promotion); or (ii) attendance by registrant and his/her guest at the event.
- ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY ATTENDEE OR ANY BEHAVIOR BY ANY ATTENDEE THAT CHIPOTLE OR BALLAST POINT DETERMINES MAY PLACE CHIPOTLE, BALLAST POINT, THEIR AFFILIATES OR THEIR RESPECTIVE AGENTS AND EMPLOYEES IN DANGER OF VIOLATING ANY PROVISION OF APPLICABLE LAW, OR IN DANGER OF BODILY INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, OR THAT REFLECTS ADVERSELY ON CHIPOTLE, BALLAST POINT, THEIR AFFILIATES OR THEIR RESPECTIVE AGENTS AND EMPLOYEES, MAY IN THE SOLE DISCRETION OF CHIPOTLE OR BALLAST POINT BE DISQUALIFIED AS AN ATTENDEE AND ALL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES AS AN ATTENDEE WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.
- Chipotle assumes no responsibility for incorrect or inaccurate registration information whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this promotion or by any human error, which may occur in the processing of registrations in this promotion. Chipotle is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or players as a result of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including, without limitation, any injury or damage to any registrant’s or any other person’s computer or mobile device related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in this promotion.
- If, for any reason, the promotion is not capable of running as planned, including, without limitation, unauthorized intervention, fraud, or any other causes beyond the control of Chipotle which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the promotion, Chipotle reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the promotion. In the event the promotion is terminated prior to the stated expiration date, all or a portion of the event registrations may be awarded to recipients to be selected from among all eligible registrations received up until and or after (if applicable) the time of modification, cancellation or termination or in a manner that is fair and equitable as determined by Chipotle. Chipotle reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it suspects or finds (a) to have tampered with the entry process or the operation of this promotion, (b) to be acting in violation of these Official Rules, (c) to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person or (d) to have provided inaccurate information on any legal documents submitted in connection with the promotion.
- All determinations by Chipotle Mexican Grill are final.
- This promotion is sponsored by CMG Strategy Co., LLC, 1401 Wynkoop Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO 80202.
Circle of life. From harvesting to planting and back again. From dry times to plentiful water. From oceans to inland fields. From new companies starting up and getting larger to still holding true to their original and foundational values. I considered all of this on my recent morning visit to Earthbound Farm in the Salinas Valley of California.
It struck me most when Larry Santos, head farmer at Cauley Ranch in the Salinas Valley, was talking about his fields and about growing organic cilantro, some of which we buy for our Chipotle restaurants. He also discussed the weather and how the rains will hopefully start up again for the nearby mountains in the future and wash away the dry times to replenish the water supplies for the valley. Humpback whales were feeding closer and closer to shore in the area, as the local ocean temperatures continued to rise. Larry remembers that the last time this happened, there was much rain in the following months. The circle of life will repeat.
He should know, he’s been farming this area and on this very ranch for years. I may have asked him - stupidly - during this ocean story, if he surfed. And he looked at me, and went immediately into another story about his visit with a farmer in Missouri some time ago. The Missouri farmer had heard Larry worked in California, and he snickered, “So do you surf?” And Larry had replied, “Nah man, I’m just like you, only I’m in California, and you’re in Missouri.”
We were just in time that morning to watch a large quantity of cilantro being harvested, and the technological wizardry of this harvesting process was truly impressive. Essentially, they use a super-specialized machine to mow the organic cilantro evenly from row to row at a particular height and to immediately sift and box it up straight from the field. Nothing is more quick and simple and efficient than that. Senior Supply Manager Chris Glynn said they used to pick cilantro by hand. I couldn’t imagine how long that took or how hard that was. Chris read my mind and grinned, “Oh it took a longgggg time. This is much, much faster and better.”
Earthbound Farm centers most of its agricultural efforts in the Salinas Valley, and in the off-season, in Yuma, and this is their 30th year of operation. In many ways, their story parallels Chipotle’s 21 year story from humble beginnings to fortunate success and hopeful optimism for the future. As with Steve Ells at Chipotle, Earthbound’s original founders, Drew and Myra Goodman, still guide their company’s efforts from start to finish. But they’re constantly innovating with new ideas about how to do things even better with their people, produce, land, growing methods, and technology. Just like we’re trying to do at Chipotle. Always trying to improve what we do, always trying to make our ingredients better, which is a primary reason why we are working more and more with the fine folks at Earthbound Farm. Circle of life. Another decade of growing great produce continues on into the next and helps us make even better burritos.
Chipotle gets a good quantity of organic cilantro from Earthbound Farm, a large portion of which come from Larry Santos’s efforts at Cauley Ranch. We’ve bought around 110,000 pounds of organic cilantro from Earthbound to use in our restaurants already this year. Chris said that Cauley Ranch has about 600 farmable acres, 13 miles of underground water pipeline for irrigation, and grows a number of things in addition to organic cilantro, such as organic baby arugula, baby spinach, lettuce, chard, and of course the ever popular kale. I was lucky to visit other area Earthbound farms with Chris that day too, and we saw organic celery, a number of varieties of squash, broccoli, and so on.
Later that morning, we returned to Cauley Ranch to close the circle from harvest back to planting. Larry was there again - he seems to be everywhere at once on Cauley Ranch by the way - showing us their tractor-towed planters, adjustable to allow for different seed sizes and for specific planting depths and spacing.
I rode on the planter for a bit and while I was on it, the tractor driver looked back at me with a grin (probably wondering if I’d accidentally fall off), then he turned his head forward so as not to stray from the precise line he was planting. At that time, I felt a few drops of rain, and those drops increased into a brief but happy drizzle. Something to complement that underground 13 miles of pipeline water perhaps. Maybe this was the beginning of the rains Larry had mentioned earlier today and that California needed so badly. Fingers crossed. Circle of life. -Joe
PS: If you’re at our Cultivate Festival in Minneapolis on August 23rd or Dallas on October 18th, please say hello to the Earthbound Farm team and learn the simple secrets of making your own organic “salad-in-a-jar” with chef Sarah LaCasse – Earthbound Farm’s own organic flavor ace.
As part of our mission to change the way people think about and eat fast food, this year we’re buying 20 million pounds of local produce to supply our restaurants. That’s five million pounds more than we did last year!
But why do some of the foods look different? Is this a permanent change?
For starters, certain items, like red peppers, are simply available and in season in specific areas. We think they add a great flavor to our fajita mix, so we figured, why not? It’s not permanent though. The seasons will change and the green peppers will be back in the restaurants soon.
In addition to color, local produce can also vary in size or shape because of the different soil and weather conditions on each farm. But rest assured, all produce must meet our standards and taste great.
When we buy locally, we have the chance to support local farmers and their communities. As a bonus, this produce ends up traveling fewer miles, which helps decrease pollution from the fuel used during transport. All local produce comes from within at least 350 miles of each restaurant. And of course, our customers end up with better-tasting, fresher foods. It’s a win-win!
Our local produce program is a large part of our Food With Integrity commitment. We work with local, family-owned farms to provide romaine lettuce, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, red onions, oregano and tomatoes to our restaurants throughout the country. In California, we also source locally grown lemons and avocados.
Next time you’re in, take note. Some ingredients in your meal may have come from your own community!