September 12, 2010

Olivia's Croutons {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

When I think of croutons, the first thing that comes to mind is salad.  I mean, croutons just really dress up a salad and give it some pizazz!  I love eating a salad that is full of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, onions, peppers and any other vegetables that I have around along with a protein like chicken or steak or hard boiled eggs.  Salad dressing comes next which could be one of many such as ranch or vinaigrette.  All of these things are what makes up a salad but what gives it some extra flair for me is the crouton!  There are so many different kinds of croutons out there that it's difficult to choose the perfect one sometimes.

Olivia's Croutons are made in Vermont in an historic dairy barn by Francie, Olivia's mom, who started making these croutons in her own kitchen.  Here's Francie's story in her own words:


I started Olivia’s Croutons in April of 1991.  Our son David was almost two and daughter Olivia was three. We started in our own kitchen with the Butter & Garlic flavor, sold in brown bags, hand stamped with rubber stamps.  Twenty bags was a big order and it took quite a long time to hand cut each loaf and bake the croutons in our conventional oven.

By August of that year we were dealing with about six stores, and had just signed on our first “really big store”.  We did a demo and sold 200 bags or croutons in three days.  This was a monumental step.  We installed our first Blodgett convection oven in our kitchen and we rigged up a semi automatic cutter to help on the cutting end.  Now we could really make croutons!

Since that point we have grown steadily.   We started adding out of town UPS ship orders and we realized that we really had no limitations.  In April of 1993 we moved out of our kitchen and into a larger commercial kitchen that we had built in our basement.  In the spring on 1997 we added a new packaging machine.  With our new longer shelf life, we were now able to sell our products through distributors, a whole new market for us.  The new growth forced a move in July of 1999, when we purchased a perfect little building in the next town.  We added Tostini to our line and have recently introduced a new Certified Organic Crouton!

By the end of 2005 it was clear that we again needed to find new production space.  We looked and looked but couldn’t find a place that felt right.  Then it happened.  David was out on a back country road and he found our new home, for both the croutons and our family.  After a purchase in March and extensive renovations to a 1912 dairy barn, Olivia’s has it’s new home.  We live on the 50 acre homestead, are growing wheat for the croutons and producing our products in our brand new space, cleverly concealed inside the historic barn.  The property is listed on the State Historic Register and we are awaiting a decision regarding placement on the National Historic Register. The kitchen has doubled our production capacity and we have added a new bagging line for increased packaging options and an expanded product line.

We are continuing to have fun, meeting new vendors and exploring new markets.  I really enjoy what I do.  I like making a product that people really love to eat and one that is unique to the market place.  This product brought me into the food and grocery business.  It has proven to be an education!  I pride myself on being an honest, hard working, uncomplicated person. It is only logical that we would produce a wholesome, all natural, uncomplicated product.  As a family, we enjoy these tasty treats and we hope you will be fond of them too. 

One of the best things about Olivia's Croutons is the incredible variety of croutons!  There are 5 different flavors as well as a stuffing mix; Organic Garlic & Herb, Butter & Garlic, Parmesan Pepper, Vermont Cheddar & Dill and Multi Grain with Garlic.  Are you noticing a trend?  Lots of garlic!  Olivia's has found the way to my stomach and it's through garlic!  Although, I have to admit that the Vermont Cheddar & Dill is probably my favorite flavor of all of these.  Don't get me wrong, they were all very tasty but there is something about the Vermont Cheddar & Dill that captured my taste buds.

Olivia's Croutons are made with the finest ingredients and it shows.  They stand up to dressing and keep their crunch and flavor!  The croutons taste like they are made with fresh garlic and real butter, nothing artificial in these babies.  The packaging is cute, too!  There is a window in the front so you can see the actual product.  I really like that because I like to see what I'm buying.  I don't want to get home and realize that I just bought a package of tiny croutons.  Give me the big, fat croutons!

I'm happy to announce that Olivia's Croutons has offered one of my readers the chance to win a case of croutons just like I received!  I promise that you'll love these croutons and if you don't, well that's too bad.  Give them to someone who will appreciate them!

Mandatory Entry

Visit Olivia's Croutons and tell me which flavor you look most forward to trying and what your favorite salad ingredients are.  (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)

Additional Entries (Make sure you leave separate comments for each entry.  For example, if you post my button on your blog, leave three separate comments letting me know you did.)

3 entries - Become a public follower through Google Friend Connect of Giveaways and More or let me know if you already follow this blog.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and the Olivia's Croutons website. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More! email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More! on Facebook.
1 entry - "Like" Olivia's Croutons on Facebook
1 entry - Fav Giveaways and More! on Technorati.
1 entry - Follow Olivia's Croutons on Twitter.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment.  Feel free to use this tweet:  

Dress up your salad with a case of @oliviascroutons! http://goo.gl/fb/UAs5l Ends 9/26 #giveaway RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on September 26th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to Olivia's Croutons for sponsoring this giveaway! 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample of product to review and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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108 comments:

  1. Parmesan Pepper sounds yummy!
    wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I follow on GFC
    wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  3. I like giveaways and more on facebook
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  4. I like Olivia's Croutons on Facebook
    wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  5. I follow Olivia's Croutons on Twitter
    @spunnsugarz
    wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  6. I follow you on twitter
    @spunnsugarz
    wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  7. I would love to try thre Vermont cheddar and dill flavor! In salads I love croutons, tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions! tracietrump@yahoo.com

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  8. I would love to try the Garlic & Herb. I love a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, avacado, shredded cheese and of course delicious croutons.
    alsmalu@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I follow you publicly on GFC #1
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  10. I follow you publicly on GFC #2
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  11. I follow you publicly on GFC #3
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  12. Like Giveaways and More on Facebook
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  13. I entered the Pillsbury Sweet Moments giveaway
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  14. I am an email subscriber
    alsmalu@hotmail.com

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  15. I would love to try the Organic Garlic & Herb. My favorite salad, I have to admit isn't the healthiest: romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, bacon bits, mozzarella cheese, slivered almonds, & croutons along with creamy French dressing.
    ruthie.joyce1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I already follow your blog!
    ruthie.joyce1@gmail.com

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  17. http://twitter.com/lifewithruthie/status/24400065502

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  18. Grabbed your button!

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  19. I want to try the Butter & Garlic. My favorite salad ingredients are spinach, whole beets, (the non-pickled kind) hardboiled egg, cheddar cheese and definitely some yummy, flavorful croutons to give my salad a nice crunch.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I follow Olivia's Croutons on twitter @tracylr233

    ReplyDelete
  21. I follow you on twitter @tracylr233

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  22. I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/tracylr233/status/24406391727

    ReplyDelete
  23. I entered the Pillsbury Sweet Moments giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I would love to try the Butter & Garlic. I like to add peppers, tomatoes, and cheese to my salad.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'd like to try the Multi Grain w/Garlic. My favorite salad includes tomatoes and mozzarella.
    mearley1979 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. GFC follower 1
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  27. GFC follower 2
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  28. GFC follower 3
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  29. email subscriber
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  30. RSS subscriber
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  31. I like you on FB
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  32. entered Pillsbury
    mearley1979 at gmail dot com

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  33. I want to try teh Parmesan Pepper with my cheese lettuce and bacon bits! jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I follow via google friend connect #1 jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  35. I follow via google friend connect #2 jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  36. I follow via google friend connect #3 jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  37. button #1: http://whateverandbeyond.blogspot.com (bottom right) jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  38. button #2: http://whateverandbeyond.blogspot.com (bottom right) jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  39. button #3: http://whateverandbeyond.blogspot.com (bottom right) jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  40. I subscribe via email jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  41. I subscribe to your RSS feed jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  42. I follow you on Twitter (@jkgorcery) jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

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  43. I follow Olivia's Croutons on Twitter (@jkgorcery) jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/jkgorcery/status/24425329446 jk{dot}gorcery{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I would love to try the Vermont Cheddar and Dill Croutons, and some of my favorite salad ingredients include avocado, strawberries, a raspberry vinegarrette and some diced ham and bacon bits :)

    ama(dot)givens(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  46. daily tweet
    http://twitter.com/tracylr233/status/24497407251

    ReplyDelete
  47. I would like to try Original flavor.

    I like a salad made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, black olives and olive oil.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  48. 1. I follow on GFC - Janetfaye

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  49. 2. I follow on GFC - Janetfaye

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  50. 3. I follow on GFC - Janetfaye

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  51. 1. Your button is on my right side bar:
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  52. 2. Your button is on my right side bar:
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    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  53. 3. Your button is on my right side bar:
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    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  54. I am email subscribed.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  55. Feed subscribed with Google Reader.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  56. I like Giveaways and More! on FB - Janet Fri

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  57. I like Olivia's Croutons on FB - Janet Fri

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  58. I follow OliviasCroutons on Twitter - Janetfaye

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  59. I follow you on Twitter - Janetfaye

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  60. I entered Pillsbury Sweet Moments.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  61. Garlic and herb! belgd at live dot com

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  62. I follow via GFC. belgd at live dot com

    #1

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  63. I follow via GFC. belgd at live dot com

    #2

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  64. I follow via GFC. belgd at live dot com

    #3

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  65. I follow you on facebook. belgd at live dot com

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  66. I follow you on twitterrr. belgd at live dot coma

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  67. Follow OliviasCroutons on twitter. belgd at live dot com

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  68. Follow OliviasCroutons on facebook. belgd at live dot com

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  69. Entered pillsbury giveaway. belgd at live dot com

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  70. 1. I blogged:
    http://blog-giveaways.blogspot.com/2010/09/olivias-croutons-giveaway.html

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  71. 2. I blogged:
    http://blog-giveaways.blogspot.com/2010/09/olivias-croutons-giveaway.html

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  72. 3. I blogged:
    http://blog-giveaways.blogspot.com/2010/09/olivias-croutons-giveaway.html

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  73. I'd love to try the Organic Garlic & Herb. I love a mixed salad and like to add fruits...like mandarin oranges or raisins. Thanks for the review and giveaway!
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I follow via google friend connet #1
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

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  75. I follow via google friend connet #2
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

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  76. I follow via google friend connect #3
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

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  77. I subscribe via email
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  78. I entered the Pillsbury Sweet Moments giveaway
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  79. Vermont Cheddar & Dill sounds good-I like spinach, cucumbers, ripe olives and bacon bits

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. We would like Vermont Cheddar & Dill.

    Our salads have everything - lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cheese, sunflower seeds, bacon bits and of course, croutons!

    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  81. Follow your blog via GFC #1
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  82. Follow your blog via GFC #2
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  83. Follow your blog via GFC #3
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  84. Facebook Fan of G & M (SusanBenegas)
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  85. Facebook Fan of Olivia's Croutons! (SusanBenegas)
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  86. Follow you on Twitter - susitravl
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  87. Follow Olivia's on Twitter - susitravl
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  88. I would love to try the Parmesan Pepper. I love lots of veggies and Chicken breast in my salads.

    shawn113(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  89. Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/Janetfaye/status/25173950323

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  90. I entered Pear Tree Personalized Halloween Stickers.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

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  91. I love to add bacon bits and shredded cheese to my salads! Yum! And i think the Parmesan Pepper sound fantastic!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  92. I'm a Google Friend: Cori Westphal
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  93. I'm a Google Friend: Cori Westphal
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  94. I'm a Google Friend: Cori Westphal
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  95. I have your button: http://asahmlookingforadeal.blogspot.com/2009/09/sahm-looking-for-deals-favorite-blogs.html
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  96. I have your button: http://asahmlookingforadeal.blogspot.com/2009/09/sahm-looking-for-deals-favorite-blogs.html
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  97. I have your button: http://asahmlookingforadeal.blogspot.com/2009/09/sahm-looking-for-deals-favorite-blogs.html
    (it's alphabetical)
    Entry 3

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    ReplyDelete
  98. I'm an email subscriber, coriwestphal at msn dot com.

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  99. I'm an RSS subscriber via google reader.
    (Google ID: Cori Westphal)

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  100. I like you on FB: Cori Eckstrom Westphal

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  101. I like Olivias on FB: Cori Eckstrom Westphal

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  102. I follow you on Twitter @coriwestphal

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  103. I follow Olivias on Twitter @coriwestphal

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  104. Tweet: http://twitter.com/coriwestphal/statuses/25424414428

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  105. I'm entered in the Pillsbury Sweet Moments giveaway.

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  106. Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/Janetfaye/status/25555897265

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  107. butter & garlic sounds good.
    I love cheddar cheese in salads :)

    ReplyDelete
  108. The butter and garlic sounds so good. I like croutons shredded cheese tomatoes lettuce and bacon bits

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment!