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Caryl Simpson

Caryl Simpson is the President and creator of Garlic Festival® Foods award-winning specialty food products.  She has a degree in Art and a BS degree.

Before starting Garlic Festival® Foods, Caryl owned an advertising and graphic design firm as well as a screen printing and sign firm.  Her experience as an artist who did work for many other firms came in very handy when it came to designing packaging for our extensive product line.

Several years ago, after studying at the University of California, Davis and training with international experts, she became one of the first certified olive oil tasters in the United States and served on the tasting panel of the California Olive Oil Council, which certifies oil to be "Extra Virgin".  She has also served as a judge at the International Olive Oil Competition held in Southern California. In that capacity, she has been a guest on radio programs, conducted training for culinary professionals, held olive oil tastings, has conducted seminars on olive oils at such places as Cornell University in New York.

She is also an accomplished landscaper/gardener, designer, still cooks daily for family and friends, and loves to entertain.  Most recently, she has been the chef / owner of the popular "Cafe Aromas".

We are sad to share we recently lost the founder and creative force behind Garli Garni and Garlic Festival Foods. Click here to learn more about this amazing women.

Tracy Taggart

Tracy, our "bulbcounter", came on board to replace our previous bookkeeper.  What started as a temporary gig has turned into a regular position watching our bottom line and keeping the office ship shape. We don't know what we'd do without her.  She is truly the glue that keeps it all together.

Tracy is married to Tom, who is a produce guru, and mom to Clara. When not crunching numbers and paying bills, Tracy is an avid tennis player, volunteers at her daughter's school and shuttles between many activities. She's a real go-getter.

Hannah....The Garlic Girl

Hannah had the good fortune to be born into a family-run garlic company and automatically became our "spokesgirl" from the age of two; that is, from about the time she could actually speak.  And, as you may have guessed, the first words out of her mouth weren't "mama" or "dada", but "gaga", which we naturally understood to mean garlic.

She is the daughter of Heather and Greg and the granddaughter of Caryl Simpson, the founder of Garlic Festival® Foods.  From the time she was a toddler, some of her favorite foods have been garlic stuffed olives and pickled garlic.  And....she won't hesitate to tell you....she LOVES Garli Garni!  A child with excellent and highly developed taste!

Hannah loves to help out at Garlic Festival Foods, is passionate about horseback riding and animals, and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

Heather Simpson-Bluhm

Heather is the daughter of Caryl and mother of Hannah.  She has been working for the family business in one form or another since she was 9 years old and has attended 34 out of 36 Gilroy Garlic Festivals.

Heather created our original web site and opened our retail store in Gilroy where it thrived until she decided to "retire" twelve years ago in order to bring baby Hannah into the world.  Since then, Heather has put on many hats at Garlic Festival® Foods from answering phones to marketing to overseeing our new push into social media, when she isn't working as an artist or shuttling Hannah to school, play dates or horseback riding.

Rupert (aka Buddha)

As many of you are aware, Bandit had recently passed on. He was a real part of the Garlic Festival Foods family bringing joy to all. He is missed but will not be forgotten. 

Our wonderful companion, Rupert is now assuming the position of the Garlic Festival Foods mascot and companion. Rupert is certainly no regular dog, he's our little "Buddha". He loves anyone who is present at that moment, does not bark (although we know he can because he will ever so slightly when having a "doggie nightmare"). He is extremely affectionate wanting to be near by and just relaxing with you. 

Rupert is such a joy to all. Even the rare person who meets him and is not a dog lover, is instantly intrigued as to his calm, curious & loving nature. 

Customer Service Hours: Monday - Wednesday - 8:00 to 2:00; Thursday - 8:00 - 12:00; Friday - Hours vary