University of La Verne

Do College Students Need More Life Skills?

It all started on the golf course. Early last year, I attended the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. As I was wandering around the clubhouse, I ran into Mark Brian Smith, the filmmaker who produced and directed “Fear No Fruit,” the documentary about my mom and our family business. He had with him a longtime personal friend Simon, a banker. As per usual, we shook hands and exchanged business cards. So I guess I was a little surprised when six months later I received an email from Simon, who had changed banks, inviting me to be the keynote speaker at a CEO summit. As it turns out, his new bank, Union Bank, is a sponsor of the CEO Summit at the Continue Reading

Back To School Season

It’s amazing how fast time flies. It seems like just last week we were attending High School and College graduation parties and voila…now it’s back to school time. I was looking at my Facebook page this morning and saw that one of my friends was taking her daughter to her first day of school. Wow – the summer went fast. So what can we do differently this year, as school begins? If you are a parent (or grandparent) that has school age kids – can we talk about what the … Continue reading

I saw my first Pomegranate tree in 1958

I realize I am definitely dating myself on this one. But that was the year that my parents moved into their home in Los Alamitos, California. We had a huge backyard (I was almost three years old…so it looked like a ranch to me). My parents decided to plant fruit trees in our backyard…the entire back fence of our backyard was filled with Pomegranate trees (planted in between them were Guava trees…but that’s another story). As we grew up – of course the trees bore fruit. What to do with … Continue reading

Tools of Our Trade

Have you ever wondered how produce companies (like Frieda’s) evaluate fruit to see if “it’s good” when it arrives at their warehouse? Here’s a quick course on some of the tools we use: To tell how SWEET a piece of fruit really is, we use a Refractometer. A Refractometer measures the brix (or percentage of soluble solids, or sugar) of the fruit. Our Quality Control guru, John, uses the Refractometer whenever we receive any kind of fruit. To measure the brix, John will cut a piece of fruit and then … Continue reading

How long do you cook Corn on the cob?

Betsy and I left her house and were on our way to the gym to do our Bootcamp workout. During our short drive to the gym, we usually recap our days for each other (she’s an Executive Recruiter) and then talk about what we’re having for dinner. She informed me that she was making one of her favorite vegetables, “Corn on the Cob.” Thank goodness I wasn’t the one driving when she told me that she put the corn in a pot of boiling water and hoped it would be … Continue reading