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

Eat ’em like junk food

Did that headline catch your attention? Well, if you live in Syracuse, New York, or Cincinnati, Ohio, you probably know what I’m referring to. Bolthouse Farms, One of the two biggest carrot growers in California, decided they wanted to make a difference in their sales of baby carrots. And they have just completed marketing tests in those two geographical markets. Back in 1972, Frieda’s was one of the first companies to market baby carrots to grocery stores. Mike Yurosek, one of the growers my mom worked with, tried peeling and … Continue reading

Pastaless Lasagna?

Earlier this week, I attended the taping of a television show with my daughter, Alex, in the late afternoon. Instead of getting on the freeway and fighting the L.A. traffic at 5 p.m., we decided to grab a bite to eat in Santa Monica. One of my coworkers, Mary, is an expert on all things foodie, so I texted her for a recommendation. What came back was a flurry of ideas. I decided to go with her first suggestion: FIG Restaurant in Santa Monica. FIG is located inside the famed … Continue reading

A water-saving invention

I read a lot of publications, but one of the most interesting magazines I receive is California Farmer. I have quoted Editor Len Richardson a couple times before. (Read my previous posts here and here.) I was intrigued by Richardson’s December 2010 story about the Groasis Waterboxx, which was named by Popular Science magazine as one of the top inventions of 2010. Clearly our biggest challenge in feeding all the people on the planet is having enough water. Without sufficient water supplies, we cannot grow the crops we need. Or, … Continue reading

At the Farmers Market

Now that it’s summer and locally grown produce is plentiful, you have probably noticed more farmers markets around. There is a lovely “feel good” aspect to farmers markets. You can smell the fresh fruits and vegetables and the people selling the produce know “the story” and give out free samples. Farmers markets are also a great family outing. Some markets also sell crafts, fresh flowers, prepared foods and baked goods. Here in California, farmers markets are regulated. Market managers must ensure that only true farmers’ are selling produce that has … Continue reading