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

Are you smiling?

As I wrote in my last post, we had five interns this summer. There was plenty of work for them and I kept reminding myself, and our regular employees, that our job was to teach these interns what it is really like to work inside a company. I didn’t expect to learn anything from them. But I did! Last week was our national sales meeting. Once a year we bring in our sales team from all over the country for training and team building. We’ve done this for many years … Continue reading

This summer’s interns

If you read my blog last summer, you know that our company has an internship program where we invite college-aged students to work with us during the summer. What each and every intern told us this year was that they were amazed that they did REAL work! No simple or “grunt” work at Frieda’s. Nope, we have so many projects that it’s all hands on deck! I met with the group of interns when they started at Frieda’s and each week they had to write a report of “what they … Continue reading

Crystallized Ginger for a Happier Stomach

Late one afternoon last week, there was a bit of chatter in our sales department. One person challenged the group by asking, “Which of the more than 500 products we sell, do YOU personally buy at the supermarket?” Interesting question. We sell so many crazy items, from Heirloom Tomatoes and Pine Nuts to Rambutan and Tofu. We’re so busy selling our specialty fruits and vegetables to retailers and foodservice distributors across the country, that sometimes we forget that we are consumers, too! So, my coworker, Vicki came into my office … Continue reading

Meyer Lemons are special

Meyer Lemons seem to be the darlings of the citrus department. Domestic (U.S.A.-grown) Meyer Lemons are not in season during the late summer, so we bring them in by boat from New Zealand. Even though they are far from “locally grown” at the moment, we are still seeing an incredible demand for these beautiful golden-skinned fruits. (From January through June, Meyer Lemons are grown in California.) Meyer Lemons are actually a cross between a traditional lemon and a mandarin (or a common orange). Native to China, Meyer Lemons were introduced … Continue reading