Stockholm: The Land of Unicorns

Last week I was fortunate to spend time in Stockholm, Sweden. I was attending a global conference of women leaders from around the world. Although it was not possible to meet all 650 women personally (although I did my best), I did have a chance to interact with many of them. Several sessions updated us on Africa, the United Nations, Populism vs. Nationalism, and much more, but the most interesting session for me was on unicorns. In addition to being a mythical animal, I learned that the term “unicorn business" refers to start-ups with a value of more than US $1 billion. When Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee coined Continue Reading

Visiting the Space Shuttle Endeavour

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles. I remember taking field trips in grade school to the (then named) California Museum of Science and History. Although my memory of the museum had changed, things were still very much the same. When I recently visited, I was with a small group of prominent women, who were given a behind the scenes tour of Space Shuttle Endeavour, which ended its service in May 2011. You can read about how the Endeavour was … Continue reading

My favorite spring vegetable: The Artichoke

One of my favorite spring vegetables is the artichoke—which was recently dubbed the state vegetable of California! If I go to a restaurant that has freshly prepared artichokes as an appetizer, I cannot resist ordering one. I especially like the large green artichokes steamed. Dipping the leaves in a little butter or mayonnaise makes it extra delicious. Yum! So, when I was walking by our test kitchen earlier this week, and overheard our marketing team buzzing about a BABY artichoke recipe, I had to try it. Have you ever seen … Continue reading

Is there a worldwide helium shortage?

Earlier this week, I attended a produce trade show called the Northern California Fresh Produce and Floral Council Expo. There were over 150 booths, representing vendor companies from all over the world, and supermarket retailers, food service distributors and produce managers walking the show. About 60% of the booths represented fresh fruits and vegetables, and 40% were filled with flowers, plants and floral accessories. As I walked the show, I stopped at a booth for Mayflower Distributing, which was filled with balloons, a big business for floral departments of supermarkets. … Continue reading

Commend your Produce Manager!

Two years ago, our marketing team was brainstorming promotions, and we kept coming back to the story of how my mom introduced the Kiwifruit to America in 1962. The way she tells it, is that a consumer went into a Salt Lake City supermarket, asking for a fruit she had while traveling in New Zealand. It was called the “Chinese Gooseberry,” and she wanted to buy some at her local store. The produce manager didn’t know what it was, but he called the produce buyer of his company, who was … Continue reading