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

Food as Medicine

Last month, as I sat at an industry luncheon, I prepared to hear my friend Marty make a few remarks. During this particular luncheon, our industry comes together to support the City of Hope, an amazing local, world-renowned research hospital that has pioneered bone marrow transplants and a host of other cutting-edge cancer treatments. Marty sells mushrooms for a living. I’m a little partial to mushrooms, as that is the first product that my mother, Frieda, sold when she entered the produce business in 1956. So, I was pleasantly surprised … Continue reading

Dragon Fruit Season Is Here

I think it’s time to proclaim 2014 as “The Year of the Dragon Fruit.” It’s been 20 years since we first introduced Pitaya (also known as “Pitahaya”). Yes, that’s what Dragon Fruit was called 20 years ago, and we sold the first fruit. Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico and is the fruit of several types of cactus (Hylocereus is the official genus). I have visited Dragon Fruit plantings, most recently in Israel earlier this year. They are beautiful and green. When the fruit is in season, the bright-colored fruits … Continue reading