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

Why Are Purple Sweet Potatoes so in Demand?

It all started about 5 months ago. We began to get almost daily emails from consumers all over the world (not just in the United States), asking us about our Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes. They wanted to know where to purchase them. Because the emails were continuous, we started to ask consumers how they heard about them and for some background on their request. As it turns out, the BBC has a series called “How to Stay Young” and had just aired a segment featuring the Japanese diet. Two of … Continue reading

Is It Dragon Fruit or Is It Pitaya?

What’s the difference between dragon fruit and pitaya? The actual name, pitaya or pitahaya (they are interchangeable), stems from the Latin American heritage of this beautiful exotic fruit. It is native to Central America (dating back to the 13th century). However, it made its way to Vietnam and Malaysia (probably due to its popularity with Asian consumers), where it is now widely grown. We’ve heard that the Vietnamese name, “thang loy,” somehow translates into the English words “dragon fruit,” and thus the different name. In Israel, where the fruit is commercially … Continue reading

93 Is a Magical Number

Next Wednesday, my mother, Frieda Rapoport Caplan, will turn 93. I’ve decided to rename her the energizer bunny. That’s because she keeps on going. She has so much energy and such a busy personal life that she has to publish her weekly schedule for my sister Jackie and me to keep on hand, so we know where she is. She is calendared out at least through the end of the year. But, she has cut back. She only comes into the office four days a week (back in the day, … Continue reading