Last week I learned a new produce term, “the last 10 yards.”

One of my produce colleagues and I sit on the advisory board of a start-up produce company, and we were advising the owners about the ins and outs of the produce industry.

We were talking about how to get sales of their new product and how challenging it can be.

And that’s when my friend said, “It is all about the last 10 yards.”

Photo credit: Flickr/jayneandd

He was referring to the fact that you can sell your product or idea to the executive of a retail or foodservice company. But the sale is not complete until your product actually makes it from that executive, to the administrative assistant who makes sure it is listed in the order guide, the buyer who places the order, the sales rep who talks to the customer about it, out of the backroom of the store, and finally out on display at the store or onto a menu and then the plates of a restaurant meal.

“The last 10 yards” refers to your product moving from the backroom of a retail store onto the produce shelf, properly signed, priced, and cared for.

Most of us don’t even think of that. We just make the sale and cross our fingers that the rest happens flawlessly.

It got me thinking.

Where else in our lives does the importance of “the last 10 yards” show up?

• Calling to confirm that a package got delivered by “tracking a package” on the FedEx or UPS website;
• Confirming dinner reservations before you depart;
• Sending a confirmation email a couple of days before or on the morning of a meeting;
• After giving instructions, having the person repeat back what they heard to confirm their understanding; and
• Doing a run-through before an important meeting to make sure everyone knows their part.

And there are dozens of more personal examples of what that “last 10 yards” is and how important it can be.

So, next time you want to rush a project or are counting on someone else and doing a hand off (like in a relay race), make sure you’ve done everything you can to guarantee your success.

Your family, your clients, and your colleagues will thank you!


I’m guessing you might think of Cauliflower as kind of a boring, white vegetable that is smelly when you cook it.

But things have changed.

First of all—have seen all the fabulous colors of Cauliflower?

Purple, green, and orange!

And then there is the distant cousin, Romanesco, which is actually its own vegetable, although it resembles a Cauliflower…kind of.

Although we have been selling baby Cauliflower since the 1980s, you can now find miniature versions of it and Romanesco at farmers markets, upscale supermarkets, and restaurants.


During one of my recent visits to New York City, when I ordered roasted Cauliflower for dinner, I guess I should not have been surprised that the chef roasted and served three colors of it—white, purple and green. It was a nice surprise!

Why has Cauliflower become so popular? In addition to being a cruciferous vegetable touted for its extreme health benefits (other well known cruciferous veggies include broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale), Cauliflower has a “meaty” texture that is quite versatile to work with.

When one of my vegan friends was honored at a dinner a few months ago, the vegan meal option was a Cauliflower steak! As you can see from the photo, instead of breaking the cauliflower into florets to cook, they cut the head crosswise, roasted it in the oven, and served it like a steak!

Dan Barber’s Cauliflower Steak with Cauliflower Puree –

Yesterday when I was skimming through one of the dozens of e-newsletters I receive, I found an article in The Shelby Report about what is perhaps the most imaginative and surprising use of Cauliflower—in pizza dough!

Absolutely Gluten Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

As you can see, this very creative company, Absolutely Gluten Free, has found that Cauliflower is a great ingredient for gluten-free pizza dough. (Yes, you can order online!)

What will they think of next?

Bon appétit!