Many applications only have a place to check boxes or fill in basic information, like your name, address, previous jobs, etc. You really don’t have the opportunity to be creative when you are applying for a mortgage or a new job; you just fill in the blanks.

But last week, I had the opportunity to see some very creative applications, as I was one of several judges for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, a business awards competition in Santa Barbara. This is the second year I was asked to review the awards packets for businesses that were either nominated or self-nominated for the prestigious awards for women business owners in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

I don’t live in Santa Barbara, so last year I was a bit perplexed why they asked me. As it turns out, to eliminate any bias, they only use judges from outside the geographic area, so no judge will know the nominees or be prejudiced in their judging.

What's on Karen's Plate? - Karen's Blog - Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards 2017

So last weekend, I sat in my office, opened my Dropbox account, and started perusing the applications. I had 24 applications in four categories to review. Here’s my methodology: First I read through all the applications in a category, then I go back and read them a second time, doing the scoring.

And that’s when I made an observation about the process. I realized that judging the applications was not completely about the business or the business owner. And believe me, there were a lot of amazing and deserving applicants. It was also about how careful and diligent the business owners were in completing their applications.

I could tell that some people took great care and put a lot of thought into completing the application. They were neat, with no typos, and a lot of detailed, thoughtful explanation about the candidate and her business. Others, I could see, were a bit hastily filled out. They were handwritten, not in complete sentences, and did not appear as if the applicant took it seriously.

That’s when it hit me. I recalled when I nominated a friend of mine for an award a few years ago. I was up against a deadline. I rushed to complete the application and didn’t take as much time as I should have in gathering research and background. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when my friend didn’t win.

As per usual, when I least expect it, I learn an important life lesson.

How many times have you turned in some information and done it in a hurry? You didn’t take the time to prepare, to do your research, and to thoughtfully complete the assignment. Whether it is filling out an application for an award or a scholarship, or preparing to give a speech, a sales preparation, or even for a meeting at work, the time invested in advance, to prepare, is the most important part of the process.

What's on Karen's Plate? - Karen's Blog - Apply

It took me several hours to review all 24 applications twice and to do the scoring. I took my time and made sure I thoughtfully considered each application. That is an important part of the process too: not jumping to conclusions quickly, and being thoughtful and considerate when evaluating.

I won’t be able to attend the awards ceremony this year, so best of luck to all the women nominated for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards! Starting and owning a business is hard work and, many times, a labor of love.

Karen

P.S.  I did attend last year’s ceremony where I was happily surprised to run into a produce friend of mine, Chef Sarah LaCasse!

What's on Karen's Plate? - Karen's Blog - Chef Sarah LaCasses and Karen Caplan
Chef Sarah LaCasse and me

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Frieda’s Specialty Produce offers extensive fresh pepper varieties for spring and summer entertaining

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Fresh Chile Peppers

Los Alamitos, CA (March 2017) – Consumers are demanding a wider selection of fresh chile pepper varieties as part of their grocery shopping experience, and there’s no better time to stock up produce departments than Cinco de Mayo. Retailers and wholesalers can look to Frieda’s Specialty Produce as their comprehensive source for all their fresh chile pepper needs.

“Frieda’s has expanded our fresh pepper program to new growing partners in multiple growing regions to offer year-round supply on many fresh pepper varieties, and we offer them in multiple pack sizes for our customers,” said Allen DeMo, director of procurement and sourcing at Frieda’s. “Many buyers have told us they didn’t realize just how competitive Frieda’s could be and that our quality really measures up.”

Frieda’s is a one-stop pepper shop for:

“Fresh peppers are key ingredients to essential Cinco de Mayo dishes from salsas and guacamole to main dishes, and even infusing into beverages,” said Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s. “This food-centered holiday kicks off the summer party season and sets the tone for summer selling. We want to help our customers keep their sales sizzling as we roll into summer grilling season,” added Caplan.

Call your Frieda’s account manager today to ask about its extensive fresh chile pepper selections and other Cinco de Mayo favorites like jicama, tomatillos, key limes, seedless lemons, Soyrizo®, and dried peppers like ancho mulato and pasilla negro.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

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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 University of La Verne and he is on the steering committee. After seeing the movie about our company, he thought our story would be great for the summit’s audience of 150 to 200 local CEOs.

So last week, I drove 30 miles to La Verne and spent a few hours there. We took a quick walking tour and La Verne President Devorah Leiberman shared some pretty impressive information with me. The university is recognized amongst the country’s leading schools. U.S. News and World Report rates La Verne’s undergraduate online degree offerings as No. 1 in California (and 24th best in the country). The university has four colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business & Public Management, Education, and Law.

University of La Verne

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised how many of the deans and associate deans from the four colleges listened to my presentation. One in particular stood out to me—Rita Thakur, associate dean of the College of Business & Public Management. We sat at the same table during lunch and had a lovely chat. She was born in India and you can read her story here. She struck me as kind of quiet, so I was trying to imagine her as the associate dean. But I quickly learned that her mild-mannered demeanor was simply her way of charming people and accomplishing her goals. She drilled me about the internships at my company. During my speech, I had said,  “Ask for what you want.” She did just that, saying, “I want you to give one of my students an internship this summer!” That’s chutzpah!

During our conversation, I learned about a program she created at La Verne that is the only one of its kind in the country. It’s called “The Rita Thakur Skills for Success Program.” For all four years that students are in the College of Business & Public Management, they are required to enroll in the program. It teaches both life and professional skills that students just don’t get anymore! Things like: etiquette, how to do introductions, how to make sure your resume gets to the top of the pile, interviewing techniques, etc. As they progress through their undergraduate education, the students continue to get professional mentorship, consulting opportunities, and training for soliciting a loan, selling a product, and developing a business plan.

I was so excited to learn this.

University-of-La-Verne

It was even more timely when I read The Wall Street Journal on March 20. The headline on the Personal Finance section was “Should College Students Be Required to Take a Personal-finance Course?” I vote “YES.” I know what it’s like for a twentysomething new hire who doesn’t know how to choose a health insurance plan or what questions to ask about the 401k plan.

One of the biggest challenges millennials and others who enter the workforce have is lack of training in those life skills. It was awesome to see that a single person like Rita Thakur recognized the opportunity and created a program that will give thousands of students at the University of La Verne a better chance of success in the business world. Perhaps other universities and colleges will embrace the practical needs of today’s workforce and give students similar training.

I get a lot of speaking requests during the course of a year. I accepted this one because I could tell that La Verne has something special to offer, not only to the community with the CEO Summit, but as I learned, to their students. If you should have the opportunity to speak at a local college or university, whether it is about your own business or career, or as an opportunity to mentor and give back, I hope you will make the time to do it.

It’s always good to pay it forward!

Karen

Inaugural event connects emerging food producers with retailers and foodservice distributors

Vegas Food Expo

Los Alamitos, CA (March 2017) – Thirteen of America’s top food executives and entrepreneurs in fields from aquaponics to hospitality services will speak at the inaugural Vegas Food Expo on March 30 and 31 at the Gold Coast Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. The expo will also connect more than 130 innovative food and beverage brands to retailers, distributors, and foodservice providers.

Expo attendees will have a chance to interact with artisanal food makers and learn from innovative food executives during speaking sessions scheduled on both days of the expo.

Speakers have been selected by Brett Ottolenghi, founder of the Vegas Food Expo and owner of Artisanal Foods in Las Vegas, for their leadership, tenacity, creativity, and influence in the food world. The lineup includes Zingerman’s Co-owner Paul Saginaw, TAO Group Managing Partner Louis Abin, “Made to Stick” co-author Chip Heath, Bitten food conference Founder & CEO Naz Riahi, and Frieda’s Specialty Produce President & CEO Karen Caplan.

“Staying on top of food trends and being able to spot what’s coming next are important for ideation,” said Caplan. “It’s imperative for us at Frieda’s to know what’s happening so we can provide what our foodservice clients need to stay current and for our retail clients to be aware of what shoppers are going to come looking for next. Las Vegas is at the forefront of food innovation, being the city of renowned chefs, up-and-coming culinary talents, and creative food start-up companies. This is the expo to be at if you want to know what the next hot trends are.”

Speaking on “Tapping into Fresh Trends in Produce,” Caplan is scheduled to take the stage at 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, March 30.

March 30 is exclusively open to buyers, and March 31 is open to the ticket-holding public. For tickets and more information, visit here.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

I attended a produce conference last weekend in Orlando (I know, I lead such an exciting life). Sixteen hundred of my closest produce friends and I hung out at the Disney Dolphin Resort for three days of meetings, workshops, a trade show, plus an evening gala.

When I say “my closest produce friends,” I really mean that. The unique aspect of the produce industry is that because we spend so much time together at various shows and events each year, many of us actually do become close friends.

As my daughter Alex and I were walking through the lobby, we came across two of our longtime retail clients from North Carolina.

We stopped to say hello and catch up. It wasn’t even one minute into the conversation when Dick said, “I just cannot believe how much fresh turmeric I am selling these days!” In my head, I was thinking, “His stores are in some rural areas of North and South Carolina; I wonder how much turmeric is ‘a lot?’” So I asked him to tell us more.

As it turns out, it started with one store in coastal North Carolina. They kept ordering so much turmeric that his warehouse could not keep it in stock.

Like me, Dick was curious why the sudden surge in demand. He found out there is a popular recipe for an elixir featuring Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, fresh turmeric, lemon juice, and honey that is circulating and that’s why his stores can’t keep it in stock.

With the help of Google, here is the recipe. And here’s another one.

Bragg-Organic-Apple-CIder-VinegarI’m not implying or endorsing any health claims, but it sounds like this natural “tonic” promises extra energy, improved mood, stabilized blood sugar, lower LDL cholesterol…the list goes on.

I told Dick that turmeric has been a trending ingredient for two years due to its anti-inflammatory properties. We have also noticed on a national basis the surge in sales of both fresh turmeric and fresh ginger, as more people are discovering these roots to make their own teas, tonics and juices.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Turmeric Ginger Tea - Cold Killer

It was quite exciting to see that consumer demand coming from the coastal region of North Carolina. Most of us think that trendy foods are more popular in big metropolitan cities, like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I guess, as people retire or want a more relaxed lifestyle, they are taking their eating and shopping habits to places like North Carolina (where several of my friends have now moved).

That’s exciting news. Because that means more and more stores across the country will be offering their shoppers all those hard-to-find ingredients. And if you’re one of those people who have moved to a new area, don’t be afraid to ask your produce manager to order any fruits and veggies you are looking for which aren’t on display. Otherwise, your produce manager will not know that you—and others—want them!

Karen

P.S. My team and I had a little fun at this produce conference. The theme was “The Magic of Produce” and we dressed in the theme of “Frieda’s School of Purple Magic”…à la Harry Potter.

Frieda'sSchoolofMagic

Join Frieda’s Specialty Produce in saluting produce department heroes

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Love Your Produce Manager Day - April 2

Los Alamitos, CA (March 2017) – April 2 is the 6th annual national Love Your Produce Manager® Day, a day to show appreciation for supermarket produce managers. Frieda’s Specialty Produce invites industry participation in saluting the hardworking men and women in supermarket produce departments, both in stores and over social media with hashtag #LYPM. For each industry organization that shares the hashtag or mentions Love Your Produce Manager® Day in its communications, Frieda’s will make a donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, a member of the Feeding America national network.

“The produce department is the heart of the supermarket, and produce managers keep it ticking,” said Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s. “According to United Fresh Produce Association’s 2016 year in review, 33 percent of all fresh grocery sales comes from produce. And these men and women contribute to that success with their beautiful displays and excellent customer service. Their passionate work helps put more fruits and vegetables in the shopping basket, boosts produce consumption, and inspires new food experiences for shoppers.”

Industry companies and organizations that would like to participate can find shareable graphics here. Love Your Produce Manager® Day messages must be posted by 11:59 p.m. PST on April 3 to be counted for the donation. Additionally, Frieda’s is hosting a public social media giveaway to encourage shoppers to share selfies with their local supermarket produce managers and hashtag #LYPM from March 28 through April 4.

In 2015 more than 40 organizations participated in LYPM online activities. Frieda’s made a donation on their behalf to United Fresh Produce Association’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” initiative.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Love Your Produce Manager Day - April 2

As featured in Chase’s Calendar of Events since 2012, Love Your Produce Manager® Day aims to honor exemplary customer service in U.S. supermarket produce departments. Frieda’s created the holiday on the occasion of the company’s 50th anniversary to acknowledge the produce manager’s key role.

“Conversations that produce managers have with shoppers pave the way for us to bring to market unique and exciting products like Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, jackfruit, and fresh turmeric root,” Caplan said. “Without the help of a Salt Lake City produce manager listening to a single consumer’s request in 1962, kiwifruit may not have become the well known and loved fruit it is today.”

The importance of produce managers is also highlighted in “Fear No Fruit,” the documentary chronicling the life of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, as a contributing factor in her success as the first woman entrepreneur on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market in the 1960s. “Fear No Fruit” is available on DVD and digital streaming platforms (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video). The film is also available for group and educational screenings by contacting Kino Lorber EDU.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

For the last 11 years, I have attended the biannual University of California, Davis, Agribusiness Seminar. The three-day gathering includes 90 agribusiness executives from across the ag supply chain: egg farmers to cattle ranchers, grape growers to bagged salad producers, investment bankers to consultants and people in the food business. Ninety percent of the attendees are from California and some repeat attendees have gotten to know each other pretty well over the years.

This year we read, studied, and discussed seven case studies about other companies that were willing to open their business to the case writers (usually university professors and professional case writers). The cases are confidential.

Each year I attend, I learn so much that has helped me grow my business and refine my approach as a business leader. I am fortunate to be a member of the steering committee, so I had some input into the programming. The cases usually focus on a business challenge the company is facing. Our discussions revolve around us developing alternative strategies. When the case is actually presented, the company executive responds to our insights and questions, and tells us what the company ultimately decided to do, and why. It is super interesting!

This year, we had a keynote speaker who flew in all the way from New Zealand. As it turns out, our speaker, Michael Henderson, is a corporate anthropologist. In my opinion, he is part psychologist, part therapist, and mostly incredibly insightful. His company brochure says, “He has a degree in Anthropology and uses this unique skills set to support organizations to create high performance cultures.”

Michael-Henderson-500x500
Michael Henderson, corporate anthropologist

We received his latest book “Above the Line” a few weeks before he spoke and were expected to read it before we arrived. I admit when I saw that I had to read a binder full of cases, plus the book, I wasn’t sure I would get through it all. But once I started reading Michael’s book, I couldn’t put it down. I grabbed my highlighter and started marking it up; so many things resonated with me.

AboveTheLine_BookCover

What I learned from Michael was: “Company culture fundamentally does one of two things. It either makes your business money or costs your business money.” He told us that culture has proven to be eight times more influential to business performance than strategy. Eight times more! That definitely got my attention.

One of the biggest insights he shared is how companies approach culture incorrectly. Many companies think the company sets the culture. In fact, the employees control the culture. Michael suggested that, when you interview a potential new employee, instead of sharing your company culture, you should ask the candidates what their values are. And if those values are not in alignment with your company’s values, then you should not hire that person. Personal values determine compatibility; their personal values will not change. For example, if your company’s values include being goal-oriented and -driven, and the candidate values a low-key, non-pressure work environment, you can see how they might not fit into the culture (no matter how good their skill set is).

We asked Michael about acquisitions. Many companies attending this conference will be making acquisitions in the future. Statistics show that 85 percent of all acquisitions fail…mostly due to a lack of culture alignment. So what advice did he have? He told us that while most companies focus on doing financial audits of the company under consideration, what they really need to include is a culture audit. Such a great suggestion.

Michael also told us that if you want to change the culture, you need to be mindful of whom you promote in your company. Those who are promoted should have personal values aligned with the company’s values. It makes culture alignment so much easier and natural.

And if you are wondering if culture alignment can add money to the bottom line of a company, he gave us several examples. Two stood out for me: Coca Cola NZ added $30 million to its bottom line in one year; Z Energy (another NZ company) hit its three-year financial targets in 18 months. Both credit their culture as the major significant contribution to achieving these results.

“Great culture makes wealth. A toxic culture destroys wealth.” – Warren Buffett

I think Mr. Buffett said it succinctly.

Karen

P.S. During the agribusiness seminar, I was fortunate to receive an invitation to this year’s Berkshire Hathaway meeting in Omaha, Nebraska! I am beyond excited that I am able to attend and see Warren Buffett and Charles Munger in person. Stay tuned.

The specialty produce ‘faculty’ is ready to educate retailers on purple produce and other trending fruits and vegetables

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Frieda's School of Purple Magic

Los Alamitos, CA (March 2017) – Supporting the “Magic in Produce” theme of Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure 2017, Frieda’s Specialty Produce is proud to invite attendees to “Frieda’s School of Purple Magic” Preview Day activities at Booth 620 on Saturday, March 11.

“Purple produce is a major 2017 food trend, and no one knows purple like we do. After all, we have been working with our clients on ‘Power of Purple’ since 2013,” said Karen Caplan, headmistress of Frieda’s School of Purple Magic (otherwise known as president and CEO of Frieda’s). “Shoppers really respond to a big, bountiful purple destination display. National media is buzzing with purple produce trends this year, featured everywhere from NBC’s TODAY show to Consumer Reports. Retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice providers must take advantage of this hot trend.”

Interested “students” will also discover top selling purple produce like Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and other trending specialty fruits and vegetables at the booth. Call Frieda’s admission officers (also known as account managers) to learn more about current programs.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

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A few months ago, I joined the board of Second Harvest Food Bank, the largest food bank in Orange County and a member of the Feeding America national network.

Our company donates edible produce to the food bank each week. CEO Nicole Suydam and I have gotten to know each other over the past few years, and she slowly recruited me to join the board, made up of about 20 community leaders, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives.

After I had joined the board, Nicole let me know that I was expected to attend a four-hour board orientation session at the Second Harvest offices, located 30 miles from my own office. To be honest, I was completely annoyed when I learned this.

Although I am very committed to being an active board member, I’d already attended two board meetings and several events, and I couldn’t understand the need for a four-hour orientation.

Second Harvest Food Bank's mobile pantry
Me with the Second Harvest Food Bank’s mobile pantry

Let me describe the orientation:

The other new board member, Steve (a retail grocery executive), and I were seated in a conference room with Nicole. We were each given a binder containing supplemental information for all of the presentations we would be getting. Nicole then gave us an overview of the history of Second Harvest, reviewed the enterprise’s organizational chart, plus the committee assignments for board members, and then discussed the strategic plan.

The next three hours were spent having 20- to 30-minute presentations by the eight department heads within the food bank about their departments and their goals, with Nicole present the whole time to facilitate their presentations, ask for clarification, and give further explanations.

At the end of our four-hour meeting, Steve and I looked at each other, and then at Nicole, and commented that we both learned so much about Second Harvest. Both of us admitted to being skeptical beforehand about the need for such a lengthy and detailed orientation, but we agreed it gave us a fantastic historical perspective and a deeper understanding which would help us be better board members and supporters. I hope other volunteer organizations invest this kind of time in “onboarding” new volunteer board members. It will definitely pay dividends.

Nicole Suydam Second Harvest Food Bank OC
Nicole Suydam. CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

So as I drove home, I started to think about my own company’s new hire orientation. Although we invest in orienting new employees, we don’t do it in the same way Nicole does. It struck me that I could take the best practices that I learned from the Second Harvest board member orientation and improve our onboarding experience for new employees.

Instead of having the new employee travel between departments and interrupt the workday of the various managers, I am seriously considering centralizing orientation and standardizing it. And by being present for each orientation, I will be able to add anecdotal and other insights that may be missed if I’m not there.

Frieda's
Some of the fun stationery we use at the office and provide new hires.

How many of you have started a new job and were satisfied with the orientation? Was it simply filling out a bunch of forms in the HR office and then you were shipped off to your department to start working? Especially if you work in a small- to medium-sized company, the resources are not always available to develop a robust onboarding process, so you may not figure out the organizational dynamics until weeks or months after you start.

My big takeaway from this experience was a reminder that no matter how annoying something may seem before you complete it, there is always a lesson to be learned.

What did you learn today?

Karen

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The Frieda Caplan documentary is set to inspire dietetic professionals

Fear No Fruit - Frieda Caplan - Quote

Los Alamitos, CA (March 2017) – The Central Valley District of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND) will host a screening of “Fear No Fruit,” the Frieda Caplan documentary, on Wednesday, March 8, in Fresno, California, to celebrate National Registered Dietitian Day and to raise funds for the Helena Kennedy Scholarship. The screening begins at 5 p.m. at Bitwise Industries.

Fear No Fruit” chronicles the life of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, the first woman entrepreneur on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market in the 1960s.

“Frieda’s determination gave Americans the opportunity to try fresh new produce by making exotic fruits and vegetables more accessible. And that makes our job advocating for more fruit and vegetable consumption easier,” said Carrie Der Garabedian, MBA, RD, CFPM, president of the Central Valley District CAND. “We’re excited to share Frieda’s story to help inspire others to follow their hearts and achieve their goals.”

“Dietitians face challenges similar to Frieda—encouraging people to try new foods and eat healthier,” said Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, president of the California Academy. “‘Fear No Fruit’ is an inspiring, must-see film for dietetic students and professionals!”

The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Central Valley District, represents registered dietitians in various job functions throughout Central California with the goal of optimizing health through food and nutrition. The Helena Kennedy Scholarship is established to honor the late Ms. Kennedy for her passion for nutrition and commitment to the community. The scholarship will be awarded to a California State University, Fresno, dietetic student.

Tickets are $10 and include dinner. Because seating is limited, advanced reservations and ticket purchase are required.

“Fear No Fruit” is available on DVD and digital streaming platforms (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video). The film is also available for group and educational screenings by contacting Kino Lorber EDU.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.