Los Alamitos, CA (March 2020) – In-store employees are working overtime to keep shelves stocked and shoppers fed, making them our local heroes. Love Your Produce Manager® Day (LYPM), April 2, is the perfect time to show gratitude for the produce department team and recognize all the hard work they are putting in today and every day.

Now more than ever before in-store produce teams need to remain motivated and inspired. The extra time and effort they are putting in is making a big difference and these teams deserve recognition for a job well done. This is why Frieda’s created the holiday in 2012 to recognize produce managers—highlighting the hard work they put into their departments to keep them fresh and stocked all year round

“The inspiration for LYPM came from when my mother Frieda introduced the kiwifruit to America in 1962. A shopper at a Safeway store asked their produce manager to locate what is now known as kiwifruit. The produce manager and produce buyer connected with Frieda, who was able to locate the first shipment of the fruit and, as they say, the rest is marketing history,” says Karen Caplan, CEO and president (and Frieda’s eldest daughter).

Here are a few easy ways to recognize your produce teams right now:

On April 2, please take time to visit your stores to show appreciation for your produce teams and highlight their hard work.


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 and dragon fruit to Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and 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.

Like you, I find myself feeling a bit anxious about the roller coaster of the stock market, the constant emails and the CNN Alerts I receive about the latest COVID-19 warning, plus the ever-present worry of “Will I run out of toilet paper?”

I don’t think I will run out of toilet paper, but I’ve decided I am only going to worry about things that are within my control. Once I decided that, it made things feel more, well, controllable.

So, I wanted to share some ideas with you to help you take advantage of all the time we will have on our hands, since we can’t go to bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, concerts, meetings or parties.

  1. Take up daily meditation. I personally spend 20 minutes every morning listening to an app on my phone. The essential focus is on remaining calm by being in a quiet place and sitting with your eyes closed. I use deep breathing to lower my heart rate, clear my mind and create a sense of calm. I meditate first thing when I get up in the morning. What a great way to start the day.
  2. Every day, clean a room, a drawer, a cabinet or desk. This past weekend, we tackled the cabinets under the sink in our bathroom. It’s kind of cathartic to pull everything out, wipe down the cabinet, throw out everything expired or duplicates, and then rearrange in clear plastic bins/shoe boxes. It’s so much easier to find everything! And it gives you a small dose of personal satisfaction for accomplishing something when you can see immediate results.
  3. Set aside an hour each day and take a brisk walk or bike ride. Exercising is important during times of stress, and since your gym is closed, you should be careful that you don’t stop exercising all together. If you miss the free weights and TR-X straps at the gym, try using cans or water bottles as weights and order a Stretchable strap from Amazon to do your own homemade TR-X workout.
  4. Sleep at least 7.5-8 hours a night. The single biggest thing you can do to deal with stress, make better decisions, feel good about yourself and not be snappy with your family is to get a good night’s sleep! I personally have been following the practice of having a set bedtime and wake time, and it has made the sleep routine so much easier.
  5. Catch up on reading. Both at home and at work, I have a stack of magazines that I need to read. One a day is plenty … and it’s a great opportunity to learn something new without the commitment of reading a whole book.
  6. Experiment with cooking. I always find the chefs on The Food Network fascinating to watch. I especially like the show “Chopped.” Why not take a few unusual ingredients from your pantry or refrigerator and figure out a new recipe to make? You can go to epicurous.com or my latest favorite source www.food52.com and enter the ingredients you want to use or the type of dish you want to make and voila! Is your grocery store out of apples, oranges and bananas? This is a great time to buy a whole jackfruit and learn how to break it down and freeze it. Better yet, use it to make an excellent chili. Big batch cooking will help you stock the freezer with something fresh to enjoy later on.
  7. It’s spring … how about gardening? Time to pull weeds, till the soil and plant some flowers or vegetable plants in your front or back yard. Touching the earth (albeit with gardening gloves on) can be grounding. And, again, by planting flowers in your yard, it will give you something to smile about when you go outside or arrive home.
  8. Organize your emails. I don’t know about you, but I have too many emails in my inbox and other folders. But I’m afraid to really delete them, in case I might need some info. Why not allocate some time during the week to organize your emails? I know in the last few days I have discovered emails I never responded to or found a few that needed action.
  9. Help others who are quarantined. Do you have friends or family who cannot go to the grocery store, get their prescriptions picked up or just need an errand run? My assistant Tricia shared with me this morning what she was able to do for her mother, who is elderly, including calling her doctor’s office and getting her prescriptions changed to “deliver by mail on auto-fill.” It reduced anxiety and worry for her mother, and I’m sure gave Tricia a feeling of satisfaction by helping her mom. Who can you help?
  10. Call a friend or family member. (Or hand write a letter.) In this age of texting, Instagram and Facebook, we’ve lost the art of old-fashioned personal communication. I personally enjoy penning a note to a friend to thank them and during my commute to and from work each day, I used the time to connect with friends and family by phone. Since I am now working from home for the next couple of weeks, I plan to make time to phone a friend each day, to stay connected.

I hope these ideas inspire you to look at the bright side of this new era we are living in. And I welcome your ideas for filling in all this free time we now have on our hands.


The term “spring cleaning” always makes me think about the weather changing from the cold, winterish, chilly days to the warmer spring weather—something about the windows getting opened, the house getting filled with fresh air—means it’s time to clean out your closets, drawers, etc.

Well, spring does not officially start until next week on Thursday, March 19. (Did you know that the date of spring changes based on the vernal equinox, which can be March 19, 20 or 21? This year it’s March 19.) But, in my humble opinion, it’s not too soon to start organizing yourself to do some “spring” cleaning. And, yes, I think you need to do spring cleaning in an organized fashion.

Last week, I actually sold my residence of more than 17 years and moved. When Mayra, CEO of the moving company, came to give me a quote a few weeks ago (it was awesome to learn that I was dealing with a woman-owned business!), she said in her bold, direct fashion: You need to purge your stuff. Go through your clothes, your kitchen, your books. You have way too much stuff!

Mayra was right, of course. Even though I had purged my stuff about four-and-a-half years ago (you can read my blog about how I was inspired by reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up  – the book changed my life!) I apparently had accumulated a few too many more things. 🙂

So, I just resurrected my inner Marie Kondo, and started going through each part of my house:

The kitchen—I went through my pantry and looked at code dates and tossed things out of code. I then took all my snack items to work (which removed temptation for me in my new home!). I had stopped purchasing anything nonperishable about a month ago to minimize the amount of food I would have to pack.

My closet—I didn’t do a complete Marie Kondo (also referred to as the konmarie method) and take everything out of my closets and drawers and ask myself if each piece made me happy before deciding to keep or donate. What I did ask myself as I went through every piece of hanging clothing and everything in my drawers: “When was the last time I wore this?  Do I feel good in it?” That helped me give away at least 50–60 pieces of hanging clothing and four or five bags of clothes and shoes. Oh yeah—then I went to my hall closet and found another 10 coats and jackets I could donate to a shelter. Sometimes we forget that we have clothes in many places around our house.

My office— Everyone has a junk drawer, right? You know, the drawer you just throw random stuff into? Well, I feel like my desk was completely made up of “junk drawers.” I had old tax paperwork, useless receipts, plus office supplies galore. Just to shock myself into doing something radical, I actually DID dump the contents of all of the drawers onto the middle of my home office. It really forced me to purge heavily.

I remember a consultant many years ago telling me that it was hard to stay focused on your work if your work area that you looked at was a mess. At work I have taken that very seriously and work hard to leave my desk perfectly neat and straightened when I leave work each evening. That way when I come to work in the morning, I have a clean slate. Well at home, I had trinkets everywhere! Thank goodness I was moving, so I had to decide—keep or toss. (Or re-gift! I know it’s difficult when a close friend or child gives you a gift or photo. You feel obligated to keep it in sight.)

I always say “thank you” when someone gives me one of those gifts. But if it’s not something I really want, like or can use—chances are I put it directly in my “donation pile” at home. You know … I am sharing the wealth.

So, think about it. Look at your work area right now while you are reading this. Is your desk cluttered with mail, papers, trinkets and statues? Do you coincidentally find it hard to concentrate and get things done? Think: Clear space, clear mind. Seriously, it is amazing how much more productive you feel when your work area has been decluttered.

As I write this, and am looking at my desk at work, I realize that I have some work to do! A few too many photos, statues, and gobs of unnecessary paper and notebooks. Seriously, I need to take my own advice!

I guess it really IS time to get ready for spring cleaning!


Los Alamitos, CA (March 2020) – Despite the news of COVID-19 on the rise in America, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes continue to be top health conditions in the U.S.1 To combat these threats, retail registered dieticians can play a key role in helping to educate shoppers so they can make the best food and lifestyle choices. March 11 is National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, and Frieda’s will be celebrating these in-store superheroes.

“The store-level retail dietitians are really the healthy eating coaches of the grocery store,” says Alex Berkley, Frieda’s director of sales. “They are an accessible, approachable and affordable (or free) source of advice for shoppers to make the best decisions when it comes to healthy, delicious eating. And from our experience, store level RDs love to promote fresh produce!”

In fact, studies have shown that working with a retail registered dietitian can lead to healthier eating, better compliance with medication and improved health results. A 2019 study of hypertension patients, originally reported in ConsumerAffairs, revealed that 30 participants who received three counseling sessions from retail dietitians over the course of 12 weeks saw favorable results.2

Call your Frieda’s account manager for strategies on how to leverage your retail registered dietitians. We’ll help you create an impactful consumer experience that encourages shoppers to stay healthy every day.


  1. Dalli, Kristen, et al. “Grocery Store Nutrition Information Help Shoppers Make Healthier Choices.” ConsumerAffairs, www.consumeraffairs.com/news/grocery-store-nutrition-information-help-shoppers-make-healthier-choices-021219.html.
  2. Morgan, Kate. “Story from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association: These Are the Top 10 Health Conditions Affecting Americans.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 6 Nov. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/sponsor-story/blue-cross-blue-shield-association/2018/10/24/these-top-10-health-conditions-affecting-americans/1674894002/.


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 and dragon fruit to Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and 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 probably wouldn’t have thought a lot about Women’s History Month (March) or Women’s History Day (March 8), except that Whole Foods Markets nationwide are featuring some of their women-owned suppliers in many of their stores/departments during the month. And you can guess who is featured in produce … yep—Frieda’s Specialty Produce!

It all started with the person who is head of produce buying for Whole Foods calling me about 4 months ago. He mentioned that he pitched the idea of including Frieda’s to the higher ups in his company as they were brainstorming their “Women Makers” campaign. It sounded awesome, but I didn’t expect it to be a super big deal. I passed the info along to our sales rep in charge of Whole Foods and forgot about it.

Last week, while I was at an industry trade show, all of a sudden I started getting an unusual amount of text messages and emails. Turns out that Whole Foods had just sent an eblast/newsletter to their gazillion subscribers announcing their Women Makers’ Promotion…check it out here: Women Makers: Female Firsts.

Of course it is exciting to see my eldest daughter Alex as the face of Frieda’s plastered across more than 500 Whole Food Markets in the U.S.A. What’s even more exciting is to see the enthusiasm and beauty of the produce displays built with our products including Yellow Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit and Mandarinquat .  From what I can tell (by the reorders from the stores), the fruits and veggies are flying off the shelves!

So I decided to do a deeper dive into the origins of Women’s History Day.

The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. The International Women’s Day (IWD) date was moved to March 8 in 1913. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development. And, just an FYI, International Men’s Day is celebrated on November 19 each year.

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day in the International Women’s Year—1975. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 (on March 8) is: I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights #eachforequal. The theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multi-generational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. You can find out more here.

I was curious to find out if there was a special color or symbol associated with International Women’s Day. Before I consulted Dr. Google, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be an amazing coincidence if it was the same color that my company—a women-owned company—uses (hint: purple)? No surprise here … as we all know there is no such thing as a coincidence.

Purple is the internationally recognized color to symbolize women, while the combination of the colors green, purple and white is meant to represent women’s equality, according to the IWD website. Purple, or the combination of those three colors, may be displayed to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Although International Women’s Day started as a protest against working conditions for garment workers, today companies like Whole Foods and many other large organizations are using it to promote women, to highlight the role women play in their organizations and to recognize women’s contributions to the world. Even Costco listed a book in their monthly magazine about the role of women: The Girls of Atomic City, the untold story of the women who helped win World War II by Denise Kiernan. I just started reading it today and I can tell it is a page-turner.

As we look back to 1909 and forward past the year 2020, you might wonder what work is being done to measure the role of women and the journey to a 50/50 ratio of women to men serving on corporate boards of directors. Check out the work being done by 2020 Women on Boards.

So, as the weekend approaches, I challenge you to put on your favorite purple shirt, think about the role of women in your life and consider who you might inspire to make this world a more equitable and peaceful place for everyone. Men and women. Old and young. Rich and poor.

I personally will be thinking about my favorite female role model—my mother Frieda Rapoport Caplan, whose favorite color was purple. I will also be thinking about my father, Al Caplan, who always was one of the biggest advocates I knew for gender equality.

I am very proud of my family roots.


Los Alamitos, CA (March 2020) March 8 marks International Women’s Day, and the month of March is celebrated as International Women’s month—all in an effort to promote the equality of women. This year the theme is #eachforequal, whereby an equal world is an enabled world.

In support of this, Whole Foods Market will be celebrating women with their Women Makers Raising the Bar campaign, a movement highlighting the accomplishments of notable women makers. This year, Frieda’s Specialty Produce will be a focal point in the produce department as a Female First for being a female-led trailblazing company that has introduced over 200 fresh produce items to the U.S. since 1962.

“We’re proud to feature Frieda’s products in our stores during our Women Makers Raising the Bar campaign this month,” said Erik Brown, Produce Executive Leader. “Frieda’s is a women-owned company that our customers have come to know and love, and we are excited to celebrate their high-quality produce.”

Nationwide, the chain will promote a large selection of both bulk and packaged specialty produce, including dragon fruit, kiwano, mandarinquats, jackfruit and much more. In total, 14 items will be showcased.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our women-owned, women-led culture with one of our top clients,” says Alex Berkley, Frieda’s sales director. “It’s magical when our story and values are completely intertwined with the DNA of those that we service.”


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 and dragon fruit to Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and 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.