Pay It Forward

About four months ago, I received an email from my daughter Alex:
The son of a friend of a friend is a third-year medical student who has a one month rotation at our local Los Alamitos Hospital. Do you know of a place where he could rent a room for a month?
As I pondered the email, I thought to myself—I live by myself in a multi-bedroom home. I’ve had interns stay with me before. Should I open up my home to a complete stranger? After all, if my child were a third-year medical student and needed a place to stay, I would think it was awesome if a friendly family offered a rent-free home to stay in. It took me just a few minutes to decide to offer that Nathan stay at my house. We texted a couple Continue Reading

Celebrating the Jewish New Year…in the produce department

Next week, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts at sundown on September 4, the earliest it’s been since 1899. Read about why here. When I was growing up, I always thought of Rosh Hashanah as a day I got to miss school and go to temple, as it is tradition to go to temple services both on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, and the following morning. But, as I grew older, I realized there is so much more to the holiday than going to temple. As it turns out, … Continue reading

Muscadine and Cotton Candy Grapes

When I think of summer in the produce business, one of the fruits I think of is grapes. August is the time of year when grapes are at their peak of flavor. Interestingly, there are two “new” grape varieties you may not be familiar with, that will be appearing in markets soon. The first are Muscadines. Completely different from Muscat Grapes, Muscadines are native to the Southern United States. I tasted my first Muscadine a few weeks ago when growers from Georgia sent us samples. As it turns out, Muscadines … Continue reading

I want to be a duck.

I want to be a duck, just like my mom, Frieda. Mind you, I am not calling my mom a long-necked bird. But, a few weeks ago, my sister Jackie and I were talking about my mom’s upcoming 90th birthday, and why she continues to live a long, healthy life. We immediately discussed the fact that she does not let things stress her out. She never has. We’ve both watched my mom for more than 50 years, and the one thing we’ve always noticed is how she is so positive. … Continue reading

The Academy of Business Leadership

Last night, I watched over a dozen 13-18 year-old students from South Central, Los Angeles, and some from as far away as Uzbekistan and Turkey, present their own business plans to potential investors. Yes, you read that correctly. These budding entrepreneurs have not even graduated from high school! The program is the brainchild of my good friend, Anna Ouroumian, who came from extremely humble beginnings in Lebanon. She was dropped off at an orphanage in Beirut at the age of three, and was raised by nuns. She moved alone to … Continue reading