This newsletter is going way back to 1979 to a time when I was kid. My children have had a distinct advantage over me when I was growing up. I was a Hamburger Helper and Fruit Loops kid and wouldn’t have known a Fuji from a Granny Smith apple or a Navel from a Valencia Orange. My only experience with fresh produce are fond memories of shelling peas on grandma’s back porch and carrying the 4th of July “seeded” Watermelon to the family picnic.
Fast forward to 1994, happily married with 3 of our own kiddos. This is when I began a career in retail produce. It wouldn’t be for another 4 years until Joelle and I would launch the Organic Produce Shoppe and then a few more years before we added farming and home delivery.
Those early years are where I gained a lot of experience about the seasonality and quality of produce. I have trimmed tens of thousand lettuce and spinach bunches, handled even more apples and citrus. At my core, I am a good food advocate and love working with quality growers and fresh produce.
I remember it as if it was yesterday, I was interviewing for a manager position after a few years of working in the industry. It was a walk and talk interview. It is not uncommon for me to ask questions when one enters my mind. I am just curious and like to learn. As we were walking through the fruit displays, I asked, “Where did you get grapefruit this time of year?” The manager hiring me said, “California???” This is not the question a potential manager candidate should have asked (smile).
To be completely honest my only experience was in boutique high quality produce markets. The owner of the company where I started my career never carried grapefruit from California. He was partial to Texas and Florida, which are harvested at a different time. And for sure, those are two really good grapefruit growing regions, but California also grows some outstanding citrus.
This week we are featuring some of that beautiful grapefruit from California. When I eat grapefruit, am less likely to use a grapefruit spoon, but opt for cutting it into wedges and eating them like that.
I did still get that job, because the manager was looking for a person with an eye for quality. Quality is still a driving factor for our small business and customer satisfaction.
– Thank you for allowing our family to serve yours,
Tristan, Joelle, Alaina and the Box of Good crew