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Monday, April 4, 2011

Celebrating 49 years

From Left: Jackie (my sister), Frieda (my mom), and me
My how time flies. I’m sure it is hard for my mom, Frieda, to believe that 49 years ago (April 2, 1962) she opened the doors to our now second-generation produce business.

As I shared with our staff, celebrating our 49th anniversary this past weekend means we have officially started our 50th year in business!

The staff at Frieda's Inc.
This past Friday morning, we gathered all our employees in our lunchroom and listened while mom recounted a few memorable moments of when she first started our company:

  • The horrified look she got when she arrived at work that first day, and found the sign company had painted her business sign in pale lavender paint. (Later, we would call that “marketing genius” as purple became our trademark company color and is the perfect complement to the bright green colors of the produce we sell.)
  • Her recollection of my sister, Jackie’s 1st grade field trip to the produce market, during which Jackie marched up and down the produce market, proclaiming “I am the mushroom baby! I am the mushroom baby!” (While my mom was pregnant with Jackie, she would visit the local mushroom farmers, which is how Jackie got that name.)
  • The embarrassing story of MY first Television spot. Apparently I was quite nervous as the local ABC affiliate was taping a segment on Rhubarb and I stood there with my arms crossed and did not smile. (I eventually hired a media coach, who worked with me on both my television and speaking appearances.)

But, probably the greatest joy that my mother has had, even with all the challenges she faced in business (boy, do we have stories), and being a “working mother” when virtually everyone else’s mom did not work and stayed home to raise their kids, was that she raised two happy, loving and responsible daughters.

My sister and I, even with two working parents, turned out pretty good (If I say so myself). We had our crazy times as kids (Jackie being a little wilder than me), but we always worked and paid our own way after we graduated from college. We both decided -- on our own -- to join our mom in her business.

And, the greatest joy for all three of us, is that we see each other every day. Yes, Frieda still comes to work each day! Sure, we don’t always agree, but we have developed a way of working through any issues.

Being the eldest daughter, it comes natural for me to be “in charge.” And I recognize that my “right brained” creative style is balanced so well by my sister’s left brain (logical) approach.

If you want to post a congratulatory note, please visit us on Facebook and post on our wall. And be sure to “like” us, so you can enter to win one of the many prizes we are giving out to consumers this month. (We are calling this our “Golden Goodies” promotion.)

And, so you can see how great mom looks at age 87, check out this short video we made last week, to commemorate the beginning of our 50th anniversary.

Celebrating 49 years in style!
Karen

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