A US President, Broccoli and Where The Produce Revolution Began

March 20, 2017


The biggest marketing coup of my career came just after I became Marketing Manager at Apio Produce Sales… it involved broccoli and a President.

President George Bush Sr. banned broccoli from Air Force One, saying he’d hated it since boyhood. Given Apio was big into broccoli I had to do something, so I organized a ten ton “protest”.

Our growers donated the broccoli and we trucked 10 tons of it to the White House. The global media ate it up. Would you believe it was the first press release I’d ever written?

Besides generating over $150 million dollars in free publicity for broccoli, this initiative earned me a trip to the White House and a meeting with Barbara Bush. To this day, I am still fondly known in America as ‘the broccoli lady.’

This was a turning point in my career. I learned the power of a compelling story and if you can emotionally connect with consumers, anything is possible. This thinking still drives me to this day.

It was this thinking that led me to focus on developing ‘consumer-centric’ produce brands and I started to do something new…“talking” to the shopper on produce packaging. My first brand was the Eat Smart brand born in 1992 and twenty-plus years later, Apio Produce Sales are still using this brand to great success.

Since this time, I’ve become known for launching revolutionary, consumer-centric produce brands including: Wild About Fruit, Gotta Love ‘Ems, Love! Kumara, Edible Gems, TRUU, Avovita and Born Pure.

My job thrills me and it’s an honour to be a thought leader within the fresh produce industry.