Tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
For 10 years I sold & marketed fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores in the United States. The Produce Moms® is a blog that is rooted in my career as a produce industry professional as well as my personal life as a mom of two boys. People are looking for clarity, inspiration, and education about their fresh foods. At The Produce Moms you can expect to facts about farming, tips on how to select, store, and serve fresh produce, insights on seasonality and market conditions, inspiration on how to make produce more fun and desirable for your family, and more!
How did you get started blogging?
The blog actually started as work-for-hire. During my 10-year career in the supply chain at Indianapolis Fruit Company one of my responsibilities was serving as the company’s marketing manager. This whole thing started in 2012 as an idea for my former employer to better connect with our vendors (the farmers) while driving value to our customers (the retailers). Like all fresh food, the market dictates the sale price, so the profitability is in the economies of how well you buy or procure your product. The Produce Moms was originally pitched as blog titled “The Produce Mom” and as a strategy to engage our vendor or grower community with innovative B2C marketing to raise consumer demand and familiarity with the items in the produce department. The entire story of how & why we launched is recounted in EP1 of The Produce Moms Podcast. As well as the pivotal moment in 2015 when I purchased my work-for-hire from my former employer and became the owner of The Produce Mom, which I rebranded in 2017 to the more community-centric brand it is today: The Produce Moms.
Tell us about the mission of Produce Moms
We want to change the way America eats! Our mission is to empower everyone, especially children, to eat more fresh produce in both volume & variety.
Share with us some of your favorite kid-friendly recipes?
My favorite kid-friendly “recipe” collection is actually our fruit and vegetable tray collection. I’m a big believer that when it comes to fresh produce – you don’t need to add a lot of ingredients. Fresh produce is delicious in the raw, fresh form! My favorite trays for kids are:
Ninja Turtle Veggie Tray
And all our holiday trays: Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.
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What are your three favorite recipes that aren’t on you blog?
I make the best chocolate chip cookies. Not a single fruit or vegetable in the ingredients 😉. Our favorite family dinners include Chicken & Noodles and Chicken Parmesan – neither on the website! I need to fix that… both use produce 😊.
Share with us a favorite quote!
“When you are passionate, you always have your destination in sight and you are not distracted by obstacles. Because you love what you are pursuing, things like rejection and setbacks will not hinder you in your pursuit. You believe that nothing can stop you!” – Coach Mike Krzyzewski
What social media tools can you not live without?
What do you focus on most when it comes to creating content?
Asking myself, “Is this content a solution to our stakeholders: our audience, our brand partners, the media, the produce industry?”
Share with us any goals you have for 2020.
Continue growing our consumer products! In January 2020 we launched a co-branded sliced apple product with Crunch Pak, America’s #1 sliced apple brand. Look for the Crunch Pak x The Produce Moms apples in grocery stores across the nation.
Any tips you want to share with bloggers just starting out?
100 followers who care are far more valuable to your brand than 10,000 followers who wanted a chance to win an iPad. Don’t worry about the vanity metrics. Focus on your content and positioning your brand as a thought leader.
What’s your favorite book?
“Killing It: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart” by Sheryl O’Laughlin
Where is your favorite place to travel?
Pacific Northwest – probably my favorite site I’ve ever seen is The Bridge of the Gods, which runs over the Columbia River Gorge and connects Oregon & Washington. It took my breath away. This is the bridge where Cheryl Strayed stopped in her journey on the Pacific Coast Trail as documented in the book & movie “Wild”.
Have you had any exciting Influencer campaigns recently?
I loved supporting Duda Farm Fresh Foods, America’s #1 celery grower with supporting National Celery Month.
What are the three most popular recipes on your site?
Currently our top blogs are:
Tell us about The Produce Challenge.
The Produce Challenge is a free resource that we publish on the 1st of the month, every month. It’s a tool to help you navigate the produce department on our collective quest to eat more produce in both volume & variety – and we will usher you along the way with content and support on how to select, store, and serve the produce item of the day! Participating in The Produce Challenge® will not only expose you to a great variety of produce but also educate you on the seasonality of fresh produce.
Tell us about one of your biggest successes as a food blogger.
I’m proud of all the work we do. There is great success in getting just 1 family to serve a more produce-dense menu to their family. There is great success in telling just 1 American farmer’s story. But if I were to declare the biggest success I’ve ever had due to my work it would be the role that I have on Capitol Hill as a member of United Fresh and a political activist that is dedicating to protecting and increasing the availability of fresh produce in USDA School Meals.