Letter: John Armenta was produce business mentor - The Packer

Letter: John Armenta was produce business mentor

07/19/2013 09:32:00 AM
Frieda Caplan

Tell it to The Packer | Letter to the Editor

Frieda Caplan, founder
Frieda’s Inc.
Los Alamitos, Calif.

When I read Andy Nelson’s July 2 article, “John Armenta, L.A. produce manager, dies,” I was flooded with lots of great memories.

When I opened the doors of Frieda’s on the Seventh Street Market, I turned to John continuously over the years we were there, until we moved off the market in the late ’80s.

A little known fact is that three officers of Southern Pacific Railway (I always referred to them as three old men) came to me in late 1961 after watching me sell fresh mushrooms for Giumarra Bros. for five-plus years.

They told me they wanted me to go into business for myself because there was an “open door” on the market.

I told them “no” because I had no idea how to run a business and didn’t have the money to run a business, but they insisted I would be a success and really pushed me.

As they say, long story short: that was the start of Frieda’s, then known as Produce Specialties, with its bright purple signs.

So you can understand why learning of John Armenta’s passing brought on so many memories.



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