“She is a great thinker, open to new ideas with exceptional enthusiasm and passion for fresh fruit and vegetable consumption,” DeLyser said. “Emily represents a new generation of excellence in produce marketing.”
Also apparently impressed by Fragoso’s efforts at the FPFC was Jin Ju Wilder, then president of Coast Produce Co., Los Angeles. Wilder lured Fragoso away from the council in 2007 to become marketing manager at Coast Produce.
The new position opened new challenges — and fun — for Fragoso, she said.
“I was able to work on new business projects as manager or team leader and start things from the ground up,” she said. “I love being project based.”
Wilder cast her lure for Fragoso again in March, asking her to join Wilder’s new consulting firm, Status Gro.
Leaving Coast removes the luxury of marketing tangibles — as in fresh produce — and returns Fragoso to marketing a concept. She sees little difference.
“Even when I was selling products, I was still selling concepts,” Fragoso said. “Locally grown, for instance, is not necessarily a product. It’s about a feeling; it’s connection and authenticity.”
The move to the consulting firm does not mean leaving fresh produce in her wake. Status Gro is seeking clients with familiar products.
“We will focus generally on produce specifically,” Fragoso said. “We won’t rule out other opportunities, but only if it’s a good match.”
Marketing is not the only challenge facing Fragoso these days.
“I’ll be running my second half-marathon in June,” she said.
It seems there was a hidden benefit in the family’s long-ago relocation: training for long-distance running events is difficult during Indiana snowstorms.