The Eastern Produce Council plans to honor Frieda Caplan and Annabel (Donio) Arena. ( Images courtesy Frieda's Inc. and the Eastern Produce Council )

The Eastern Produce Council is honoring two women for their notable contributions to the produce industry.

Frieda Caplan, founder of Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda’s Specialty Produce, will be recognized April 7 at EPC’s John J. McAleavey 52nd Annual Dinner Dance in Woodland Park, N.J., along with Annabel (Donio) Arena, a second-generation leader of Hammonton, N.J.-based Frank Donio Inc., who died in 2015.

“I am so honored to have been chosen by the Eastern Produce Council for this honor,” Caplan said in a news release from her company. 

“Some of my first direct customers are EPC members: Wakefern, D’Arrigo Bros., and Kings Supermarkets.”

“Frieda is an amazing pioneer in our industry,” Marianne Santo, vice president of the EPC and senior produce buyer for Wakefern, said in the release. 

“I join all my peers at the Eastern Produce Council in recognizing her contribution to the industry.”

Frank Donio Sr., Arena’s father, founded his grower-shipper and distribution business in 1933, according to The Packer’s archives. Arena joined the firm in 1955 and served as secretary and treasurer of Frank Donio Inc. and Donio Trucking Co. until 1999, remaining a partner in Donio Leasing Co. She served on the board of Frank Donio Inc. until her death, according to The Packer’s report.

 
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