Sarah Frey is the founder and CEO of Frey Farms which she founded at the age of 16. The farm grows thousands of acres worth of fruits and vegetables. Dubbed “the Pumpkin Queen of America” by the New York Times, she sells more pumpkins than any other producer in the United States. She is also the owner of Tsamma, a bottled watermelon juice sold in over 1,500 stores all over the country. Her new book is titled The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life – and Saved an American Farm.
Some interesting insights from this episode:
- Because she grew up poor and had to spend most of her free time doing chores around the farm, she learned to use her active imagination to escape.
- Growing up without means was a strong motivator to find the freedom to live a better life and to have more control over her own destiny.
- Her lack of scale and sophistication early on (no warehouses, distribution centers, extra drivers) became a competitive advantage, as delivering direct to the stores meant fresher and higher quality produce for the customers.
- A lot of her success was due to her ability to exude confidence, even when she really wasn’t sure what she was doing.
- Scrappiness is in her company’s DNA. A core philosophy from the beginning and just as relevant today is how to do more with less.
- Always make sure that the customer’s needs are met. “Take care of the customer today and they will take care of you in the future.”
- She doesn’t look for the polished, well educated, perfectly buttoned-up kinds of people but rather, the ones that have some imperfections. “Often the most imperfect people are the sweetest on the inside.”
- “Excellence is loving what you do.”
Book: The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life – and Saved an American Farm