Joe’s 1st Day of School

As many of you know – my retail program makes its debut TODAY in Chicago at Shop & Save Markets.

I enjoyed meeting many of the industry’s top leaders at yesterday’s Midwest Produce Expo.  It was a surreal experience to visit so many booths where the organizations knew who I was prior to my introduction.  For the first time ever – I realized that I do hold a valuable place in the produce industry!

I have been working with graphic designers, my marketing colleagues, Indy Fruit ownership & more to build The Produce Mom Picks™.  Today’s launch represents over 5 months of intense brainstorming, research, creative thinking, and more.  Building this brand was the hardest 5 months of my life.  About 3 weeks ago I cried when I heard the news that Shop & Save, one of the busiest retailers in one of the largest cities in the world, would be the 1st grocery store to offer my retail program.  And it just so happened that the scheduled launch would be during the Midwest Produce Expo.  And Shop & Save just so happens to be 1 of 2 retailers chosen to participate in the Retail Tour of the Midwest Expo (think home show for grocery stores).  Yes.  An opportunity worthy of tears.

You know what else is worthy of my tears?  The fact that my oldest son started school today at the elementary school I attended as a child.  Joe is now a Saint Barnabas Warrior!  The St B community is a big reason why The Produce Mom has taken off with such steam & force.  This school is full of people who love me.

I know many people may wonder how or why I could miss the retail debut of my brainchild, The Produce Mom Picks™.   I missed today’s debut because I wanted to walk my son in to school on his first day at St. Barnabas.  I know what I’m capable of in terms of my professional life…  I know I will have more retail launches & I know I’m going to work hard to keep The Produce Mom Picks™ active at Shop & Save.  Those signs & produce commodities will be there tomorrow.  But only today could I hold my son’s hand & walk him through the beautiful courtyard that I remember walking as a young student myself for HIS first day at school.

Yes.  I’m working hard.  And, yes I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished & what lies ahead.  But the most special thing in my life today is the fact that Joe opened a new chapter in his life.  I’m glad Chip, Mac & I could be a part of it.  Good luck to my son, Joe, and Go Warriors!

xoxo Produce Mom


Mandy Jaffe Kessenich

Oh Lori, I hope Joe has a great first day! I loved the article as I too am proud to be apart of such a great Church. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the Launch and you are right…tomorrow is another day of new experiences for you. Keep up the good work girly!!!


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