Frieda’s Specialty Produce will celebrate the 95th birthday of its founder and produce industry pioneer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan on Friday, Aug. 10.
Despite the company’s birthday paid time-off policy, Rapoport Caplan plans on coming in to the office on her birthday anyway.
“I already have Thursdays off, that’s enough PTO for me,” she said.
The subject of the 2015 documentary film “Fear No Fruit,” Rapoport Caplan became the first woman in the U.S. to own and operate a produce company on the all-male Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. Starting with unusual and new-to-market specialties, including the successful introduction of kiwifruit to the American market in 1962, Rapoport Caplan and her company would go on to inspire new food experiences for chefs and home cooks by introducing more than 200 exotic fruits and vegetables to American consumers over the years, including Sunchokes, dragon fruit, habanero peppers, jicama, and Stokes Purple sweet potatoes.
Rapoport Caplan has received numerous awards and honors for her achievements over the years, including an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from CSU-Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for her achievements as one of the nation’s most successful female entrepreneurs. In 1990, the Los Angeles Times’ “A Dozen Who Shaped the ‘80s” featured Rapoport Caplan alongside Steve Jobs, Michael Eisner and Jane Fonda.
Currently, Rapoport Caplan serves on the board of Dramatic Results, a nonprofit agency that solves educational challenges by providing integrated arts programs to students and teachers in more than 40 public school campuses in California, Oregon and Alaska.
Frieda’s is asking those who want to wish Rapoport Caplan a happy birthday or share their favorite Frieda moment or how she has inspired them on social media on August 10, using the hashtag #ThanksFrieda.