My First Produce Expo

Most industries have annual trade conventions showing off new items and packaging.  The produce industry is no different.  I was fortunate to recently attend The Packer’s Midwest Produce Convention & Expo held in Kansas City, MO and the show was fascinating!

All of the companies displaying at the shows decorate their 8 x 10 foot space with brightly colored, eye catching packaging and giveaways designed to attract the interest of buyers working in retail, wholesale and the food service industry.  Customers enjoy a unique opportunity to get to know their suppliers face to face in a fun and enjoyable environment.  Our sales staff, and the other fresh produce suppliers have learned through their many years of attending conventions that buyers have certain colored name badges and those mean decision makers and possible purchase orders. The buyers also know from experience that vendors will do what it takes attract them to their booths for a few minutes of their valuable time and an exchange of business cards.

This was my first ever produce convention; in fact my first business convention of any kind.  The whole trip was an incredible learning experience.  The King Fresh tradition of sponsoring and exhibiting at the Midwest Expo stems from our company’s satellite location in Kansas City.  We enjoy The Packer’s Midwest Produce Convention and Expo, because we never know who we will meet that could enhance our company’s future…the possibilities are endless…and that’s exciting, too!


Paige Wilson

~Grandma Wheezy’s Sweet Grape Salad~


“This grape salad works as a salad or a desert!  Guaranteed someone will want to know who made it.” – Grandma Louise



  • BASE

8 cups King Fresh grapes (Red grapes are best, the rest are good!)


8 oz. cream cheese

8 oz. sour cream (You can use plain Greek yogurt as a healthier option)

½ cup sugar


1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup chopped pecans (Pecans are best, other nuts are good!)


Wash and de-stem the grapes.

wheezy grapesMix room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar into a bowl. Stir dressing onto clean, DRY grapes.

louise grape salad mix

Mix brown sugar and chopped pecans and sprinkle heavily on top of grape salad and serve. (Grandma Wheezy stirs toppings into grapes and then covers the top again for extra sweetness!)

louise grapes salad bwnsugar

There is usually dressing left over so make sure you use enough to cover grapes well. Then you can add more grapes, if necessary…if not the dressing stays great in the refrigerator.

louise grape salad 2

A Healthy & Sweet Treat! …Bon Appetit!

This Family Recipe was Contributed by:  Paige Wilson (granddaughter of Louise)

The Value of Youth Labor in the Fields

Keith Wilson, owner and operator of King Fresh Produce told his three sons early on that they could earn money working and contributing to the operations of the King Fresh Produce, the family business. Initially the boys thought their contribution would start in the office; filing, running errands, and doing other tasks, however, their father said no. According to Keith, to fully understand the business it starts in the field–working the dirt, planting, growing the crop, and harvesting. The sons were told “Field work begins in the morning so be at there at 5:30 AM tomorrow morning.” Keith told them to not forget a hat and to wear a long sleeve shirt to not get sun burned.

“Working in the fields helped me learn the value of a dollar. It makes me think if I buy something it took me this many hours to earn what I am purchasing.” Zachary Wilson, 15 years old said.

Working in the fields can be overwhelming. These young men have to wake up early in the morning since it is over 90 degrees by 10 or 11 AM.  After working in the fields for King Fresh for two summers now, Zachary is interested in working in other parts of the company.

“Working in the fields makes me realize how much an education is worth. I need to go to college because I do not want to limit myself to a manual labor job. I love working outside but having to crawl into a grape vineyard doesn’t sound appealing to me to do for the rest of my life.” Brenden Wilson, 16 years old said.


Adolescents understand that the jobs available today if only receiving a high school degree are likely to be filling orders, manual labor, and moving boxes.  More and more teens believe that receiving a bachelor’s degree is the first step in moving up in the social and economic ladder.

This generation sees education in a different light compared to the older generation who decided to go to work right out of high school. It seems necessary to earn a higher education to open the door to more prestigious jobs and higher earnings. The focus on earning a higher education’s provides our generation with a feeling of security.

Working in the fields at King Fresh Produce as  young adults has been a beneficial experience for Brenden and Zachary. They enjoy seeing their projects through and visualizing the positive effects they have on the company. They realize the small things they are accomplishing can have a huge effect on the company. They will carry the lessons they learned in the field with them throughout their life and never forget their summers spent in the fields.

-Paige Wilson

CA Sweet Cherry Season is on its way!

Have you every noticed that some fruits never seem to disappear from the produce section of your grocery store?  You can always find apples, oranges, peaches, bananas, etc., however that cannot be said for cherries. Cherries are only available for a limited time during the year. So if you want to enjoy them to the fullest, it’s important to know when they are in season.


The initial harvest begins in southern California; usually around mid to late April. The earliest cherry variety is the Brooks cherry, which is a cross between a Rainier and a Bing.  From there, the harvest moves north through the state, and by early June, the harvest comes to an end in California. While the California season for sweet cherries is coming to a close, the cherries in Washington State are becoming ripe & ready for harvest.  Washington cherries typically peak in early July & there are several different varieties of cherries grown there. They can be broken into dark/sweet cherries and Rainier cherries. The variations are usually in color, firmness, and sugar-to-acid ratio.

Now, you might be wondering, how long does it take from harvest to when the cherries actually hit the supermarkets?  Since they are highly perishable, King Fresh Produce cherries are carefully transported from farm to truck and are hydrocooled within mere hours of picking.  Cherries need this cold chain process to keep them as fresh as possible.  The cherries are then either packed immediately, or kept in cold storage for packing in the next 24 hours.  From there, it generally takes 1-2 days for nearby locations and 2-3 days for the east coast to receive CA cherries for retail, in your favorite grocery store.





Even though the overall cherry harvest lasts roughly 4 months, there are peaks in the season. The California cherries peak at the end of May/beginning of June, and prices tend to be higher for them…but they are more than worth it!  Get ready…because sweet CA cherries are on their way!

Springtime 7 Day Clean-Eating Challenge & Healthy Grocery List

Spring is officially here.  Are you ready to jump-start your health? I challenge YOU to eat clean for 7 days straight, for every meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even your snacks! …and I have the tools to help you!

Eating clean can sometimes be a chore, as it is confusing! When you are only used to the endless, processed foods at the supermarket, sometimes you must question, so what is “clean” anyway?

First of all, clean eating is not a diet-it’s a lifestyle. You are either in it to change your ways or you probably shouldn’t do it at all (shhhhh…you didn’t hear that from me!). I believe everyone has their own personal idea of what’s considered “clean eating,” especially since there is NO clear definition of what “clean” is. However, I would have to imagine that everyone would agree to some extent that the general definition would be: the elimination of processed, extra additives, chemicals, and refined foods in one’s daily diet. Instead, you are choosing to eat foods in their simplest or “whole” state.

Some benefits to eating a clean diet are:

  • Fat loss
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Decreased health problems
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mental well-being
  • Improved skin
  • The list goes on & on!

The easiest way to start eating clean is to prepare your own meals at home. Yes, this means you have to start learning how to cook! This way, you know exactly what ingredients you are eating and the amount of calories you are consuming.

Confused about what to buy or what to eat? Included is a specific meal plan with specific foods for each day & meal. However, you may use the plan as a guide to making your own dishes-since this plan is not a “one size fits all.” Not everyone likes chicken. Not everyone eats meat. Not everyone likes fish, etc, etc, etc.  Here goes…have fun and do your best to give it a go for 7 solid days!🙂

The Grocery list

Here is a huge grocery list of clean eating foods. You do not (I repeat🙂 ) do not, have to go out and buy every single item on this list. This is solely just to give you an idea of what is considered clean and for you to use as a guide for the future when you are grocery shopping.


  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Okra
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Rhubarb
  • Onions
  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Avocado
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichoke
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Beet Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Leek
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Celery


  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Clementines
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Kiwifruit
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Nectarines
  • Tangerines
  • Honeydew
  • Cantaloupe
  • Papaya
  • Pear
  • Cherry
  • Mango
  • Guava
  • Tomato


  • Turkey or Pork tenderloin
  • Salmon
  • Cod
  • Halibut
  • Tilapia
  • Tuna
  • Lean Steak
  • Skinless Chicken breasts
  • Turkey bacon
  • Extra Lean Ground turkey
  • Tofu
  • Hummus
  • Grouper
  • Egg whites
  • Turkey
  • Pork Chops
  • Scallops
  • Shellfish


  • Wheat flour
  • Oat flour
  • Almond flour
  • Chickpea flour
  • Rice flour
  • Quinoa flour


  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Peanut Butter (Natural)
  • Almond Butter (Natural)
  • Flax seed
  • Chia seed
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Hemp seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Pine Nuts


  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas, pinto beans, mung beans
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Whole Wheat English muffins


  • Unsweetened Almond milk
  • Unsweetened Rice Milk
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • String Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Low fat cheddar cheese


  • Raw maple syrup
  • Raw Honey
  • Stevia
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Sunflower oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil


  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Protein shake


  • No refined sugar
  • No white sugar
  • No white pasta
  • No soda or juice
  • No fast food
  • No alcohol
  • No cookies, donuts, or pastries
  • No chips

The Plan

Day One

7am Breakfast:

  • 2 slices of turkey bacon with ½ cup oatmeal with cinnamon and stevia

10am Snack:

  • Fruit smoothie (1/2 banana, 4 strawberries, 1 cup almond milk, ice)

12pm Lunch:

  • Grilled chicken salad with 2 tbsp light balsamic vinaigrette, topped with unlimited veggies

3pm Snack:

  • 1 apple with 2 tbsp of peanut or almond butter

5pm Dinner:

  • Muffin Tin Tacos (see recipe)

8pm Snack:

  • Protein shake

Day Two

7am Breakfast:

  • ½ grapefruit with 1 cup Greek Yogurt and one piece of toast

10am Snack:

  • Handful of almonds with 1 banana

12pm Lunch:

  • 6oz sirloin with brown rice and asparagus

3pm Snack:

  • 1.5 cups Natural air-popped popcorn

5pm Dinner:

  • Black Bean Burgers (see recipe)

8pm Snack:

  •  2 tbsp Cottage cheese with handful of strawberries

 Day Three

7am Breakfast:

  • Blueberry protein muffins (see recipe)

10am Snack:

  • 2 almond butter bars

12pm Lunch:

  • 1 salmon filet with brown rice and half an avocado

3pm Snack:

  • Strawberries with 2 tbsp cottage cheese

5pm Dinner:

  • Lean Pot Roast with brown rice and veggies (see recipe)

8pm Snack:

  • Protein shake

Day Four

7am Breakfast:

  • 2 slices of turkey bacon with ½ cup oatmeal with cinnamon and stevia

10am Snack:

  • 3 boiled eggs with handful of almonds

12pm Lunch:

  • Grilled chicken salad with 2 tbsp light balsamic vinaigrette, topped with unlimited veggies

3pm Snack:

  • 5 whole grain crackers with 2 oz low fat cheddar cheese

5pm Dinner:

  • Grilled Spicy Shrimp Tacos (see recipe)

8pm Snack:

  • 2 tbsp Cottage cheese with handful of strawberries

Day Five

7am Breakfast:

  • 2 Ham & Egg Cups (see recipe) with one piece of toast

10am Snack:

  • 3 boiled eggs with handful of almonds

12pm Lunch:

  • 1 filet of tilapia with brown rice and half an avocado

3pm Snack:

  • 2 tbsp Hummus with baby carrots

5pm Dinner:

  • Zesty Turkey Meatballs with brown rice & veggies (see recipe)

8pm Snack:

  • Protein shake

 Day Six

7am Breakfast:

  • ½ Grapefruit with 3 boiled eggs

10am Snack:

  • 2 almond butter bars

12pm Lunch:

  • 1 grilled chicken breast with 1 sweet potato and 1 cup of broccoli

3pm Snack:

  • 2 boiled eggs and a handful of almonds

5pm Dinner:

  • Easy Crock pot Turkey Chili (see recipe)

8pm Snack:

  • 1 piece string cheese & handful of almonds

Day Seven 

7am Breakfast:

  • 2 slices of turkey bacon with ½ cup oatmeal with cinnamon and stevia

10am Snack:

  •  3 boiled eggs with handful of almonds

12pm Lunch:

  • 1 Salmon Filet with Brown Rice & Half an Avocado

3pm Snack:

  • 1 apple with 2 tbsp of peanut or almond butter

5pm Dinner:

  • Lean Meatloaf (see recipe)

8pm Snack:

  • 2 tbsp Cottage cheese with handful of strawberries


Blueberry Protein Muffins

• 2 cups of unsweetened applesauce
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
• 1 cup blueberries
• 3 cups of rolled oats
• 2 table spoons of melted coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In large bowl mix together the applesauce, vanilla, and protein powder.
3. Once all mixed fold in the blueberries, rolled oats, & melted coconut oil.
4. Place mixture in muffin tin and bake for 30-35min or until golden brown.
5. Let cool and serve!

Almond Butter Bars

• 3/4 cup raw honey
• 1 cup raw almond butter
• 3 cups old fashioned oats

• Heat the almond butter & honey in a saucepan on low heat until melted. Stir & remove from heat.
• Pour mixture over oats in a large bowl. Stir thoroughly.
• Pour & press batter into a 9 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
• Remove & let cool.

Ham & Egg Cups


• 6 whole eggs
• 6 slices thick ham
• Salt/Pepper to taste


1. Grease muffin tin.
2. Place one piece of ham in each tin.
3. Crack one egg into each ham slice.
4. Sprinkle salt/pepper to taste.
5. Bake at 350 degrees until eggs are cooked to your liking. (I like mine all the way baked so it usually takes 15 minutes)

Muffin Tin Tacos

• 1 package wonton wrappers
• 1 lb. ground beef
• 3 tbsp chili powder
• 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp onion powder
• 1/2 tbsp paprika
• 2 tbsp cumin
• shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes-for topping (optional)

1. In a skillet heated over Medium, brown ground beef. Drain.
2. Add in seasonings and mix well. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
4. Place two wonton wrappers in each tin cup of the muffin pan. (It is okay for the corners to point upward)
5. Spoon ground beef mixture into each cup.
6. Bake for 15 minutes until corners of the wonton wrappers are golden brown. Remove from oven.
7. Top with your favorite toppings.

Skinny Zesty Turkey Meatballs

• 1 lb lean ground turkey
• 1 egg
• 2/3 cup oats
• 1 packet Italian dressing mix
• salt/pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine all the ingredients together; stir well in a bowl.
3. Form around 20 balls out of the mixture. Put them on a broiler pan.
4. Bake around 15 minutes or until a cut meatball shows no pink inside.

Black Bean Burgers

• 1 (15oz) can black beans
• 1 ranch seasoning packet
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1/2 onion, diced
• 2 jalapenos, diced
• 1/2 cup oats
• 2 tbsp chili powder
• 2 tbsp paprika seasoning
• 1 tbsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp ground cumin
• 3 tbsp sriracha sauce
• 3 tbsp water
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.
• Mash black beans in a bowl; add onion, garlic, jalapenos, & bell pepper. Mix. Set aside.
• Whisk water, sriracha sauce, ranch packet, chili powder, cumin, paprika, & garlic powder together in a separate small bowl.
• Mix oats & egg into the black bean mixture. Combine with the seasoning mixture.
• Spoon ‘burger-sized’ mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, about a 3/4-inch thickness per mound. Shape into burgers.
• Bake in the preheated oven until cooked in the center and crisp in the outside, about 10 minutes on each side.
• Enjoy bunless or you can use lettuce leaves for a Paleo “bun.”

Grilled Spicy Shrimp Tacos

• 1 lb. peeled & de-veined shrimp
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 lime juiced
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 6 wheat tortillas (8 inch)
• 1 head lettuce; chopped
• Misc toppings of your choice (cheddar cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, etc)
• salt/pepper to taste

1. Combine olive oil, lime juice, peel, cayenne, and cumin in small bowl. Thread shrimp onto skewers; season with salt and pepper.
2. Brush shrimp with lime mixture.
3. Grill until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, brushing occasionally with lime mixture.
4. Roughly chop shrimp.
5. Top each tortilla with shrimp, lettuce and any other toppings you would like.

Easy Crock pot Turkey Chili


  • 1 cup dry black beans
  • 1 cup dry pinto beans
  • 1 cup dry kidney beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • salt/pepper to taste


1. Soak the beans in a large pot overnight. Drain and place into the crock pot.
2. Brown ground turkey in a skillet. Drain and place into the crock pot.
3. Dump the rest of the ingredients in and stir.
4. Cook on HI for 4 hours, stirring every hour.
5. Salt/pepper to taste.

Lean Meatloaf


• 2 lbs. 98% lean ground beef
• 1 cup oats
• 2 eggs
• ½ small onion, diced
• ½ green bell pepper, diced
• 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 tsp. garlic powder
• Salt/Pepper to taste


1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, and oats with an electric mixer or your hands (I love doing everything by hand!).
2. Next, add in the veggies, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Mix well.
3. Form into a loaf using your hands and wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap.
4. Wrap in tinfoil & freeze.
5. Bake at 350 degrees when ready to cook.

Royal Rainbow-Carrot Ribbon Salad

Want to spice up your winter?  Well, I did, too…and I couldn’t resist these beautiful rainbow carrots with their vibrant, exciting colors that I came across recently at the PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in Anaheim, CA.   This absolutely gorgeous feast for the eyes and the tummy was inspired by their unique look!  The colors are amazing–deep purple, yellow, red, white, peach and of course orange. I decided to make a salad by shaving the carrots into ribbons using my vegetable peeler so I could showcase all the gorgeous colors inside. Surprisingly their flavor isn’t all that much different…some of the carrots might taste slightly sweeter than the others but you sure can’t beat the visual!  Enjoy!!
 inside-peel  carrot-salad
Rainbow Carrot Ribbon Salad
  • rainbow carrot ribbons
  • baby arugula (substitute kale if you like)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano ribbons
  • slivered red onion
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh basil
  • toasted pine nuts, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • light vinaigrette of your choice or see recipe below


  1. Use a large bowl to toss and coat every thing completely then place your salad on a platter.
  2. VINAIGRETTE RECIPE:  3 parts good olive oil to 1 part wine vinegar, a splash of balsamic, 1 smashed garlic clove, a dollop of dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, ground pepper to taste. Whisk everything together.


    Here’s to your health…and your senses!!

EAT HEALTHY–Seven Steps To A Healthier, Happier YOU!


It’s a new year, and we’re sharing seven simple ways you can maximize your health and happiness in 2015!

1-Start The Day Right  Kick-start and energize your day by eating a breakfast that has at least 4 grams of protein. Also eat at least 4 grams of fiber, which will help you maintain a healthy weight and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Oatmeal with fruit is a good choice, and surprisingly, even some grab-and-go breakfast bars and other prepared foods offer good numbers.

2-Snack Sensibly  Snacking between meals has its benefits, sure…but only if you snack smart.  Be mindful of how much you are eating.  Keep healthy snacks on hand so you aren’t lured into a poor substitute.  Nuts and dried fruits are great choices.

3-Ditch Empty Calories  Sugary drinks are loaded with empty calories.  Limit your liquid calories by swapping sodas and sports/energy drinks for fruit and vegetable juices…or better yet–water!

4-Fresh Picked Diet  Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal.  These fantastic foods will help you feel full while providing loads of vitamins and nutrients.

5-Sugar Is NOT The Enemy  Put a limit on how much sugar you consume, but don’t cut out the sweets entirely.  Try satisfying your craving for sweets with fresh fruit.  Grapes are great!

6-Add Activity  Good health is much more than just the meals or snacks you eat.  A healthy body also requires activity.  You were made to move.  A brisk walk is just the ticket; take the stairs instead of the elevator and choose a parking spot further away from your destination, if you’re not interested in a full workout.  Every little bit of movement helps!

7-Shop The Perimeter  Did you know changing your shopping habits is an easy way to improve your diet?  Instead of spending so much time in the middle of the grocery store (where most processed foods line the shelves!) shop around the store’s perimeter.  This is where you’ll find the fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, and other items that are processed very little…or not at all.

Here’s to your health in 2015!  *Happy New Year!*