After more than 30 years in the fresh produce industry, Cindy Jewell is ready for a new adventure.
Jewell is leaving her position as vice president of marketing at Watsonville, CA-based California Giant Inc. to start her own business focused on marketing and creative for the fresh produce industry. Her last day at Cal Giant is March 2.
Jewell said the move is bittersweet, but she has always dreamed of entrepreneurship.
“I have spent 30 years an employee,” she said. “I want to work for me now. I want to keep having fun at what I do every day.”
Jewell says she joined the produce industry “almost by accident,” while looking for a job in banking.
“I took a job at the California Strawberry Commission – which I didn’t even know existed,” she says. After about 15 years at the commission, she approached Bill Moncovich at Cal Giant. “I asked to come work for him because I knew him while at the commission and had great respect for him and the company he was building. I have been there for 15 years and learned so much, as well as built a trusted brand in the industry.”
SCJewell Inc. will focus on a diverse set of clients who want to build their brand and look for new ways to engage with customers or want help telling their story.
“We all have such amazing stories to tell in the produce industry, and I love that part of my career the most,” she says. “Whether it is writing, video, or strategic planning and promotional development, I love creative marketing and hope to do a lot more of it.”
She says she also hopes to stay engaged with industry associations to help move the needle on consumption and public policy.
After 30 years in the produce business, Jewell says building personal relationships is one of the biggest rewards. Tour de Fresh is a great example of how the industry keeps engaged and connected.
“It was supposed to just be a one-time event to raise a little money for school salad bars and provide an opportunity for produce industry members to enjoy each other along the way,” she says. “There is such passion in this industry, we ended up creating a movement and a new community of friends along the way.”
“I love that, and love being part of every minute of it,” she says. “Passion for making a difference keeps us all connected.”