2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Eric Frasse

Age: 38
Vice President of Sales
I Love Produce LLC
West Grove, PA

Frasse started his career in produce in 2010 with I Love Produce as business development manager. He rose to his current position of vice president of sales through his tenacious drive and phenomenal interpersonal skills. His leadership of the sales and marketing departments helps steer the company to innovate, leading to continued success. He is credited with making a distinct impact on the success of I Love Produce through developing new markets and diversifying the company’s customer portfolio. He was also instrumental in initiating the company’s current food safety program.
He has volunteered for the PMA Membership Committee for three years, serving as a team captain. He has been on the Fresh Summit Exhibitor Committee for the past four years. He is involved as a career ambassador with the Center for Growing Talent, working with college students to help them discover opportunities within the produce industry. He is a graduate of the PMA Emerging Leaders Program.

Hobbies: Running, traveling, eating out at new interesting restaurants.

Personal/Community: Married, one son

Motto in life: “Grind, Grind, and Grind some more.”

Q: How did you begin working in the produce industry?
I came from the construction industry in 2008, when the housing market crashed. When I was looking for a new job, I focused on areas that I knew would be recession proof and landed in produce.

Q: What aspect of the business challenged you the most early on?
The schedule is the most difficult aspect to get used to in the beginning. This is not a nine to five job and you will work weekends, nights, holidays and vacations. Everything we do has a sense of urgency and needs to be taken care of right away. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
My team and I helped to grow I Love Produce into what we are today. I helped build our brand within the industry and initiated the food safety program.

Q: What industry improvements would you like to see?
Getting younger generations to choose to produce as a career. The PMA has done a lot to not only promote the produce industry to younger generations, but also to retain them. I’d like to see more of a push overall from the whole industry to accomplish this goal.

Q: What advice would you give someone new to the produce industry?
Don’t stop learning! If you think you know it all, then you’ll stop growing. Soak up as much information as you can in and out of the industry. Talk to people and learn from their experiences. Just have an open mind and be willing to learn anything new. This will help you think outside the box and carry you through your career.

Q: What do you think the industry can do to promote more produce consumption?
Promoting for children and teens to eat healthier is always a good start. The habits they pick up now will most likely stay with them through adulthood.

Q: What was the “aha” moment when you knew the produce industry was the best choice for you?
Six years ago, we were exhibiting at an industry show and a group of five retailers stopped by our booth to speak with me about my product. They were rapid firing all sorts of questions at me and without any hesitation I was able to answer everything they asked. I provided accurate information with ease. After that encounter, I truly felt accomplished and happy in my career. I’m a professional in the produce industry.

Q: What would you like to be doing in your career when you turn 50?
I will be a CEO one day.