2023 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Giovanni Espinosa

Age: 36

Senior Sales Representative
GreenFruit Avocados
Newport Beach, CA

Hometown: Westminster, CA
Hobbies: Health/Fitness, Attending Sports/Music Events, Boating, Coaching daughter’s soccer team
Family/Community: Married, 2 daughters, UC Riverside Alumni Association, St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, City of Hope–Walk for Hope
Motto in life: “From what we get, we can make a living. What we give, however, makes a life.”

Espinosa is known for his passion in produce, specifically avocados. Espinosa started his produce career over nine years ago at blueberry and asparagus shipper Gourmet Trading Company as a sales coordinator. He was responsible for assisting in the day-to-day with domestic major retail, food service and export.

In 2015, he moved to help found GreenFruit Avocados, working as a sales and logistics manager at GreenFruit where he was responsible for helping build the sales foundation on the wholesale, food service and retail side, along with developing the infrastructure on the logistics, procurement and food safety side. Leading collaboration within a team has led him to success with national and regional retail and foodservice partners. During his current position as a senior sales representative, he has helped build the company’s customer base and has customized several programs to exceed the expectations of customers. He oversees several of the company’s Top Tier Customers and has been successful with customers domestically and outside of the United States, including Hong Kong, China, Dubai, Japan and Canada.

Q: How did you begin working in the produce industry?
After college, I was planning to continue my education in history and law, when a chance meeting with an old friend re-ignited a passion from my childhood visits to my family’s home in the Michoacan region in Mexico. My family roots are from that region, just a few miles from GreenFruit’s packing house. When a friend presented me with this opportunity to join GreenFruit Avocados, it completely fit the mold I was searching for.

Q: What do you know now you wish you knew when you first started your career?
I wish I knew that job opportunities for a college graduate are always available in the produce industry, especially for someone who is bilingual.

Q: What aspect of the business challenged you the most early on?
The most challenging part of this business is to be mindful of the communication within your team and your customers. A team must be communicating in order to collaborate for the customer’s needs. Communicating — and sometimes overcommunicating — with your customers is one of the most important factors in the produce business.

Q: How has the industry changed during your tenure?
There have been drastic changes on what is important to the grower, to the shipper and to the end user. The end user is now mindful of organic, locally sourced, non-GMO produce more than ever. Online grocery shopping has become a preferred method for many. Food safety and sustainability has pushed shipper and growers to analyze their growing practices, improve efficiencies in the supply chain all while hyper focusing on sustainability.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
Being one of the founding members of GreenFruit Avocados and leading an amazing sales team that has become a force in the avocado category.