Descripción de editorial
“A gutsy success story” (The New York Times Book Review) about one tenacious woman’s journey to escape rural poverty and create a billion-dollar farming business—without ever leaving the land she loves
The youngest of her parents’ combined twenty-one children, Sarah Frey grew up on a struggling farm in southern Illinois, often having to grow, catch, or hunt her own dinner alongside her brothers. She spent much of her early childhood dreaming of running away to the big city—or really anywhere with central heating. At fifteen, she moved out of her family home and started her own fresh produce delivery business with nothing more than an old pickup truck.
Two years later, when the family farm faced inevitable foreclosure, Frey gave up on her dreams of escape, took over the farm, and created her own produce company. Refusing to play by traditional rules, at seventeen she began talking her way into suit-filled boardrooms, making deals with the nation’s largest retailers. Her early negotiations became so legendary that Harvard Business School published some of her deals as case studies, which have turned out to be favorites among its students.
Today, her family-operated company, Frey Farms, has become one of America’s largest fresh produce growers and shippers, with farmland spread across seven states. Thanks to the millions of melons and pumpkins she sells annually, Frey has been dubbed “America’s Pumpkin Queen” by the national press.
The Growing Season tells the inspiring story of how a scrappy rural childhood gave Frey the grit and resiliency to take risks that paid off in unexpected ways. Rather than leaving her community, she found adventure and opportunity in one of the most forgotten parts of our country. With fearlessness and creativity, she literally dug her destiny out of the dirt.
In this passionate, though humble, memoir, Frey, CEO of Frey Farms, writes of growing up in poverty and becoming a successful businessperson. Frey traces her scrappy upbringing on a ramshackle Southern Illinois farm in the 1970s, where the house didn't have indoor plumbing and was heated only by a wood stove. There, she worked with her older brothers and father who insisted she do the same work as her brothers (in one particularly intense passage, her father insists that seven-year-old Sarah throw an enormous snapping turtle in the back of his pickup). After working summers with her mother selling melons to local grocery stores, a 15-year-old Sarah began spending more time on the road hauling produce than she spent in the classroom. At 18, she took out a loan and bought her family's failing farm, which her father had nearly lost in foreclosure; by her early 20s, she was supplying tractor trailers full of produce to Walmart. As Frey explains, through sheer grit and business acumen she was selective in what produce she sold, negotiated better prices with retailers, and aggressively marketed her goods she had turned the mismanaged farm into a multimillion-dollar business with hundreds of employees. Frey's energetic, inspiring memoir will appeal to small business owners and anyone who likes a bootstrapping success story. \n