I’d like to meet Lety B.

99 cents!? I wondered. How is that possible?

My favorite grocery store sells premium produce at bargain prices. I always take a moment for gratitude when I walk through the sliding glass doors, pull a cart from the cart chain, and start wheeling around, tossing affordable, delicious, nutrition into the basket.

A January wind howls outside my window as I write. I recall a story from Laura Ingalls Wilder…her family snowed into their little log cabin, surviving off of one bag of unground wheat. I’m warmed by forced air and have a refrigerator, freezer, and pantry full of enough food to last until spring. We’re expecting some snow later today. Plows throwing salt will have the roads clear by tomorrow morning.

I digress…

The 99 cent Cherubs.

I know a little bit about selling food to grocery stores because I tried it once. What I learned is that volume is king! Not only does a manufacturer or grower have the cost of their product, there are many other expenses that go into every unit sold—packaging, marketing, insurance—labor. The distributor and and grocery store also get a cut from the 99 cents I paid for the sweet gems. NatureSweet must be growing and selling a lot of tomatoes to make any kind of profit.

It boggles my mind that I can purchase tomatoes in January for 99 cents.
How does NatureSweet do it??

Last night when I Peeled Here to Lettuce Out—clever, yes?I found Lety B. on the reverse side.

What’s this?

My initial reaction was—How cool is that! And next, my inner skeptic piped up. Is this some slick marketing ploy?

I marched myself directly to naturesweet.com/talent and to my delight found Lety B. along with 17 of her coworkers. When you click on their photos, the employee talks to you—tells a little bit of their story—in Español—with subtitles! Juana talks about her family. Alfredo has finally found a job that he loves and has learned to listen to other people. Lety feels important and fulfilled.

The website says…

These are the Associates who grow our tomatoes. But what you may not know is that they’re also growing their futures. Every day they seize opportunities to improve professionally, academically, personally, and every day we’re amazed by what they’re able to achieve. Perhaps that’s the reason our tomatoes taste so great – because as a culture we don’t see our people as workers – we see them as remarkable humans with infinite possibilities, capable of anything.

Humans are remarkable….with infinite possibilities.
I believe.
Do you?