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My family has always been connected to the land. Growing up in a Cuban-American household, our kitchen was always filled with fresh avocados, mangos, yuca, and other fruits with names that to this day, I still have trouble pronouncing.
My father is a tropical produce entrepreneur that for over 35 years has been sourcing exotic and tropical produce from Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America to all corners of the United States.
Because of our family’s business, I was raised visiting farms in the Caribbean, Central, and South America. One of my first memories, was as a young girl in the mountains of Ecuador. I was holding my Dad’s hand as I saw a pack of mules with large sacks draped over their sides, guided down a mountain by a farmer. They were carrying a load of a local root, known as malanga. Covered in fresh dirt, the root was brown with thread-like hairs on the outside. The proud farmer approached us and said, “it doesn’t get any fresher than this!” as he then broke the root in half with a crisp snap. Ugly-looking on the outside, the inside was pristine and white as snow. My Dad smiled, examined the freshness and passed it to me. At the time, I had no idea what this strange root was, but seeing my father light up and how proud the farmer was, I knew it had to be something special.
I have now started a family of my own. As a Cuban-American mother of 3, married to a Costa Rican, whose mother is from El Salvador and father is from Nicaragua, my family is as diverse as my experience.
As I’ve travelled the country, I’ve learned just how hard it can be to find and enjoy fresh tropical produce, that’s why I decided to start Tropical Fruit Box. It’s my hope that this produce can nourish and bring your family together just as it has mine.