Fruits, Veggies, Nuts, Flowers: PMA Fresh Summit 2014!

PMA Fresh Summit 1

If you had a chance to experience the largest trade show for fresh produce in the world, would you go?  Two years ago I jumped at the chance to attend the Produce Marketing Associations’ Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA even though I had never been before.  This year I was hoping to go again, so when I had the chance to apply for a media pass as a blogger, I signed right up!

“With 20,000 attendees and 900 exhibitors from over 60 countries, Fresh Summit is where contacts are formed, trends are revealed, ideas are exchanged and careers are made. ” PMA

The Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit conference is  where  every segment of the produce and floral supply chain comes together. Retailers, Industry Suppliers, Wholesalers, Grower-shippers, and Importers/Exporters met in Anaheim, California from Oct. 17 to 19.  The conference began with  a day for education including workshops in Global Connections, Science and Technology,  Talent Management, and new this year: Floral Industry.   General sessions offered sponsored breakfasts with presentations by inspiring leaders and speakers.  The Expo Hall had an overwhelming presentation of products and services, with opportunities to taste foods,  talk to representatives,  learn about new products coming to market, and discover amazing information about how our foods are grown,  harvested, packaged, and sold in stores.   Events and parties continued throughout the weekend.  This year the PMA Fresh Summit 2014 was a huge celebration for the produce industry.

PMA Fresh Summit 2014

I knew I wanted to be there this year, as I had attended Fresh Summit 2012 in Anaheim , Ca. with a group of bloggers  invited by the Idaho Potato Commission.   Last year’s Fresh Summit was held in New Orleans, so I couldn’t go.   This year it was back in Anaheim and I knew I didn’t want to miss,  so I applied to be a blogger with Kitchen Play’s #TeamFreshSummit,  organized by Casey Benedict.  Our team would provide social media reporting during the conference, as well as working with  particular sponsors.

Food bloggers flew in from all over the USA to work with Team Fresh Summit. We all met up on Thursday evening for …what else…a party!

Carly Morgan, photographer

Photo by Carly Morgan

That evening gave us all a chance to get acquainted with each other … bloggers networking with food!  (okay, with some wine and beer too!)  We were thrilled to visit with some of the local food bloggers who joined us for the party, sharing our stories and picking up tips to help us improve our own blogging efforts.

Panetone workshopOn the first day, I picked an education session on the floral track presented by international color expert, Leatrice Eisemann.   We were taken on a journey through colors found in nature, high end fashion,  children’s apparel,  decor,  jewelry,  automobiles, sports teams…you name it!   The psychology of color and the benefits of using certain colors were fascinating to me.  The biggest take-away for me was Continue reading

Make Your Best Guacamole at the Big Traveling Potluck!

Foodie-Crush-Heidi

What would you put into fresh avocado to make an awesome guacamole?

A full bowl of fresh avocado holds amazing potential!  No one knows this better than Heidi of FoodieCrush, an online magazine that loves bloggers, their food and their photos.   Especially when she’s getting ready for some friendly competition in a  guacamole contest with fellow food bloggers from all over the USA!

Last weekend I witnessed Continue reading

Adventures of the Avocado Sisters: Our Silly Hat Brunch at Annie’s Cafe (Part 1)

The Avocado Sisters are at it again!  Rachael of La Fujimama and I got together for another avocado adventure yesterday.  It was completely unplanned, but we had an excellent time!

It began with a few tweets on Twitter.  Rachael and her husband are celebrating their big 10 year anniversary, and yesterday was THE day.  They expected to be driving off into the horizon, but due to some unavoidable obstacles, the trip had been postponed for a day.   So we decided that we should meet for brunch:  Fuji Mama, the Fujilings (Squirrel and Bug) and Mimi Avocado.  We looked for a place half-way between our homes to meet, and found a delightful British breakfast/lunch cafe in Lake Elsinore called Annie’s Cafe.    This would be the perfect location for our brunch, because I wanted to give the Fujilings a copy of a children’s literature favorite by a British author:  The Avocado Baby by John Burringham.

avocado baby by John Burringham

Story of how avocados can make a baby very strong and brave!

When we arrived at Annie’s, we noticed a sign on the door:  “The Friendliest Place in Town!”  There were people of all ages enjoying breakfast inside, and several groups sitting outside too.  Not to worry,  we were seated straight away by an affable man with a British accent who insisted that Squirrel and Bug were the “grown-ups” and should lead the way to our table.  Our server came immediately with four large and very silly hats.  We were instructed to wear said hats if we wanted to see the servers dance.  We were also warned that if we took the hats off,  WE would be expected to dance!  (That chicken hat looks familiar!)

Annie's Cafe silly hats

Bug and Fujimama love their silly hats!

Our breakfasts were delicious.  The menu included fresh egg dishes,  homemade waffles and  pancakes,  omelets, sandwiches.   The regular and specialty coffees are priced the same, so it’s s easy to indulge in a latte or mocha!  They even include a menu just for children or seniors (with wrinkles) over age 55.   We decided that Mimi Avocado has no wrinkles and had no business ordering from the senior menu.

Annie's Cafe with Mimi Avocado

Mimi Avocado and Squirrel love hats!

The sausage was especially delicious.   Fujimama enjoyed her “Rachelle’s Special with Avocado” and  my “Red, White and Blue Waffle” was a patriotic wonder!  Blueberries baked into the waffle, topped with strawberries and whipped cream.

Red, White and Blue Waffle and Annie's Cafe, Lake, Elsinore, Ca

The Patriotic Waffle!

Squirrel invented a new delicacy:   bacon with whipped cream!

Annie's Cafe breakfast

Squirrel is the Queen of Breakfast!

 

Annie's Cafe pancakes

Bug loves her “Panda Cakes”!

We had a marvelous time at breakfast, as did all the patrons in the restaurant.  The place was full without seeming over-crowded.  One large party was celebrating a 90th birthday!  The servers invited the whole restaurant to sing “Happy Birthday” with a beautiful recorded accompaniment played through the house speakers.  Then the music changed to “Celebration” and the 90-year-old birthday girl got up and danced like nobody’s business!  High kicks and all!  Squirrel and Bug danced too!

Annie's Cafe Elsinore

Dancing at Annie’s Cafe in Lake Elsinore, California

We will surely be returning to our special Annie’s Cafe.  They truly lived up to the sign on the door:  The Friendliest Place in Town!

Annie's Cafe hat

Squirrel decided that this hat complemented her red outfit best!

Stay tuned for our Flower-Picking and Easter Egg Hunt in the Avocado Grove!  (to be continued)

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