- Category : 1923-births
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (17)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 3
American entrepreneur who founded Frieda’s Inc. in 1962, making her the matriarch of the first wholesale produce company in the United States to be founded, owned, and operated by a woman.
Frieda’s Inc. is a privately owned company, based in Los Alamitos, California, which markets and distributes specialty produce. The company is credited with introducing many produce items to the U.S. including the kiwifruit, alfalfa sprouts, spaghetti squash, jicama, shallots, mangos, Donut® peaches, and various Asian and Latin specialties.
In 1956, Frieda Caplan first worked as a bookkeeper, later selling Brown Mushrooms, which were a specialty item in those days. After the success of selling mushrooms, Caplan opened her own company in 1962 with mushrooms as the primary item. She started with a small stand at the Los Angeles wholesale produce market.
Once titled the “Queen of Kiwi,” Caplan gained international recognition from bringing the Kiwifruit to the United States. She convinced California growers to plant the fruit and soon California had more than 700 Kiwifruit growers.
Caplan's elder daughter, Karen Caplan, was promoted to President and CEO in 1986. Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Frieda's younger daughter, serves as Vice President and Business Chief Operating Officer. In 1990, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins became owners of Frieda's, Inc.
In 2015, the film Fear No Fruit was released. The film chronicles Caplan's influence on American cuisine. Frieda Caplan died at age 96 on the morning of 18 January 2020 in Los Alamitos after a brief illness.