Cindy Jewell Launches New Marketing Venture, SCJewell
WATSONVILLE, CA - Though we regularly name-drop trailblazers here at ANUK, very few come close to the impact Cindy Jewell has had on the produce industry at large. As a longtime produce advocate, innovative marketing maven, and indomitable leader in her own right, Cindy has built a legacy any industry up-and-comer dreams of building for themselves—a legacy that now includes her latest venture, SCJewell.
As Cindy sets out to start her own company and blaze a new trail for our industry’s marketers, I sat down to chat with her about this exciting next step in her produce journey and how she made this decision after 15 years with California Giant Berry Farms.
“Working for Bill Moncovich and Pat Riordan at California Giant was the opportunity of a lifetime, as they quickly taught me how to have fun while taking risks,” Cindy began when I ask her how she decided to start SCJewell. “I knew I was creative, but I never had the chance to explore it with trust like they provided me. Much of what we have accomplished in marketing here at California Giant began with stepping out into uncharted territory with new programs and initiatives. Sure, we had a couple of black eyes along the way, but we learned early on what worked and what didn’t in building this brand. I know now that taking this risk, walking away from California Giant, is also worth the reward.”
When it comes to the physical act of blazing a new trail, those we deem trailblazers make it look easy. In actuality, it’s a lot of work—a lot of weed whacking and plowing ahead even when the going gets tough. Cindy, like many trailblazers before her, however, looks into the face of these challenges unflinchingly. After all, a challenge is just an opportunity to reapply your passions to a new pursuit.
“I really felt like it was time to take on a new challenge,” Cindy continued. “As much as I have loved and been gratified by the accomplishments here at California Giant, I am ready to take on new initiatives and work for myself while continuing to support the produce industry in creative marketing. I have passion, creativity, and an incredible network of friends in the industry that I cherish. My journey has led me here, and I am grateful for every relationship gained and lesson learned along the way. I absolutely love what I do every day to help move the needle of fresh produce. I wake up every morning with new ideas that really motivate me to make a difference. I also have a strong passion for giving back and want to make sure I am able to continue with cause marketing initiatives like Tour de Fresh, the United Fresh Start Foundation, and others doing so much to improve health and wellness.”
With SCJewell officially kicking off in March, I asked Cindy what the industry can expect from her new marketing undertaking.
“I hope to work with several different types of clients in the industry and stay connected to telling positive stories about farming. The best part of any day is spent talking with a farmer and being able to tell their story to the consumer who buys their fresh produce,” Cindy reflected. “There is so much work to be done in making these connections, I would love to be able to spend time making a difference there. I also want the opportunity to stay connected to the industry associations so I can continue to make a difference in our communities and with public policy.”
Alongside these goals is the over-arching mission to expand the reach of fresh produce and keep its biggest competitor out of shoppers’ grocery carts—a mission that SCJewell has already adopted.
“One conversation I have really enjoyed over the last several years is bringing produce brands together. When a stranger asks me, ‘What do you do?’, the conversation always circles back to, ‘Who is your biggest competitor?’ I’ve always answered non-fresh items and candy—an answer that shifts the conversation to all the positive attributes of fresh produce,” Cindy revealed. “I look forward to continuing this conversation long into the future. I hope that by telling produce’s story, I can steer those strangers away from the candy aisle and into the produce department. We still have a long way to go, but this is why I plan to stay in the industry for years to come.”
Should you choose to look up the definition of a trailblazer in the dictionary, you might find a photo of Cindy Jewell smiling back at you—with a lengthy list of her produce accomplishments underneath. As Cindy embarks on this next stage of her career, AndNowUKnow will continue to report from the trail she blazes.