In what part of town do you live?
I live in West Kendall.

How long have you lived in the area?
My entire life.

Have you always thought you’d stay in Miami?
I’m not going to stay here. My husband and I just bought a house up in Sebastian, Florida, which is a little town in between Vero and Melbourne. I moved away for a year to New York and we also spent a few months in North Carolina.

What keeps you busy during the week?
I work for a company called The Farmer’s Dog and we do fresh food for dogs. It’s a subscription service. They send it to your house and it’s all human grade, so you can eat it. I’ve literally had dog food empanadas. I do quality assurance for them. When you call into a company and talk to somebody, I’m the person that’s listening to the call or double checking to make sure everything is the way it should be.

Where is the company based?
They’re based in New York. I started working for them when I moved to New York and then they let me go remote. I’ve been with them for the past four years now, working from Miami.

Have you always had the same role in the company?
No. I started off as a customer service agent for about two years. Then I became a quality assurance specialist. That’s what I’ve been for the past two years. I moved to New York the day after my college graduation, May 5th. And then I started with them June 5th. So literally a month after. It’s been my one and only company since college.

Why did you choose this company?
To be completely honest, I was looking for anything. I saw their post and benefits included avocado toast and dogs. I got hired, and I just felt like everything fell into place. They have a beautiful office, they let their dogs in. They used to be in Brooklyn, but now they’re in the city in a really nice office.

Are you a dog person?
I’m a dog lover. We just got a puppy. She’s a three month old Collie. Her name is Heather. I didn’t start as a dog person. I did not like dogs growing up, but here I am a dog person working for dogs.

How did you go from not liking dogs to being a dog person?
My family growing up, was always like, no dogs, dogs are dirty, dogs give allergies, you know? And then my mom ended up finding this little rescue Chihuahua and that kind of shifted everything. It was almost like, oh, dogs are in the house now. Also, as I got older and realized there’s allergy medications so I could touch dogs and I’m fine.

Do you see yourself staying with the company?
I just love the company so much. They have amazing policies. We have super flexible PTO, (paid time off) which is not super common. They really value work life balance. I started off with a company that was so thoughtful and mindful in that way toward their employees. I don’t think I’d be able to adjust anywhere else at this point.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to rock climb. My husband and I are rock climbers. We’ve been rock climbing for about a year and a half.

What do enjoy about rock climbing?
It’s just something about the fact that it’s very individual. You’re focused completely on yourself and the wall. Climbing outside is something else, that’s the best of the best. We climb at a gym called The Edge. They are the only climbing gym in West Kendall. Otherwise we would be climbing fences. We have climbed outside too in Colorado and in Maine. You’re out there all day and you forget about everything and you’re focused on the wall. It sounds cliché, but it’s the closest you can get to nature. You’re literally sitting on the side of a mountain and it’s great.

What lessons have you learned in rock climbing that you’ve taken elsewhere?
I’m stronger than I think I am, even mentally. I think rock climbing has showed me that a lot of the time you’ll see a route and you’ll be like, I can’t do that. And then somehow you do it, it’s the end of your day, it’s the end of the session and you did it. And I think that starts slipping into your daily life where you’re like, well, if I did that, I can definitely do this.

How did you decide to move to Sebastian Florida?
We were living in North Carolina. We went there during the pandemic. We were actually planning on possibly buying there, but truth be told it’s about the fruit for me. My goal in life is definitely to work with fruit in some way. I really love all the access to tropical fruits and all these diverse fruits that we get in Florida. And I love the beach and I just love the Everglades. I’m an Everglades gal. Although I love North Carolina and I love the mountains and rock climbing, I am willing to sacrifice the mountains for Florida.

Tell us about your love of fruit. When did that start?
I have this stereotype in my family where I’m the fruit person. If anybody finds fruit socks or fruit earrings they buy it for me. I feel like it is the most magical thing that this planet produces. My love of fruit is borderline poetic.
 I love tasting fruit. I love going to different places to buy fruit, to sample fruit.
I will try every fruit. I love the aesthetics of fruit, even a still life.
I like the meditative process of cutting fruit. I love peeling fruit. I love blending fruit.
I just love working with fruit. 
Do you have a favorite fruit?
My favorite is Lucuma. It tastes to me like sweet bread. It’s very unique. It’s the texture of egg custard. I have not been able to find fresh lucuma locally. But, they sell it in powder. You can even put it in oatmeal. It’s just delicious.

If you could live out your fruit dreams, what would that look like?
Oh my gosh. Literally, I just thought about it. I want to open a nonprofit called ‘Fruit for the People.’ I was talking about it with my husband. Fruit is way more than just flavor. It’s healing for me. I feel terrible to know that other people don’t have access to this. I would love to open a smoothie shop, and all the proceeds go to the nonprofit. I want to get fruit to the people.

Does your husband share your passion about fruit?
He does. He’s always alongside me trying everything.

How did you discover LNB Grovestand?
I had a friend who posted a photo on Instagram, and I asked where did you get that? I was so surprised to find out that it was only 10 minutes from my house. Usually when you see things like that, you’re think it’s in Wynwood or one of those places where they sell super overpriced things. I was able to get to you that day before three, before you closed. And now, we’re going every weekend unless we’re on vacation.

What do you get when you come by?
Rainbow smoothie. Turmeric Bagels if it’s a Sunday. I just tried the granola, which was incredible. So I’ll probably be a frequent granola buyer now. The fruit roll ups are fire. If there are any new fruits, I’ll grab them. I like to check out what’s new.

What other local places have you found that you enjoy going to, that you might recommend?
Palacio de Los Jugos is fire. They have an amazing juice selection. I like their guava and pineapple juices. Also Roots. I’ve had smoothie bowls in so many places, and I want to taste pure fruit. I don’t want anything else in it. Roots has a nice pure smoothie bowl, with different fruits in them. They have a lot of vegan options too. I don’t go far to many places, that’s why I’m so thankful LNB is close.

What is Miami’s best kept secret?
I feel like a lot of people come to Miami and they go to the beach, and they go and do all the city things. But less than two hours away, they can access the Everglades, which is one of the most beautiful places on this planet. I typically love to drive down Tamiami Trail. On the drive itself, you see so many different changes in terrain. You start with the big plains of saw grass and then you get hammocks and swamp ground. And it just changes as you go. It’s known as the Amazon of North America. And that is what it is. It can be terrifying. There’s a trail that goes on for miles and miles and miles. You’re walking through and there’s water on the sides, you’ll see hawks and birds. There will be Gators, but you only have your walking stick and make sure you’re tapping to get them away. I get through it, but it it’s hard for me sometimes it’s terrifying.

Why terrifying?
I don’t like the thought of things springing upon me and because everything is kind of the same, everything camouflages very well. It’s sticky. It’s hot. I have to overcome a lot of fears, just like when I wasn’t a dog person. I also wasn’t a nature person when I was younger. So it’s a lot for me but I enjoy it.

It sounds like you could find a relationship between getting over your fears of rock climbing and enjoying the fears in the Everglades. Do you see a similarity?
It is exactly like that. That’s a wonderful connection. I feel like I can get through anything. If I’m on the rock wall, I might be shaking or thinking, I’m definitely gonna fall. It’s the same thing with the Everglades. I’m just gonna keep taking steps and it’s okay.

What for you is a worthy splurge?
Definitely food. I love the experiences you can get through food.

What community groups are important to you that you might like to promote or share?
There’s Love the Everglades. I went to one of their Everglades cleanups and I really I loved it. It was on the side of the road, right by the casino. You might think, we’re not in the deep of the Everglades. But that’s not where the litter is. The litter’s gonna be on the side of the road that ends up in the waterways and that gets transferred into the Everglades and into our water. It’s really sad, the amount of litter we found that day.

Would you like to share a pitch about your job or something else you’re working on?
Kibble, those little brown balls, are very bad for dogs. It’s unfortunately become a norm in our society. Even if the kibble is made with good ingredients, it goes through such a heat process that creates a chemical called acrylamide which is directly linked to causing cancer. I would definitely suggest checking out The Farmer’s Dog or really any fresh dog food company or cooking from home if that’s an option.

What question, challenge, or words of advice would you like to pose to the community?
Clean up after yourself. And try more fruit.

What question would you like to ask us?
This is a simple question, what fruits are in season right now?

(A+W) This week we are in a lull between seasons. We’re coming into summer, which is our main fruit season. Mameys, Mangos, and Jackfruit will be ready soon. By August, the avocados will be ready. Lychees and Longans are coming soon too.