We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Rae Danell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra Rae, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up in a small farming town on the Central Coast where tractors created the only traffic. I was homeschooled until Freshman year of high school and credit my self motivation to it. Then when I started high school, I got plugged into Future Farmers of America (F.F.A.) and learned more about farming. In college, I studied Agriculture Business at Cal Poly SLO, and it gave me the opportunity to succeed in the fresh produce industry. I focused on marketing within my major and as a result got my first job with a carrot farm. As I gained experience, I saw a need for marketing the importance of agriculture to consumers and started Harvest Joy!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Harvest joy takes a personal approach to educate people on how food gets from harvest to table. Farmers work hard to provide the world with food and Harvest Joy works with farmers in the fresh produce industry to share a behind the scenes look through photography and social media. Harvest Joy built a growing audience of followers who want to know the story behind each farm and the food they grow.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Little Italy Farmers Market has fresh produce and local products so I would start there. Then head to Kenny’s Strawberry Farm to go strawberry picking. Finish the day with burritos at Roberto’s in Del Mar and a walk on the beach at Torrey Pines.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to my alma mater, California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo. I did not have prior experience or connections in the produce industry. I was able to successfully start my own business and work in fresh produce as a result of the opportunities they provided. The professors there believed in me, the classes were applicable to real life scenarios and the extracurricular activities such as the Agirbusiness Management Club gave me leadership experience. Because of Cal Poly SLO, I had the right tools to get where I am today.
NA – all were taken by me Alexandra with Harvest Joy