About Dan Avakian

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    DAN AVAKIAN FRESH PRODUCE PROFESSIONAL RETAIL | WHOLESALE | MERCHANDISING | SALES | PURCHASING 510.925.4590 DanAvakian@gmail.com · https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-the-produce-man-avakian-21505514/ dantheproduceman.com ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ KEY AREAS OF CONTRIBUTION Well-Regarded Industry Pro with a Strong Background in Sales, Leadership, Purchasing, Merchandising, Highly Effective Media Marketing, Retail Merchandising, Distribution, New Customer & Grower Business Development, QA Inspection, Value Creator, Strong Commitment to Promoting the Consumption of Fresh Produce. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________  Proficient in fresh produce sales, merchandising, purchasing, employee training, advising, customer service.  Talented in promoting, marketing and advertising fresh produce on television, radio, online and social media.  Experienced in product quality, condition, merchandising, HACCP requirements and inventory control.  As a manager and trainer; mentors, motivates and empowers people to achieve goals beyond personal expectations.  Customer-oriented with superior relationship and team-building skills.  Brings together and implements company vision with insight into company’s long-term goals & mission.  Works closely with local small and large organic farms, family farms and growers creating awareness opportunities for sustainable agriculture. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ WORK EXPERIENCECONSULTANT – DANSFRESH September 2019 – Present Provide consulting services to produce companies in the U.S., specializing in home delivery, wholesale, food service, and retail sectors. Advise on procurement, cost optimization, sales strategies, product handling, production flow, QA, and inventory management. Assess clients' operations, identify areas for improvement, and implement tailored solutions. Offer personalized recommendations based on clients' specific needs and goals. Stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies. Build strong client relationships through exceptional service and support. Drive measurable results and effectively contribute to clients' business growth. OWNER/MANAGER, DAN'S FRESH PRODUCE INC. May 2006 - June 2019 Acquired a dilapidated store with declining sales and transformed it into an acclaimed destination for families, gourmands, chefs, and nutritionists. Through the implementation of my strategic efforts, I achieved remarkable growth by tripling the annual sales compared to the previous ownership, highlighting the substantial impact of my actions. Developed outside sales initiatives to connect local chefs and restaurateurs with premium fresh produce from nearby organic farms, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships. Effectively managed, mentored, and motivated staff members, empowering them to leverage their skills and talents in key areas of the company. Implemented a highly efficient procurement program that sourced from local farms and terminal markets, resulting in cost reduction, resource sharing, and an improved customer experience. Designed the market's technical layout, including high-volume sales displays, optimized flow patterns, and strategic cross-merchandising arrangements, thereby increasing impulse purchases, customer satisfaction, and repeat sales. Created impactful advertisements and promotions across various platforms, such as social media, local newspapers, and YouTube, to effectively market the business. Launched a highly successful weekly CSA box program, highlighting fresh produce from local organic farms for home delivery. Collaborated with Mercato.com to enhance our online store, driving increased revenue and expanding brand awareness. Actively represented Dan's Fresh Produce and its services at various events, including shows, festivals, fundraisers, fairs, and other relevant venues. Organized and participated in fundraising and volunteer activities for charitable organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Alameda Food Bank, Midway Women's Shelter, American Red Cross, local schools, and other humanitarian institutions.EDUCATION: BACHELOR OF SCIENCE – BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, TRINITY COLLEGE OTHER INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE Sales ●Sold fresh produce to numerous restaurants, country clubs, hotels, hospitals, assisted living facilities, military, tech companies, schools, and many other institutions. ●Sold Fresh Produce to retail stores and wholesalers. ●Sold Airtime to several industry boards, commissions, food and produce companies. ●Consulted, advised, and demonstrated product effectiveness to sales staff, customers, and prospects. Conducted seminars, presentations, demonstrations, and tours. Purchasing ●Procured fresh organic and conventional produce direct from farms, FOB, and the Bay Area terminal markets as well as dairy, meats, and natural groceries. ●New product evaluation, development, and integration. Planned and composed weekly ads in local newspapers, radio. ●Connected growers with buyers to establish long lasting B to B partnerships. ●Participated in numerous ribbon cuttings and new product evaluations. Consulting and Retail ●Trained employees in produce retail merchandising, identification, handling, receiving, selecting for orders. Hired, motivated, counseled, reviewed and rated employees. ●Set up produce departments and trained staff in new and remodeled company locations throughout the state of California. ●Personally interacted with retail customers - consulted meal planning and nutritional benefits of fresh produce. ●Social Media and web site Manager: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, WhatsApp, etc. QC Inspection/Quality Assurance: Food Service Distribution/Home delivery/and Retail ●Quality Assurance Inspection: Inbound, existing stock on hand and Outbound, HACCP requirements & Inventory Control. ●Built successful Quality Assurance programs: Wrote and implemented inspection and handling procedures for inbound produce, night selectors, loaders, supervisors and drivers. Inspected incoming produce for quality and condition in compliance with company & FDA standards. Responsible for the condition of produce completing daily reports and record keeping. Managed incoming invoices, outbound bills of lading. ●Personally managed foodservice customer's specific needs and problem-solving. Established special attention procedures for high-profile account's specifics. Kept sales staff up to date with crops, weather, condition, and activities within the industry. ●Oversaw and advanced the production, selecting and distribution process of fresh organic and conventional produce to thousands of home delivery, office and foodservice customers. ●Maintained ripening rooms for tomatoes, bananas, and avocados. ● Co-Host- The Produce Industry Podcast ●Produce Sales Specialist – Vegiworks San Francisco CA. ●Senior Buyer/Operations Manager Organic Express San Francisco CA. ●Perishables QC Manager – Webvan.com Oakland CA. ●Co-Host - The Produce Pair Radio Show – National, based in San Francisco CA. ●Produce Quality Assurance Manager – Allied-Sysco Fremont CA. ●Produce Processing Manager – Costco Wholesale. ●Produce Manager Fry’s Food Stores – El Sobrante CA. ●Rock Jock DJ KCFM Radio San Francisco CA. ●Produce Clerk – Marchi Produce Alameda CA.HONORS, AWARDS, CERTIFICATIONS, MEMBERSHIPS● Best of Alameda - Best Produce delivery Service 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. ● Best Produce Bay Area 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, SFGate.com - San Francisco. ● Produce Nirvana Award - Fearless Fork Award - Alameda Sun2008, 2009. ● Best Produce Market 2009, 2010, 2011 - Alameda Magazine. ● Best Produce Market - Bay Area A-List - Dec 2008. ● Retail Business of the Year 2008 Alameda Business Association ● Best Produce Stand in the East Bay - East Bay Express 2008. ● ServSafe Food Safety certification in May 2020. ● Certificate of Achievement Bananas & Tropicals: Buying, Handling & Merchandising Dole Food Co. ● Certificate of Achievement Organic Produce College – Albert's Organics, Vernon California. ●Landmark Forum, Landmark Advanced Course, Communication Course: Access to Power, Communication Course: Power to Create, Self-Expression & Leadership Program. ● Member - North American Fruit Explorers. ● Member – FreshXperts Code of Ethics As an advisor/educator and consultant, I have built a reputation for honesty, trust, and fairness that I strive to uphold in all of my client engagements. To this end, I commit to the following principles: Honesty: I will always be truthful and transparent in my interactions with clients and will not intentionally misrepresent information. Conflict of interest: I will disclose any potential conflicts of interest before accepting a consulting engagement or as soon as possible after becoming aware of them. Client needs: I will provide services that meet the specific needs of the client and will not recommend unnecessary services or solutions. Objectivity: I will provide objective advice and recommendations based on my professional expertise and will not allow personal biases or judgments to influence my work. Professionalism: I will complete all assignments in a timely and skillful manner, adhering to the highest standards of professionalism. Confidentiality: I will maintain the confidentiality of all client information and documents entrusted to me and will not use such information for personal gain. Compliance: I will adhere to all relevant laws and regulations governing commercial activities and will maintain the highest ethical standards in all my work. Personal Quote: I believe that integrity, character, and faith are essential personal traits that should guide us every day, not just when it's convenient or expedient.
  • Additional Information

  • What is your current job title? Training/Consulting/Advising/Promoting
  • What is the Highest education level obtained? Bachelor's Degree
  • Field of Study or Degree obtained? Business Administration
  • Viewed 43

About me


Dan Avakian

Testimonial References

In every field of endeavor, there are the great ones. Those people who are fully committed to their area of expertise. People who love it, who get it, who love to share it with others. Dan the Produce Man is such a person. Seekers of veggie and fruit wisdom, your teacher has appeared, and his name is Dan.” –  Lorenzo P. – yelp.com 5/16/2008

“As a former Director of Produce and Procurement, I would recommend Dan Avakian as a very qualified professional in the produce industry, especially in the retail segment. Dan knows how to communicate with the consumers and has the unique ability of selling produce through his years of experience in the produce industry. Hiring Dan Avakian is a win in profit for a company. I highly recommend Dan Avakian to any company wanting to move forward in growth.”Ron Pelger Columnist at The Produce News and owner of Owner at RonProCon


“I have known Dan Avakian for more than a 17 years and have conducted business with him on numerous occasions. I have always found Dan to be a man of integrity. Dan “The Produce Man” is exactly that. In my opinion Dan is a guru in the produce world. There’s not any produce product that Dan does not have extensive knowledge about. I have personally witnessed on numerous occasions Dan talking with customers about produce resulting in the customer loading their shopping cart up. I’ve also witnessed Dan shooting produce videos including the more exotic produce and without fail the surrounding customers purchased those items.
Dan is The Produce Man! Any company would be lucky to have him on their team.”–
William Wong CSW Business Coaching.

“Dan’s personality is very approachable, unassuming, mature and confident. He’s not afraid to get his nails dirty and get into things. Above all he is friendly and engulfing in his caring and empathy. It comes across in his character which is very powerful and real.” Bob Wood, Voiceover Coach Voice One San Francisco.

Dan, I love your personality, energy and enthusiasm.  These qualities (along with your produce knowledge) shine through on your videos and in person! Elaine Clark, Author of There’s Money where Your Mouth Is and Owner/Coach at Elaine Clark VO 

You know you were my introduction to produce, and I asked so, so many questions, and consider you my first mentor. I think of you and what you taught me often. You taught me that potatoes have a “blossom” and a “stem” side… Who knows that?? I showed several coworkers your Mandarosa video recently and they loved it. Thank you Dan. Thank you for being my first produce mentor.”
Kari Raos, New Seasons Market, Portland Oregon.


“First off, Dan’s hard and fast produce knowledge is incredible. The only thing that surpasses his knowledge, is his desire to pass along what he knows to others. His passion for produce is infectious. He is as enthusiastic about his work today, as he was when he started his produce journey. We have been friends, and produce partners for quite a while. My life is richer (and more fun!) because of Dan.” – Guido Ferro, Newspaper Columnist, Talk Show Host and Produce Educator at Whole Foods Market.



“Declaring that Dan has a plethora of knowledge in the “PRODUCE INDUSTRY” is an understatement. I’ve seen him teach anyone from kids to elders, inform the masses with his videos and podcasts, constantly research to keep up to date with all elements in the industry, collaborate with other produce industry icons, lead and teach store owners who want to refine their brand, promote farmers, and so much more. For anyone who wants to tap into a “produce” encyclopedia and have them on their team, Dan is your man, without a doubt.”  Danielle Finger Paralegal at Self Employed.

“When Dan talks about produce people listen, they buy.” – Donna Layburn, Alameda Natural Grocery, Castro Valley Marketplace.


“Dan could sell an apple to an apple tree” – Rose Chastain, Your Natural Healthcare.

Hey Produce People!! Over the years before I met Dan Avakian I followed his YouTube channel and learned so much!! Then I met him by cold calling him and introducing myself!!
Mentor, friend, co-host and colleague! Dan teaches me every day that helps my produce career and improves the industry. Thank you Dan for your 40+ years of service to our industry and many more to come. As Dan The Produce Man says “ It’s always best when you get it fresh” –
Patrick Kelly, Founder of The Produce Industry Podcast.