Frieda Caplan, the Kiwi Queen of Purple Potatoes

Frieda Caplan at a desk in a purple dress with pearls

Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, has passed away at the age of 96

If you’ve ever tasted a purple potato, a dragon fruit, or spaghetti squash, you can thank Frieda Caplan. Known for popularizing the kiwifruit (a name she gave to what was then known as the Chinese Gooseberry) in the U.S., Frieda was the ultimate pioneer of produce.  Frieda recently passed away at the age of 96. This post is a tribute to her life. 

Rising to the top of a male-dominated industry in the fifties as a working mom, Frieda started out as many women had to do back then: she did the books.  By 1962, she’d opened her own company, Frieda’s Specialty Produce.

Frieda Caplan in front of an airplane delivering kiwifruit to the U.S.
Photo courtesy of Freida’s Specialty Produce

Frieda’s Specialty Produce is now a booming 2nd generation female-owned family business. Importing and distributing purple potatoes, dragonfruit, ginger, jackfruit, jicama, horned melon, passionfruit, rambutan, shishito peppers, and star fruit, Freida’s is making these awesome fruits and vegetables household names. 

To introduce some of these exciting fruits and vegetables to your baby, check out our food entries on purple potatoes and dragon fruit, and stay tuned for more exciting and colorful foods to come.

To Frieda and her family: thank you! Your products have inspired and delighted. 

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