The Washington Post says Drew and Myra Goodman, the husband-and-wife produce team whose business is at the center of the E. coli spinach crisis in California’s Salinas Valley, did not plan on becoming farmers.
They grew up in Manhattan. Drew’s father was an art dealer. Myra’s father was a jewelry manufacturer. They went to college in California — Drew in Santa Cruz, Myra in Berkeley — and stayed. The reason: a 2 1/2 -acre raspberry farm in the back of a Carmel Valley home, an investment property of Myra’s family where the couple was living in a guesthouse.
To pass some time before graduate school, they opened a roadside farm stand. They grew raspberries, and baby greens, which they sold to a local chef. What they had left over, they packed in plastic bags to eat during the week. When the chef left town, they decided to sell the packaged greens to grocery stores on consignment. Those little plastic bags, coupled with the rise of busy consumers trying to eat more healthfully, led to a $360 million-a-year produce business.