Maven to Know: Lori Taylor

The founder of The Produce Moms lets us in on how she started her blossoming empire, her plant-based life, and who inspires her the most.

LORI TAYLOR - MAVEN TO KNOW

LORI TAYLOR, FOUNDER & CEO OF THE PRODUCE MOMS

Lori Taylor is the founder and CEO of The Produce Moms. Her business helps educate consumers on how to select, store, and serve fresh produce through various platforms including an online recipe directory, blog posts, the Produce Mom Picks initiative in grocery stores, social media, partnerships with fruit and vegetable suppliers, and television appearances.

We chatted with the 38-year-old Perry Township resident about the power of produce, habits both good and bad, and how food plays an integral role in life’s biggest moments. 

Maven Superpower: I can turn a no into a yes.

Tell us a little bit about you!

I’m married to the man of my dreams—who I grew up less than two miles from—yet met in Panama City Beach, Florida during spring break. I’m the mom of two amazing boys and one giant Great Dane. I sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the US for over 10 years during my employment at Indianapolis Fruit Company. I started the blog during my employment and authored it as part of my responsibilities as marketing manager.

What inspired you to start The Produce Moms?

When I became a mom I got more passionate about educating myself and moms like me on the best food to nourish our children’s and our own bodies: fruits and vegetables. When I purchased the domain in November 2011, there was nothing online of the sort—a blog authored by a mom who has an uncanny understanding of the fresh produce supply chain and agricultural practices. The domain went live as “The Produce Mom” in January 2012 after I pitched the idea to my former bosses as a strategy to leverage our suppliers and authentically connect with and educate consumers as a means to drive value to our customer (the retailer). In August 2015, I acquired the brand. In November 2017, we re-branded to a more community-centric “The Produce Moms.” And today we are the leading content platform fully-focused on fruits and vegetables. The Produce Moms ecosystem serves over 1.7 million unique users/visitors/fans per month, and from my perspective we are just getting started! 

“Food is culture. It’s the common thread that unites all of humanity from all around the globe. Every notable moment in your life, food is there: romance, celebration, grief, family traditions, and more.”
What are some good habits you’ve added to your daily routine or bad ones you’ve gotten rid of?

I’ve definitely increased my produce consumption; I’m convinced I’ve tried every fruit and vegetable that’s available commercially here in the US. I do Hotworx Mass Ave. when I’m in town and spin class through ClassPass when I’m on the road. I try to spend more time with my family and worry very little about vanity metrics—that’s an obsession that plagues so many brands of influence. The decisions I’m making and journey I’m walking with scaling TPM have brought me to unfamiliar places: around 2017 I started recognizing that I had less and less knowledge or real-life experience about the path and was making more decisions on instinct… that’s ignited a strong spirituality within me. I pray daily and often and have a stronger-than-ever faith and relationship with God. 

What do you love about your work?

Food is culture. It’s the common thread that unites all of humanity from all around the globe. Every notable moment in your life, food is there: romance, celebration, grief, family traditions, and more. I love that my work is rooted in bringing the best food on the planet, fresh produce, into your home.

Do you have a favorite wellness trend, or wellness products that you always use?

Plant-based, of course! Just remember that fruits and veggies are the OGs of plant-based eating.

What is your favorite recipe that both kids and adults love?

My kids, my husband, and all our friends say I make the best chocolate chip cookies. But my favorite recipe from the website is the Caprese Pasta Salad. 

Who inspires you?

My dad. He is no longer with us, but he made a tremendous impact on me, our family, and the southside community. I try to live life the way he did.

Lenie Tsakonas is a regular Indy Maven contributor.

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