Dan and His Experiences in the Produce and Media Industry

Dan’s passion for produce began in 1976 when he started working at an open-air produce market in Alameda, CA. His mentor in the business was 50-year veteran Frank Marchi.

Dan worked at the market for more than 9 years and then moved on to a supermarket chain in 1985. There, he worked as a produce manager by day and moonlighted as Rock Jock on KCFM Radio in the Bay area. Naturally, his love for broadcasting, production, voiceovers, and music of many genres urged him to share his vast record collection with his listeners. What happened next was a paradigm shift that sent Dan’s goals into a completely new direction, but he did not know it yet.

Being Recognized in the Produce Industry

Occasionally, Dan would bring fruits and vegetables to the radio station and share with the staff. Questions would arise about the various produce items, so he would answer them. One evening during an interview one of the guests asked him about some of the fruit that he had brought into the station. This happened on-air and calls started coming in. Although it was fun, Dan dismissed it and didn’t give it much thought until many years later.

Meanwhile, Dan’s quest to learn the many facets of the produce industry brought him to Costco Wholesale in the late 80s. There, he helped pioneer the produce program in the Western region. Then, in the early 90s, he helped establish the Produce Quality Assurance program Sysco foodservice at their Bay Area Distribution Center as well as many other projects in the fresh produce industry.

In 1998 Dan’s friend and fresh produce colleague Mark Ferro aka Guido the Gardner approached Dan to do a produce radio show. Dan resisted, but Guido persisted. To get Guido off his back they visited a local radio station where Dan’s long-time friend Bay Area radio personality Jay Michaels was working at the time to use the production room to make a demo tape. Dan and Guido didn’t know that the station owner was listening in and halfway through the recording he burst into the production room and exclaimed “I want you guys on the air!” That’s when The Produce Pair Radio Show was born. Shortly after it was picked up by the Talk America Radio Network and eventually the Universal Talk Networks.

The Produce Pair ran for seven years as a one-hour Saturday morning lifestyle show. It led to appearances on local and national television and live events.

Starting His Own Fresh Produce Business

In 2006, Dan established Dan’s Fresh Produce, a retail-wholesale market at the same location where he started in the mid-1970s. His commitment to local and small family farms became his signature tagline “It’s Like a Farmer’s Market Every Day!” The market quickly became a popular destination for families, foodies, gourmands, local chefs and everyday shoppers in the community and its surrounding areas. Winning many awards and recognitions including Best Produce Market in the Bay Area several years in a row by Bay Area A-List. In 2019 Dan brought on a business partner who also has an extensive produce background and turned all operations over to him. “I feel confident with the commitment that Chuy has to carry on the tradition and standards that the Marchi family and I have extended over the decades.” Dan said in a recent interview.

Consulting and Promotions

Today, Dan focuses on promoting the joys of fresh fruits and vegetables on his YouTube, Vimeo and Rumble channels as well on other websites, social media platforms, live events, and a podcast. Dan is also a valued consultant in several fields of the fresh produce industry.