Coo Coo for Coconut Milk (and Chardonnay)


I started my internship 4 hours after arriving in Holland.  I got in a shower and a quick one hour nap before heading over to Nature’s Pride, which is about a fifteen minute drive from where I am staying.

The first day was very relaxed.  Maya, the assistant to the administrators of the company, including Shawn, gave me a tour of the office and introduced me to everyone.  Everyone I met already knew that I was coming and had seen my schedule for the two weeks I will be at NP, but I had no idea what I was in store for!  Every single person I met was very friendly, stopped their work to stand up from their desks, shake my hand and introduce themselves.  One department even gave me a fresh coconut with a straw to drink fresh coconut milk from!

Bags under my eyes brought to you by zero hours of sleep and 7 hours of time difference

After the introductions, I finally got to see the schedule that I’d been hearing so much about.  In the two weeks that I will be at Nature’s Pride, I will intern with several different departments (Marketing twice) and even pack fruit for shipment at Nature’s Pack!  Shawn said that she made sure to include that so I never got any funny ideas about quitting college.

My schedule is as follows:

July 7: Marketing

July 10: Packing….. also this is my mom’s birthday! (if you’re reading this I LOVE YOU!… you better be reading this.)

July 11: Warehouse and order picking

July 12: Fred van Heyningen, the new CEO after Shawn retires in September.

July 13: Shawn & Business Analysis

July 14: Marketing

July 17: Sourcing

July 18: Ripening & Sustainable Business (very, very, very excited about sustainable business!  They specialize in social topics such as running the Nature’s Pride Foundation which has built schools and provided water for people in third world countries along with other charitable projects and making sure that the building is as self sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.) 

July 19: Logistics & Pack Planning

July 20: Sales Scandinavian Block (Scandinavia and Norway in particular make up most of NP’s sales)

July 21: Work day on assignment 

  • My assignment is to write a paper presenting to Fred a comparison between the way that Nature’s Pride uses social media for promoting fresh food with the way that I see this being done in the US, so if anyone has any insight on the US’s fresh food social media marketing strategies, hit me up.  

After my tour, I went to dinner with Shawn, Fred, Adrielle (who has been with the company since the beginning and will be a lead administrator after Shawn retires), a few avocado and mango buyers and salesmen, and some growers from Chile.  We went to a very trendy restaurant in Rotterdam called HUGH.  It was a very cool dining experience! We sat at a long table and were offered bottle service of a very nice Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon.  Did I mention that I love the 18 year old drinking age in Holland? The waiters then brought out long wooden boards with appetizers on them.  I forced myself to try everything.  There was tuna steak (raw) coated in a black seasoning and wasabi.  That was very good, but I like sushi so I was prepared for that.  Then there were two shrimp snacks.  One with mini shrimp in a creamy sauce on a cracker with lettuce and another that was essentially shrimp scampi.  The last appetizer was definitely the most bizarre.  It was raw hamburger mixed with raw egg pressed into a small patty with a dab of horseradish sauce on top.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad.  The texture was cringey to say the least but the horseradish was mostly what you tasted.


After appetizers came the main course which was also served on a board down the middle of the table which you took from almost family style.  Everything on the board was meat: salmon, scallops, steak (cooked beautifully–medium rare), croquettes with chorizo sausage, and lamb.  Dessert was my favorite–duh.  We were each served mini creme brûlées, mini cheesecakes and a small drink which no one seemed to know the name of, but it tasted like banana and raspberry.  Delicious.  Dinner ended around 11 PM (it was still light for another half hour), so Shawn and I headed home.  I was exhausted.  However, the restaurant clears out the tables and turns into a club at 11:30 or so every night and I heard the next day that most of the others stayed to dance and drink.  My kind of business meeting!


On Friday I interned with the Marketing department.  I was definitely the most excited for this department since I am a Marketing major and also because they told me to bring my camera!

Initially the girl who I was following, Daisy, sat me down and went through a presentation that she and her colleagues put together to show perspective retail clients.  The presentation was about an hour long and was very well put together, informative and even a little bit entertaining with cool effects and videos directly from growers in South America!

I then found out why I needed to bring my camera!  Nature’s Pride was getting a new branded shipping container that day!  Daisy designed the container and arranged for it to be driven to the warehouse loading docks donned with balloons.  They asked me if I could photograph the event to post on their website and social media accounts!  It was a really cool experience.  The truck looked awesome.  It is attention grabbing and markets the produce that Nature’s Pride sells in a subtle way.  Everyone kept joking that they flew in a photographer from America just for the occasion.

After Daisy and Antoinette (another really sweet girl in the marketing department with really cool shoes) developed a caption and posted the photos on Facebook, the compliments started flying in!  The Marketing department’s director, Jan Willem, works from home on Fridays but he e-mailed Daisy raving about the photos and posted them to the company’s Twitter page!  Also, people from every department were giving me compliments particularly on the photo below of Fred with the new container and a toy version of the truck.


After the photos, I helped Antoinette find unique baking recipes using the produce for the October EAT ME newsletter.

Every Friday at Nature’s Pride ends with a cocktail hour, so of course, one more glass of Chardonnay.

After coming home, I took an hour and a half nap.  This jet lag is killing me but I’m powering through the best that I can.  Then Ivo, who is originally from Italy, made his famous (at least for our family) spaghetti!  SO GOOD.  I enjoyed Shawn and Ivo’s company for awhile and checked out early.  Big plans Saturday in the city!

Loving it so far. Check back later. 🙂





One thought on “Coo Coo for Coconut Milk (and Chardonnay)

  1. I am absolutely reading this and enjoying it very much. Great details and descriptions!

    So happy you are having a great time!

    Love you bunches Alana!!

    Miss you. 😘


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