Abril Veronica Aranda joined Bolthouse Farms in March of 2021 as a Lift Truck Operator at Fresh Logistics, the warehouse and distribution facility in Hodgkins, Illinois. She was encouraged by her mother, who had briefly worked for Bolthouse Farms on a special project, to pursue any opportunity available with the company. There is a reason why they say listen to your mother! “I had just lost my job at an adventure park due to COVID-19 and I felt the need to find a job that offered security during a time of great uncertainty. Bolthouse Farms provided that opportuity for me and I am so grateful to have a job here.”
As a Lift Truck Operator, Abril preps orders that come into the warehouse from retailers in the middle and east coast of the U.S. and eastern Canada to be loaded onto trucks. She is a woman working in a warehouse that is predominately all men, in a role traditionally held by men. “I am 19 years old, and I know women my age are not typically in this line of work, but I am here to say that women can do this job well!” Abril enthusiastically noted that the starting salary and benefits far exceeded her expectations and is excited to be excelling in this role, hoping to encourage other young women to join her. “I want to bring attention to what people do not see, which are the many opportunities for women in warehouse and other roles at Bolthouse Farms! I want to say to not underestimate yourself and try something new that breaks the mold!” She has set her sights on the future in a role with increased responsibilities as she continues training in inventory and shipping management programs.
Celebrating her one-year anniversary with Bolthouse Farms last month, Abril says the best part of her experience so far are the people! “I lift and carry and move carrots for customers all day, which is repetitious work, but I have developed an incredible relationship with the second shift crew. It feels like a family because all the people that were here when I started are still here and they inspire me every day.” Often the shy one in the group Abril says she doesn’t eat lunch alone in her car anymore, and instead relishes the time she spends with her colleagues, forming lasting friendships while listening to the best life stories from her teammates, making coming to work every day enjoyable. Making friends is not the only benefit to working at Bolthouse Farms. This self-described “clean eater” keeps her cooking routine simple and healthy, which is how she describes what Bolthouse Farms purpose means to her: “Bolthouse Farms provides food and beverage options for people during their journey toward healthy living. Whether it is a Keto diet, a high-protein diet, or a plant-based diet, we have something tasty and easy for you!”
Although very early in her career with Bolthouse Farms, Abril has product innovation ideas, which stems from the last year as a truck operator. “I would expand our line of Bolthouse Farms BOLTS® shots to include energy drinks! I start each shift with an energy drink, but there is a need for options that are healthy and taste great to get people through a busy day.” Until she can make that happen Abril enjoys products from the company’s current offerings. Making strides to eat cleaner includes loving the convenience of having baby carrots in her bag at all times with her special mix of chili spice mix, lime juice and our ranch dressing for her on-the-go snack.
When asked to share her personal motto, Abril shyly shared that she discovered it while spending hours on social media. She stumbled across a statement that so resonated with her that they are words that she now lives by, “If you want to buy things without looking at the price you have to work without looking at the clock.” This serves as a daily reminder that by working hard she earns the reward of treating herself to nice things in a responsible manner. But the inspiration of her strong work ethic doesn’t begin with words on a social media page, but instead with her personal hero – her mom, Patricia. The person that suggested she seek out an opportunity with Bolthouse Farms is a woman that left Mexico with a dream for her unborn kids to have a better life. She knew one day she would have a family, and Patricia wanted to give her children the life she never had. “I learned from my mom, as she learned from her mom, that you can achieve anything if you work hard enough. Those two strong women are why I have the ambition as a young, independent woman pushing forward to realize all things possible!”