Lauren Saso started at Bolthouse Farms a year-and-a-half-ago in October 2019, and since then she has made a name for herself as someone who is not only well-loved at the company but someone who is incredibly resourceful and excels in her position. As the Senior Manager of Engineering, Lauren drives all the capital projects at Bolthouse Farms in the Bakersfield, Calif. site as well as other satellite facilities – a role that comes with a lot of responsibility and pressure. Nonetheless, Lauren always rises to the occasion and delivers exceptional results.
Lauren originally moved to Bakersfield from Michigan with another company, but she decided she wanted to work for a company with roots in the Bakersfield community. Now that Lauren has been at Bolthouse Farms for more than a year, she cites her stimulating work as one of her favorite parts of the job. Lauren said, “Bolthouse Farms continues to put their money where their mouth is and invests in their people and our personal growth. I really feel like there’s an unlimited amount of opportunities here. Every day is different and exciting.”
In the past year, Lauren has been able to work on several key projects integral to the future success of Bolthouse Farms. One of her favorite projects was re-optimizing an existing fresh carrot processing plant. “We started this project because to modernize the older plant which was almost 40-years-old. We also wanted to include additional safety improvements. Through planning, we found underutilized space, including warehouse and office space. The engineering team had the idea to create a new processing plant to package whole carrots and add automation, safety features and newer technologies,” Lauren said. “We knew it would allow us to better utilize our assets in order to package carrots more efficiently. Not only that, but it also costs a lot less. It’s been a really exciting project to be a part of.”
As an engineer, innovation is part of Lauren’s DNA. When asked what she would create if she could create any product she wanted, Lauren said she’d take carrot by-product, or waste, and come up with a way to turn it into construction material or filter material for water in third-world countries. Through the lens of her engineering mindset, Lauren sees an endless amount of opportunities for carrots. While Bolthouse Farms uses about 90 percent of every carrot, it sends any leftover carrot to be used in cattle feed or field fertilizer to ensure the company is making use of as much of the whole carrot as possible.
When asked what our vision of Plants Powering People™ means to her, Lauren said, “I believe that by eating live and thriving plants that we ourselves can be more alive and thriving in return. When we eat overly processed or manufactured food, we miss out on a lot of nutrition and we thrive less.”