Wearing his signature overalls and surrounded by boxes of his legendary fruit, “Farmer Al” Courchesne has been a welcome sight at farmers’ markets around the Bay Area for over 30 years. And just like his peaches, Al is homegrown. Born in Louisiana and raised in Berkeley and El Cerrito, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in anthropology. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Hawaii to teach at the Punahou School. There, he discovered his love of farming. He grew lettuce and tomatoes for two years in Hawaii before returning to the Bay Area.
He planted his first peach orchard in Brentwood in 1976. Thirteen years later, Al began farming organically in large part because of a commitment he wanted to make to the soil, water and community he lived in. The storybook image of Frog Hollow Farm--delightfully depicted on our fruit crates--celebrates the joyful abundance of fruit and nature enjoyed by the whole community. Throughout his farming career, Farmer Al has been a vigorous advocate for sustainable land use, conservation, and organic farming practices. Al lives on the farm with his wife Becky, their two daughters Maddie and Millie, and their ever-present dog Noci (which means ‘dark of night’).
Becky Courchesne is native northern Californian just like Farmer Al. Although she graduated from Linfield College with degrees in English and anthropology, cooking was always her first love. After moving back to the Bay Area, she began working in the kitchen at Alice Waters’ Cafe Fanny and later became head pastry chef at Oliveto in Oakland. It was there, while Farmer Al was making his delivery rounds, that the pastry chef met the peach farmer. Becky moved to the farm in 1995 and in 2000, inspired by the abundance of delicious fruit all around her, launched a line of now-famous organic conserves, marmalades, jelly and chutney all made with Frog Hollow Fruit grown right in her backyard.
Sarah first set foot on what would become Frog Hollow Farm when she was six years old. At the time, the land was owned by her father’s cousin, Clinton Smith, who had been growing apricots and cherries in Brentwood since 1926. In the beginning, the farm was named simply "Brentwood Farm.” It was not until another 20 acres was added in the early 80s that it became known as Frog Hollow Farm. Sarah has worked all aspects of the farm over its 33 year existence and today manages all administrative functions for the company. Sarah shares her commitment to the land, its history, and its traditions with her own daughter, Analise, everyday.
Director of Sales & Marketing
Jeff oversees all aspects of sales and marketing for the farm, including their wholesale and retail divisions. Jeff has focused on building the farm’s direct-to-customer business including the development of its e-commerce operations and implementing strategic improvements to managing wholesale sales & delivery. His ongoing goal of making it easier for all customers to order directly from the farm has helped add high-end hotel groups and internationally known companies to Frog Hollow Farm's list of customers.
Prior to joining Frog Hollow, Jeff served as Co-Founder and Chief Consultant for Solutions-On-Demand, a Customer Care, Marketing, and Management Consulting firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. His background includes working with large and mid-sized companies in the areas of customer care, customer retention, global team management and social media and new media marketing.
Robert grew up on a small family farm in western Pennsylvania, raising grass fed beef, and it was there that Robert developed his love for agriculture. He went on to work with several different companies within the food and ag industry, most recently with Niman Ranch right here in the Bay Area, before jumping on board with Frog Hollow in May 2009. After going through his first season and making sure he diligently sampled each and every fruit variety grown at the farm, Robert can safely say his favorites are Brooks Cherries, O’Henry Peaches and Warren Pears.
Stephanie joined our team in September of 2006. Being from South Dakota originally her mid-western values fit in well with everyone here. She and her daughter, Trinity, who helps at our farmer's markets on weekends when she isn't at University of California Santa Cruz, are an integral part of the Frog Hollow Family.
Marketing & Customer Care Manager
Kimi joined Frog Hollow Farm at the start of the 2010 season. A California girl and no stranger to farming, she grew up helping pick and pack on her uncle’s small strawberry farm in Watsonville. A jack of all trades, Kimi’s wide range of experience spans from creative to administrative and is buoyed by a passion for sustainable practices and a belief in individualized service. Her background in graphic arts and design as well as a dedication to transparency and accessibility standards has her constantly working to improve Frog Hollow's ability to communicate with its customers.
In addition to assisting Jeff Bordes in strengthening Frog Hollow's web presence, Kimi has redesigned the packaging used in the mail order division she oversees to better fit with the farm's values. As of 2011, mailers for shipping are now made from recycled material and manufactured in a solar facility, gift boxes are also made from recycled paper, and all gift baskets are sustainably made and fair trade. Currently she's investigating ecologically sound alternatives to replace the non-recyclable and non-compostable elements in the remainder of Frog Hollow's packaging.
The Frog Hollow varieties she waits all harvest for are the Fantasia nectarine, the Emerald Beaut plum, and though she was never fond of pears, the Warren pear has since become one of her very favorite fruits.
Karen came to Frog Hollow Farm in May 2007. Since then she has worked tirelessly to not only build our CSA program but to keep it running smoothly. Karen handled all the administrative tasks of the CSA program until 2011 when her keen attention to detail was put to use wrangling the farm's constantly changing inventory. With a busy on-site kitchen, a bustling packing shed, and Frog Hollow's e-commerce efforts increasing its mail order shipments, Karen is instrumental in improving the farm's logistics and eliminating unnecessary waste.
Customer Care Specialist
Miriam began working at Frog Hollow at the height of our holiday rush. Joining our office staff to help with the day-to-day details of shipping across the country, her high standards of quality when it comes to the mail order division of the business greatly assists in Frog Hollow's ability to deliver its product to its most dedicated fans.
Customer Care Specialist
Jennifer is the newest addition to the Frog Hollow family. As a mother, she has a strong connection to many of the values that our customers share, and is assisting with the daily operations of our Community Support Agriculture program. Her positive approach to customer care and customer outreach shines in our small administrative team.