A bright-eyed 21-year-old with a million-dollar smile. It's one of the first things you notice about Jalen Greenlee. A young man is turning to fruit to help his future flourish.
"Our motto is health as well. Choose a better you," Greenlee said.
Jalen Greenlee is the CEO of Flora Fruit Company. You quickly see, he's ripe with wisdom.
He shares some of his goals.
"Life is way too short to live like doing something that you absolutely hate. Not to hate anybody love every single person you encounter. Help people live and lead people to Christ."
Jalen is helping his business plant seeds of success. At his parents' Brown Deer home, it's a family affair. They all help pack up produce.
"We have a makeshift assembly line. We get all our fruits from wholesalers and different farmers and farmers' markets throughout Wisconsin. We picked the most high-quality fruit," explains Greenlee.
"We add motivational cards to the boxes."
Boxes are delivered to customers all over the area. How did this idea take root?
He shares, "God kept pulling on this basket idea. For some reason, I just couldn't stop thinking about it."
Another goal of Jalen's?
"Get fresh produce to people living in a food desert. Black and brown people need healthy role models in their life to show them that we only have one body. We need to treat it right because black and brown people are dying much quicker than any demographic. It has a lot to do with the culture and lifestyle that black and brown people live, with the foods that we eat, and the locations that we live in," adds Greenlee.
He's a strong proponent of healthy eating.
"I'm passionate about health and wellness always have always played sports. I just love working out, eating healthy, and treating my body right."
Greenlee notes that his fruit delivery company makes it easier for working parents, especially during the pandemic.
"Their lives are really busy, and they love the fact that somebody else can deliver a healthy alternative instead of chips or soda to their doorstep during the pandemic."
The fruits of Jalen's labor are yielding results.
"Business has been really good due to the fact that a lot of older people don't like going out."
But parceling out produce is not his only purpose.
"Help people live just more just better lives and lead people to Christ," admits Greenlee
Besides God, Greenlee says his parents have been the biggest influence in his life.
But unlike fruit, good values don't grow on trees. They're cultivated by good parents like Carla and Jesse Greenlee, Jalen's dad explains,
"I think it stems from the family bond. I come from a strong family. My mother and father had been married 16 years going on this year. They instilled in us to you know be independent, allow us to make mistakes, but support us when the need is there."
Carla Greenlee adds, "Just love them and give them advice, discipline them as well. Just show them a lot of support and love."
The couple believes it takes a village.
"We didn't do it ourselves. Obviously, my parents have been there. My wife's father was there and uncles and aunts and extended family my sister as well. We're all there to pitch in when we couldn't be there to help make sure that these boys, they had a stable foundation and someone always lean on when they needed someone to talk to," said Jesse Greenlee.
Carla Greenlee stresses, "The community, the school system, there's a lot of support. Perhaps that's the key to helping a child flourish and grow an outlook as healthy as nature's bounty of fruit."
Jalen shows a spirit as healthy as his fruit.
"I pray every day, I could just have love in my heart to spread to the ones around me."