I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend Julie Jackson. It has been such a treat getting to know Julie and her terrific family over the past year, and I’m so grateful for her friendship. Like many moms, after several years of full-time mom duty she’s decided to ease back into the working world with a part-time job at The Produce Box. If you haven’t heard of The Produce Box, it’s a fantastic service that delivers local, in-season produce to your door. It’s like having the farmer’s market come to you! Since so many moms grapple with the issue of returning to work once kids head off to school, I knew that Julie would be the perfect person to chat with!
Smarty Mom: Julie Jackson
Married to: Scott Jackson
Children: McIver (10), Charlie (9), Myers (7)
Years in Charlotte: In and out – back for the past 13
Alma Mater: NC State; University of South Carolina Business School (Go Gamecocks!)
Occupation: District Lead, The Produce Box
How did you get involved with The Produce Box?
When my youngest, Myers, started kindergarten, I felt like it was the first time that I actually had some extra time in years. I was looking to ease back into some type of work, but not quite ready to take on anything full-time. I wanted to find a job working with great people while being family friendly – which is exactly The Produce Box. I’m also always trying to eat healthier and wanting healthy food for my kids – so working with The Produce Box was a natural fit for me and allows me access to great healthy, local foods!
What’s it like getting back to work after taking time off to be a full time mom?
It’s been busy, but good! The Produce Box is very family friendly – most of the jobs at The Produce Box you can bring your kids along. This really helped with the transition to not have to find child care when needed. And I’ve enjoyed working with my team in Charlotte – the people are great!
What’s your advice for moms looking to get back into working part time?
Do something you enjoy that works with your family. If you’re going to invest your time in something new, make sure it is fun!
Have you ever received any fruits and veggies that you had no idea even existed?
Yes – Bok Choy and Asian Pears- and I absolutely love Asian Pears!
Sometimes when I put a lot of effort into making an entire entrée, the idea of creating an exciting side or veggies just wears me out. How do you recommend getting more healthy foods into your diet?
I love to roast ANY veggie – easy and yummy! But also, I love to make smoothies – I can slip in all kinds of veggies for my kids (and myself!) and it still tastes like a sweet treat. The kids now beg for them!
I refuse to eat lima beans. Are there any fruits or vegetables you just won’t eat? How about your kids?
I eat most everything, but I do NOT like raw onion! (for me or for my husband ☺) My kids are decent eaters – at least willing to try most things. Especially if it’s in a smoothie!
Best kept secret in Charlotte: The Produce Box – I think many people still have not heard of us!
Favorite date night spot? Anywhere that I don’t have to cook or clean up. It’s nice to have a short break from the pressures of being a Mom, but we still talk at dinner about the kids anyway!
What’s your guilty pleasure? A cup of hot chocolate and a Hallmark movie. Who doesn’t like a good love story?
Favorite thing to cook? Anything I can bake or roast! The easier, the better!