Who Are Those Guys?
by Marcia Peck
Jorajuria, pronounced jor-a-jurea, is not a rare tropical fruit, nor is it a new found species of marsupial. It is the last name of club member, Marie Jorajuria. Marie is of Basque descent. Her father immigrated to America from a small town just outside of Biarritz, France. In 1960, finding itself short of highly skilled sheepherders, California was offering immigration visas for sheepherders. So being one in France, her father accepted the position, and moved to California. Two years later, after becoming a landscaper for the Presidio, he met Marie's future mother (who had also immigratedfrom Spain). They married, moved to the Peninsula, and had four children, Marie being one of them. At age five, Maries father packed up the family and moved back to the tiny village in France to run the family farm. So, while most kids found themselves watching cartoons before school, Marie found herself milking cows on a sixteenth century farm. This life was not for Marie, but dairy products did play a big role in her future.
Fortunately, after a couple of years Maries father decided that home was really in California. Marie attended Cal at Berkeley, where she majored in economics and finance. In 1989, after working for a consulting firm, Bain & Co., she moved to Spain. She built up a food product business to national distribution; ironically in dairy products, and the specialty being frozen yogurt. Marie says she does not like yogurt anymore. Imagine that? The big hitch with her business was that the law stated you could not serve yogurt if it was below 0 degrees centigrade. Therefore, you could not have frozen yogurt. Marie, with the help of the USDA, took the Spanish minister of consumer products out for tapas and jerez (sherry), and changed the law. She made her fortune in frozen yogurt, sold her business at age 25, and went traveling. After a stint of running the food operations for 11 restaurantsher favorite being the Kangaroo Pub in Seville at the '92 World's Fairshe moved back to California.
In the bay area, Marie met club member Anita Dillon at a National Association of Women's Business Owner's convention, and a friendship blossomed. Anita got Marie to sign up for the Corinthian Women's sailing seminar and Marie ended up joining the club as a regular member. She has served as the CYC Women's treasurer for two years, and headed the sailing seminars for the past two years.
To quote this young businesswoman, "you get out of the club what you put into it." In a short time, she has put a lot into it.