I’m Jeanne Ponessa Fratello, the founder and editor of Jolly Tomato. I started this site to provide a resource for healthy foods that are fun for kids to cook and eat. I also made it my personal goal to get straight to the source of as many foods as possible, which you can read about in my Real Food series of farm and factory tours. Along the way, I started incorporating destinations and activities that support healthy food choices, as Jolly Tomato evolved into a healthy family lifestyle blog.
I started my career as a reporter in Washington D.C. for Congressional Quarterly and Education Week. In 1997, I moved to California and began working as a speechwriter in higher education. All throughout this time, I always loved to cook and write about food, and I did a great deal of freelance food writing. I currently write the Jolly Tomato as well as South Bay Sparkle, a local South Bay events blog, and DigMB, an online news site about Manhattan Beach.
I have enjoyed many working partnerships with companies and brands that I love and trust – including food brands, media channels, and travel destinations that place a high priority on food. I am currently working as an ambassador for Dole, I am part of the Netflix blogger stream team, and I am a Legoland California ambassador. I served as 2014 social media ambassador for Terranea Resort. I have also worked with Cacique International, the California Strawberry Commission, the Idaho Potato Commission, the California Farm Water Coalition, and more.
I live in Southern California with my husband Dave Fratello, author of Manhattan Beach Confidential, and our two sons. Whatever “spare” time I have, I spend either cooking, hitting the beach, or looking for new foods and farms to write about.
You can reach me at jeanne [at] jollytomato [dot] com