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Generation Next: Pollack strives to work hard, play hard

Life is one sweet ride for Nick Pollack, a 28-year-old self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades at Coosemans Los Angeles Inc.

“I do whatever needs to be done,” he told The Produce News. “I’ll jump in.”

The spirit of challenge and innovative thinking is nothing new to Pollack. His father, Alan, was one of the company founders. GenNextPollack1Nick PollackSourcing unique fruits and vegetables, the dynamic business model employed is best described in a single line found on the website of sister company, Coosemans LA Shipping: “If you’ve imagined it — or even if you haven’t — we can source it.”

Pollack has an earthy quality about him, and he is fearless. At the age of 15, he hopped on a bike and propelled himself into the fast and furious world of competitive motocross.

“I got a late start,” he laughed, explaining that most kids start their training at the age of five. But better late than never.

Pollack described himself as “LA-born and raised. I do everything full-on.”

True to form, Pollack grew up surfing before discovering motocross. “Southern California is a mecca for the sport. It’s very challenging to go pro with this,” he said. “It definitely takes a different kind of person. To get there you have to make a lot of sacrifices. You must train, be at the test track and go to the gym. It takes a focused and determined person to make the attempt. In life, everything is a layered strategy. You must push hard and fix weaknesses.”

GenNextPollack2Nick Pollack took up competitive motocross at the age of 15 and trained with one of the nation’s top pros. (Photos courtesy of Amy Sawelson Landes/ASL Creative Marketing Services)Pollack was trained by one of the top motocross pros in the 1980s and 1990s. As with other sports, the world of motocross is a pressure cooker.

“It’s hard to compete with kids who started really early,” he said. “You need a pro contract by the time you hit 20 to make it as a pro.”

To illustrate, he said a recent Supercross competition held in Texas was won by a 17-year-old. “The window is very small in that world,” he said.

With the risks and rewards came a few bumps, bruises and breaks along the way. As for the inevitable injuries, Pollack said, “I got away semi-fortunate. I was always fortunate to get away with just a cast.”

According to Pollack, the skills he learned in motocross helped him deal with setbacks. “I keep pushing to get better and better,” he said of his approach to life. “I’m competitive. There’s no way around it.”

Today, Pollack can still be found catching a wave, riding a dirt bike or — more recently — road cycling.

“I like being physically fit,” he said. “[Bicycling] is good cross-training for endurance.”

He has cycled competitively in the United States, Europe, Italy and Panama.

Pollack graduated from California State University-Long Beach with degree in communications and a minor in psychology. Although he formally became involved with Coosemans two-and-a-half years ago, he has earlier memories.

“As a real young kid, I cruised into the office [with my dad] with my action figures,” he recalled.

He spent summers working at the company and finally approached his father about turning his interest into a career.

So just what is it that drives him to stay on top of his game in the produce arena?

“I want to keep the values of hard work and professionalism alive,” he said. “The customer base is loyal and has grown with the company.”

Though Pollack traded in the dirt track in favor of negotiating aisles in the warehouse, he is no less enthused about his work environment.

“I like the fast pace of everything,” he said. “It’s cool to see all the produce come in at midnight. And then it’s gone by morning.”

Pollack said he is gratified to be part of Coosemans’ unstoppable team, which works well together to overcome problems and build success at every turn.