International Women's Month Spotlilght

International Women's Month Spotlilght

To celebrate International Women's Month and all the wonderful women at Grön, we sat down with two of our team members and confectioners, Mafe and Ly, to learn a little more about them, discuss the most influential women in their lives, and find out how they have left a lasting impact.


I'm Maria Fernanda (Mafe) and I'm from Cúcuta, Colombia.

I'm part of the kitchen team, and I also help develop new products for the company. My favorite part of my job is that I get to be creative and see how ideas grow into products that I see at the grocery store.

Who has been an influential woman in your life, and why?

My mother and my grandmother have been the most influential people in my life. I was raised by both of them. Their character, their moral and work ethic is really present in all aspects of my life. They are strong women who always thought me to love my capabilities and to put them to service of those who needed them. My love and interest in cooking, baking and all kitchen related skills come from them as well.

How has that type of leadership impacted your career or your home life?

My career and home life have been impacted greatly. They taught me to give the best of me in all I do and to have integrity and passion for my profession and my loved ones.

What do you love to do when you're not at Grön? Any cool random facts about you that you’d like to share?

When I am not at Gron I dedicate a lot of my time to create and cook. I love Colombian food and sharing it with those around me, friends and family but also with Colombians who live in the Portland area. They contact me and I take their orders for parties, small gatherings, or even for just themselves and their families.

An unknown fact about me is that I almost went to school for engineering. I had already been accepted at school for my engineering degree, paid the tuition, and then decided to culinary school instead.


"Success in your career comes from pursuing not what's most convenient but what you love"


How would you inspire young women to succeed in their life and career?

I strongly believe that success in your career comes from pursuing not what's most convenient but what you love and are good at. That way, what you do everyday is something you are excited about, and it comes naturally to you. I also encourage women not to be afraid to change careers or pursue something different, regardless of the stage of life they are at. It's never too late to go for what you love and what really inspires you.


My name is Ly Eshbach.

I was Ly Ha from the time I was born in Saigon, Vietnam until I emigrated to the United States near the end of the Vietnam War. I eventually settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where I became a US citizen and learned American ways. I remained there until the end of 2014.

Functioning as part of the Gron team is to recognize that we are all just that, interconnected team members. Primarily I am a chocolate bar trimmer.

My favorite part of the work is not a specific activity, rather, it's more like an attitude. It is simply trying to set a good example, exerting a positive influence, and showing people, especially those who are new to trimming, the techniques I developed over the past four years. Those who trim must recognize that the trim establishes the final appearance of the bar and represents the character of the company.

Who has been an influential women in your life and why?

I spent most of my school age years as a resident at a Catholic convent, exposed to religious viewpoints, a code of morality, and a set of such values as discipline, determination, courage, dedication, respect, and most importantly, love.

How has that type of leadership impacted your career or your home life?

The nuns at the convent taught me to be sincere, dedicated, unselfish, honest, and loving, both with respect to my working life and my family life as a devoted wife and loving mother.


"Throughout our lives, we teach ourselves the courage and determination to trust in ourselves and to never give up."


What do you love to do when you're not at Gron? Any cool random facts about you that you'd like to share?

I am an incurable lover of animals. Over the years I have had hundreds of pets, mostly exotic birds, dogs, a few cats, a monkey that would go on to help handicapped people, and currently an Eastern Gray Squirrel that is totally tame and absolutely adorable.

Currently, I have four birds, a dog (a 130 pound Cane Corso that I rescued from a dog fighting operation) and my squirrel I picked up off the ground not long after he was born after he apparently had fallen out of the nest. I fixed his wounds, and now I have about the coolest pet anyone could want.

How would you inspire young women to succeed in their life and career?

I can say that I love my job, and that it is the best job of my life. I have it because I developed a set of tools and capabilities throughout my life that I could apply to my work at Grön. Throughout our lives, we teach ourselves the courage and determination to trust in ourselves and to never give up. If we believe in ourselves, trust in ourselves and keep learning, we will succeed.


Is there an influential woman in your life who has made a positive impact on you? Tell us about it! It's easy to overlook the stand out people in our lives, and as a women-led company, we're constantly working to build a community of supportive and empowering individuals by lifting each other up.