My name is Jay Cotterman. Many of you may know me or about me through our tropicalfruitforum.
I was born, grew up and went to school in London, Oh. Did well in school which led me to DeVry, where I finished with a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science in 1986. I am currently a computer mainframe programmer/analyst working here in Columbus, Oh. It’s been a great career so far.
Spending time with my grandparents in the summers got me interested in gardening. This eventually led to my current obsession with tropical fruit. I try hard to grow them and I travel far to eat them. I now have a greenhouse where I have many plants growing in one stage or another.
I am married to a lovely and spirited girl from Thailand. She is mainly responsible for my interest in tropical fruit and she sure hates to be reminded of that! We love dogs. Due to our lifestyle and other reasons, we’ve opted to have dogs in lieu of children. Right now we have two golden doodles…brother and sister. They are most definitely our “children”!
I’ve been toying with this website concept for a few years now and finally pulled the trigger to do something about it. I wanted to have a site dedicated to tropical fruit hunters. Many of us have all gone to crazy lengths to obtain and keep alive a certain plant, and traveled far across the globe to view these wondrous plants and hopefully get to taste their fruit. Many of you spend vast amounts of time and money in the pursuit of preservation and propagation of these fruits.
Wow...a lot of people I need to thank. It certainly wouldn't be tropical fruit hunting without any of these folks, and certainly no website to speak of...
First off, of course, is my wife. She has supported...maybe tolerated is a better word? Either way, she's graciously...ah hell...she's suffered through my obsession with this hobby like any parent or spouse of you all and we're still married! Now she has to suffer more with this new venture. But she really does support me 100%...with many sighs and eye rolls!! But seriously, she is behind me and that is what matters. She also helps keep me grounded in reality.
Malai and Pradit Rojnuckarin, my wife's mother and father. I could sit here and type for a long while thanking these two. Wonderful people and tropical fruit lovers as well. To sum it up...they are the ultimate traveling guides, wonderful hosts, and treat me as if I was one of their own children. And the biggest thanks of all? They gave me their blessings to marry their daughter.
Ian Crown is a rare individual who showed some kindness and sympathy for a desperate fruit hunter many years ago. He has guided and encouraged me from the start, and has shared a lot of first hand experiences and many cool ideas. Without him, there would not have been any PR trips and all the fantastic fruit. And there certainly would be far less stories for me to share! He's one of the most generous people I know. You can visit his sites at www.mangosteen.com, www.rambutan.com, & www.panoramicfruit.com. I also want to include Roberto and the rest of Ian's farm crew for keeping up the farm and the wonderful parties they help put on.
Felipe Osborne Shea, Sherry Ballester, Bryan Brunner, & Juan Miranda....your farms are gems of the tropical fruit world and it's always a pleasure to visit! Your knowledge and hospitality know no bounds.
Warren Condon has been one of my original buds in the tropical fruit world. Not only does he haul me around to all the neat places in Florida, but allows me to crash at his place while I'm down there. He was the first one to go to PR with me and later spent a super family vacation in Thailand with us.
Gerry Grunsfeld has been a friend for several years now. I want to thank him for his professional advice and personal encouragement throughout the start of this venture.
Next is Lindsay Gasik, who has been a big help with blog & Facebook advice and sharing of pictures. Lindsay is also a hard-core tropical fruit hunter and a durian fanatic. She has a great blog site with all kinds of durian info... www.yearofthedurian.com.
And to wrap it up...a huge thanks to the rest of the PR Gang...PJ, Noel, Sheehan, Brandon, Ethan, Harry, Robert, John, Gwen & Ray. You're there for the trips, the advice, the fruit, and driving us around!
About My Tropical Fruit Hunter Dude
With all of the above in mind, as well as my own adventure experiences, I came up with my tropical fruit hunter guy. I teamed up with local graphic illustrator, Alex Clark, www.alexclark.com, who is putting my ideas into art form.
My tropical fruit hunter guy is sort of my site’s mascot and representative of us all. I had kind of an Indiana Jones type character in mind. Alex came back with a combination Indie and Jeff Probst! LOL! I loved it.
He is also my inspiration for some of my merchandise line and I hope to get my guy more involved in both the website and more products later. Together, I hope we can tell a story and entertain as well.
Shirts and Hats
Note to all concerning this website and my products... All of this is just an extension of the hobby I love. I'm not out to get rich by any stretch of the imagination. I've been to some of the neatest parks, gardens, and festivals not only in the US, but abroad as well, and I was frustrated with the lack of any tropical fruit related apparel...at least anything that I felt wasn't designed by a toddler. There was a definite void in our hobby and I hoped that others felt this way too.
So I came up with what I thought were a few cool ideas to start off with and these shirts are the start. I definitely wanted my tropical fruit hunter dude on the first design as well as proclaiming that the wearer of the shirt was part of a world wide group of tropical fruit hunters. I have to say that I really think they turned out great too. They may all end up in my own closet, but you know what? I'm okay with that...I at least gave it a shot.
So if the shirts do well, then I'll put some other designs I have in mind into motion such as hats and a more quality outdoor, sporting shirt, These designs will be embroidered. I would eventually like to feature my tropical fruit hunter dude in other designs as well...if you could only see my wife's eyes roll at this!
The shirts are 100% preshrunk cotton, ringspun cotton, or a cotton/polyester blend. It is advised to wash the shirts inside out. For shipping information, please go to my FAQ page.
Hats. Only a few available. These are nice, structured ball caps with the Tropical Fruit Hunters Logo embroidered across the front.
About My Blog
My site is about tropical fruit and the hunters. My blog? Well, it’s my blog and I’ll pretty much write about anything I feel like writing about! LOL! But the overall theme will be about fruit.
This is my journey leading to my tropical fruit obsession...how it all began to where I am today. This is me in the raw so to speak. There’s highs and there certainly are lows. I will share them all.
This is NOT a travel blog. However, entries will include my early trips to Thailand. There will also be tropical fruit trips to places like Florida and Puerto Rico, my garden activities, and you will most certainly hear all about the greenhouse. I also hope to get some interviews of interesting individuals.
My blog may not be like a traditional blog where people put entries out there every few days or even every day. I have a lot going on but I doubt much of it will be interesting to the general public! Not only that, I don't really know what the hell I'm doing right or wrong with this project yet so please bear with me. I'm learning as I go and bound to screw something up.
I will attempt to keep it clean and the swear words to a minimum. I’m not going to say everything you might read will be rated G or even PG. There will be times when I put down a quote exactly as I heard it or even said it. I’m a passionate person and that passion can swing to both ends of the spectrum. I try to entertain with the stories and there may be times where it just “needs” that swear word! So please try to enjoy the blog entries in the context they were meant to be.
I hope you have as much fun reading them as I have thinking back over the years and going thru all of the photos. Hopefully you will have been entertained and maybe even learn a thing or two. Feel free to leave comments and ask questions. I will respond to them as quickly as possible.
The blog entries will contain some pics as well but you can always check out the galleries page to see the rest. Just match up the year of the blog with the gallery group.
*Please remember, all photos published on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Tropical Fruit Hunters and Jay Cotterman. If you want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!