You’ve probably seen Nell Newman, even if you don’t know very much about her.

Ever since she and a business partner founded Newman’s Own Organics as a division of Newman’s Own in 1993, the image of Newman and her father, Paul, dressed up in their best country gothic guises has appeared on the labels of everything from pretzels (their first product) to their signature Fig Newmans. After becoming an independent company in 2001, Newman’s Own Organics went far beyond the basics, bringing us surprises like organic pet food and fair trade coffee at McDonald’s.

Behind that famous image is a remarkably down-to-earth sustainable food advocate from Santa Cruz, Calif., known for her friendship with Alice Waters, and a regular gig as a judge for the Good Food Awards.