Duchess Meghan’s ARO is ‘all the gossip on industry What’sApp groups around LA’

So far, the Duchess of Sussex has only given us an Instagram account, a tiny little video and the name of her new lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard. We have not seen any products, nor have we even gotten a confirmation that Meghan plans to launch a Netflix food/cooking show. As I’ve said before, Meghan’s trademark-binge isn’t indicative of ARO being some massive brand which sells everything from dog food to makeup. She’s just trademarking everything so that dumbf–k haters don’t snap up rival ARO trademarks/products. I actually believe that Meghan is probably going to start relatively small – jams, soaps, cookbooks, cookware, stuff like that. Obviously, we still haven’t gotten much information from Meghan, which is driving people crazy. Speaking of, Page Six had a long-winded piece about how Meghan’s ARO is the talk of California society.

Questions about ARO: There still remain vital questions surrounding the brand: Just who is investing in it, who is working on it — and who is manufacturing the goods, which will range from jams and jellies to candles, skincare and pet food? Well-placed sources at other lifestyle brands told Page Six that American Riviera Orchard is all the gossip on industry What’sApp groups around Los Angeles. Tellingly, however, they have not yet heard anything about Markle hiring buyers or a sourcing team. One insider who knows the Sussexes told Page Six that it’s looking like a typical Markle project: plenty of glamour, little substance. “They [Harry and Meghan] consistently make announcements and roll things out really early … to what point?” the insider said. Sources close to Markle point out that no timeframe for an actual product launch has been given yet.

Who is Meghan working with? However, Page Six can confirm that the finance types Markle and Prince Harry have been seen networking with — including Wall Street billionaire Ken Griffin and cosmetics mogul Victoria Jackson and her husband, marketing multi-millionaire guru Bill Guthy, both close pals of the Sussexes —are not investing. Neither is Ari Emanuel, head of WME, the talent mega agency which signed up Markle nearly a year ago. Markle is believed to have worked on the project with Hollywood money man Adam Lilling. The project will tie in with Markle’s new Netflix show, which she is said to be filming now, in a bid to follow in the footsteps of Martha Stewart and Joanna Gaines.

Lili Bunny Garden!! When she was interviewed for The Cut in 2022, Markle gifted the writer a basket of homegrown fruits and vegetables, as well as a jar of jam with a customized label from Etsy. It read Lili Bunny Garden + Larder, after her daughter Princess Lilibet — could that be a clue about her pantry products? Whatever the case, she’s already raising her neighbors’ hackles. Kerry Clasby, an organic farmer who runs the Malibu Fig Ranch and supplies to top chiefs including Tom Collichio and Jean George Vongirechten, said that Markle also needs to be diligent about using the name America Riviera — a nickname for the posh Santa Barbara region, which includes Montecito. “If you’re calling it American Riviera, you really ought to be [sourcing ingredients] grown in Santa Barbara,” Clasby told Page Six. “Otherwise, you’re going into the wholesale dump in downtown LA, where all the produce comes up from Mexico or Chile. The kitchen should be there also [in the Santa Barbara area], unless they are just putting their name on it and getting it made wherever, or getting it pre-made. And then it’s hype.”

Local farmers haven’t been contacted?? Although Markle has been spotted at the Montecito farmers market, Sam Edelman, general manager at The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association, told us that, to his knowledge, the duchess is not working with any of the farmers in the group. If Markle wants to sell anything at her local farmers market, though, she’ll need to get her hands dirty. “California is strict about us putting on our sign that we grow what we sell,” said Maureen Claffey, who owns Red Hen Cannery in Carpinteria, California, with her husband. “In order to sell strawberry jam at the farmer’s market, you have to have grown the strawberries.” Claffrey is a fan of Markle’s after meeting her: “My daughter had set up a little cotton-candy stand and [Markle and Prince Harry] bought cotton candy from her. Having met them and seen how they reacted to my daughter and how positive they were on a windy day, that speaks volumes. How people treat children with no one around says a lot.”

Meghan admires Gwyneth’s Goop: “Everyone is speculating about American Riviera Orchard,” said the lifestyle figure. “But someone like Gwyneth started out by sending out a newsletter once a week and it was very personal, kind of like Substack now. But it was a very novel idea at the time, but she didn’t monetize the business for about seven years. The goal was creating a community and something of value, rather than it being a business. She didn’t take any outside funding until 2015. With Goop, everything that happened all came from a very gradual, authentic place … Gwyneth did not set out to create what it is today.”

[From Page Six]

Re: Goop… I’ve been here since the start of Goop and it’s true that Gwyneth moved very slowly when it came to monetizing it. It really was just a weird rich-lady newsletter about dieting and juice cleansing back in the day. Now it’s a makeup line, a skincare line, fashion collabs, brick-and-mortar stores and more. It took Gwyneth a good seven-to-eight years before she really figured out how to monetize Goop. But… Meghan’s The Tig was the start of ARO as well. She ran a successful lifestyle blog too, so in a sense, ARO is just picking up where she left off. Besides, as I said in the intro, I actually believe that Meghan is going to start out with a relatively small product line and she’ll likely grow ARO from there. Also: now I’m curious about how she’s sourcing for a potential jam line as well.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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73 Responses to “Duchess Meghan’s ARO is ‘all the gossip on industry What’sApp groups around LA’”

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  1. Shawna says:

    Gossip = buzz. All good news, even the snark. The business world runs by different rules than the royal fold. Just keep ‘em talking.

    • L84Tea says:

      Exactly! It’s the same thing we do here–talk ourselves in circles with excitement and anticipation because we know absolutely nothing about what’s coming, but we’re hoping for a little bit of everything. It’s a GOOD thing.

  2. Meg and Harry are very good with keeping things on lockdown till ready. I seriously doubt Page Six knows who is investing and who isn’t. I think Meg has things in order and all will be revealed when ready.

    • Smart&Messy says:

      I agree. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Page 6 has never seemed to have any insider i fo about their businesses. I also think that it’s a good thing that there is a buzz and people are ibterested. However, it’s annoying that there is no content from ARO yet. I check the IG every day, give me somethiiing. I’m not a marketing expert, so someone explain to me why she decided to announce so early with no further content for weeks? Is it an established strategy? She and Harry didn’t do this kind of rollout before.

      • blueberry says:

        Definitely a marketing strategy! It’s like when you get those first look character posters for a movie or see the “coming soon” sign on a construction project. The goal is to generate interest and buzz, which is what seems to be happening.

      • swaz says:

        My best advice would be to follow SARA NATHAN on X or IG to get up to date info on ARO. She’s the one who wrote the article, an ex writer for THE SUN AND THE DAILY MAIL. She seems to know everything about ARO, it sounds like she spends all her time investigating it.

      • sevenblue says:

        @swaz, Why would anyone follow a tabloid writer? That is weird. Did everyone forget that after the IG announcement, Kate announced her cancer diagnosis? Maybe, Meghan’s team pushed their calendar a little bit due to this news. Just follow the account on IG and I am sure you are gonna see when a new post is published. Don’t go around following tabloid writers who know as much as we do and manipulate any narrative to make Meghan look bad.

      • Kingston says:

        M gave that tantalising glimpse of ARO website & IG on MARCH 14. 2024! That’s just TWO WEEKS ago and its standard operating procedure for the start of a major campaign.

        It might seem longer to folks but that’s because we’re all GAGGING for it.

        And BTW, who is that lying loser who said H&M are “all glamour” and “no substance ” LMFAO That one came straight ot of Pg 6 arse. They know that’s WanK’s rep so as usual, they want to try it on H&M to see if it will stick.

        Whatever….all these suckers are merely gagging & getting mad at M for making them gag whole preparing to be WOWED.

      • Priscilla says:

        But she hasn’t made any announcements has she? She simply went live with her Instagram page & website with no fanfare and the media took off from there with all the usual speculation. I didn’t see any press release from her or any kind of statement about ARO. As far as I know, Meghan hasn’t said anything at all about what her plans are for the Instagram page or the website.

      • Robert Phillips says:

        Has any of this info about pots and pans or jam come from the Suxxes’ or Archwell. Or even a lifestyle brand. Or is all of that made up by the British Tabloids and others? What if ARO is going to highlight impoverished countries. Or sorta be like Archetypes where it dives deeper into people we see in the news. Again who was it that said it was going to be like Martha Stewart, or Goop?

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        @Robert Phillips, it might dive deeper into subject areas (sustainable farming for example), but it’s clearly going to be a kind of lifestyle brand based on the promotional video released by ARO. The video’s vibes, with flower arranging and cooking (and Meghan in a ball gown), is much more Martha Stewart lifestyle than highlighting impoverished countries.

      • CatMum says:

        hello SARA! (or SARA’s assistant if she has one). enjoying the conversation?

      • Charter says:

        Of course a no nothing tabloid hack spends all their time ‘investigating’ MM and her very locked-down projects in order to bully and discredit her. And of course said hack has people posting all over saying, follow her, she knows! When she clearly knows f all. But go right ahead.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        I might be wrong. I believe @swaz was being sarcastic and forgot the /s after their comment. I read sarcasm in the comment, like, “OMG, if you want to know what’s going on with the Meghan & ARO, you should totally suck into the bs reported by Sara Nathan, Editor of the New York’s Sun/Page Six, ex columnist of The Sun & DM.”. The New York Post should be called the New York Sun. Murdoch owned. Harry suing. Credibility negative. Sources actually close to Meghan don’t call her Markle.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ @AGreatAReckoning, that was my read, too, of @Swaz’s comments! 🤭

        @Kingston, Thanks for your observations. ITA! 👌🏽

        “… all these suckers are merely gagging & getting mad at M for making them gag whole preparing to be WOWED.”

        😂 🤌🏽 Yes, that’s it. I also think that the timing schedule for additional posts was pushed back after the flood of copycat IGs and the faux ARO MyShopify site. SMH! 😒 I am so sick of haters and greedy fools spoiling everything for true Sussex fans and supporters! 😡

  3. Jan says:

    What a group of whiny bitches.

    • Pinkosaurus says:

      I think Page Six is doing its damdest to make the straightforward or positive comments seem like criticism, including making it sound like the poor guy who was just explaining basic organic regulations is angry. I’m sure any farm or kitchen/producer working with ARO is under an NDA so the local farmer coffee klatch is not going to hear about who they are working with ahead of time. It doesn’t mean she’s not using local produce.

      I hope her products address fair wages and working conditions for farm workers and not just organic/pesticide-free. Regardless of how admirable her arrangements are, I’m sure the toxic British media will inform us of how irrigating the fruit for her jam is an environmental catastrophe and going to kill us all because she is an environmental hypocrite 🙄.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ For real! 🙄 This is just straight-up gaslighting and dastardly meddling for clicks. 🤨 Forget about fair, honest, informative reporting, which is hardly in existence anymore, especially not in regard to H&M, unfortunately.

        But your true supporters will always be there for you, Duchess Meghan! We are all waiting with patience and genuine admiration! 🙌🏽 🫶🏽 🫡

        What these salty fools also forget is that Meg has always been hands-on and very effective in her project launches!

    • Louise says:

      Yeah, ‘I know you are, but what am I’ is not the distraction the RF thinks it is. Lol.

    • bisynaptic says:


  4. Jais says:

    It’s all the gossip on industry WhatsApp conversations? 😂. Okaaay. Well the cotton candy story is cute.

  5. Dee(2) says:

    Why do people feel the need to tell her what she needs to do to be considered “American Riveria” or wonder who is investing. People literally didn’t know this existed four months ago now they think she needs their help figuring out how and when to get funding, and how to source produce? It’s a terminal case of underestimating the black lady because she can’t understand business, and thinking that something hasn’t been considered because you don’t know about it. That other lady sounds bitter that someone may be selling something she sells, but that’s capitalism.

  6. JanetDR says:

    I am sure that Meghan will go about this in the right way. I’ll be so interested in what comes out if this. I’m rooting for a cooking video first!

    • FoodieCanuk says:

      We just finished making the coconut curry in her Together cookbook. I realize that these arent all *her* recipes, but if her ARO wares and such have even a 100th of the work she put into the book, they will be fantastic.

      I just hope they ship to Canada 😉

  7. Eurydice says:

    Everything about this article is stupid. Meghan is not the one who announces projects that go nowhere. And why would Meghan be selling jam at the local farmer’s market?

    • Shawna says:

      It sounds like the journalist is using innuendo to make the farmer’s market sources’ information about regulations seem like an attack on ARO. Quite likely they were sharing basic info and proud to take advantage of interest in Meghan to spread the word about their high standards.

      • Eurydice says:

        But it’s not even innuendo – it’s ridiculous supposition. “If Markle wants to sell anything at her local farmers market, though, she’ll need to get her hands dirty.” Why would Meghan set up a website, collect subscribers, revive her IG, just so she can sell jam at the local farmers’ market?

      • Shawna says:

        Yeah, @Eurydice, it’s really stretching credulity!

  8. Midnight@theOasis says:

    “One insider who knows the Sussexes told Page Six that it’s looking like a typical Markle project: plenty of glamour, little substance. “They [Harry and Meghan] consistently make announcements and roll things out really early … to what point?” the insider said.”

    This so called insider sounds just like a Rota Rat. The insider was definitely referring to the Wanks. H&M deliver fully developed projects upon release.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Yeah it’s definitely a royal reporter or commentator.

    • Sid says:

      I would swear I saw a Sussex Squad member on twitter just referencing that Richard Eden wrote an “article” saying this exact thing. I guess we know Page Six’s source there.

    • Visa Diva says:

      The Smart Works initiative suggests plenty of substance

      • Eurydice says:

        Also, the Together cookbook, her book “The Bench,” her podcast and all the various awards and projects funded by Archewell.

    • MsIam says:

      “Plenty of glamour, little substance” sound just like that other project I’ve heard about. What’s it called again, Eartshot? Definitely a Bitter Betty said that, and I highly doubt if that’s someone close to the Sussexes.

    • Lorelei says:

      I think that idiot meant to say, “to what end?” because her actual quote makes no sense. But the entire article is ludicrous.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Sounds like Kate’s Five Questions Survey, without the glamour but definitely little substance.

  9. Maxine Branch says:

    Whatever or however Meghan markets the products she sell, Knowing her, it will be well sourced and above suspicion. Whatever it is as long as it is as authentic as she appears to be, I am in.

  10. equality says:

    So the ONLY way to do something is how Gwynneth does it?

    • Cessily says:

      I hope not, I purchased some Goop products because of the hype and never repurchased.

  11. Amy Bee says:

    Alot of assumptions, speculations and sly digs in this story. It’s great that the British press (I know this is Page Six but there’s no doubt that the Sun plants stories in its sister paper) has absolutely no idea about what’s going with Harry and Meghan.

  12. Zoid says:

    You know who we know uses WhatApp? The palace when communicating PR with the rota. Is that a thing in the US? I’ve only ever seen WhatsApp used extensively abroad, or for people (kids!) who don’t have texting plans yet on their devices.

    • Ace says:

      Yeah, the mention of WhatsApp makes me ignore, more than usual, everything in this article. From what I know, people in the US don’t really use the app, so I doubt people in Hollywood are having extensive discussions about anything on it. It’s more likely that the rota rats are using it to communicate with their “sources” in the US to rant about ARO and those conversations are turned into this page six article.

    • H says:

      Whatsapp is great for friend groups who live in different countries – it’s how I stay in touch with my college roommates.

  13. SussexWatcher says:

    Sounds like more projection from jealous haters across the pond to me. And yes, what Zoid said about WhatsApp – who have we heard uses WhatsApp? The palace and rota rats!

    The article sources claim Harry and Meghan talk and talk before releasing new projects which then don’t live up to the hype? Ummm, no. That’s certainly how one keen royal couple operates, but their names are not Harry or Meghan. The Sussexes move in stealth mode until their finished product or project is ready. They don’t talk for months or years about how keen they are and then release a listening and learning claymation video or a 5 question survey.

    I think she released the website and IG because she’s getting some hype going but I guarantee behind the scenes she’s got the whole thing mapped out. That’s how Meghan operated in the past and I’m sure that’s how she’ll do things going forward. She was able to keep the Together cookbook a secret – until she was ready for the finished launch – when she was working within the vipers nest of KP. So of course she can keep her current projects quiet until she’s ready.

    As for the bitchy comments from local farmers and such, my eyes have rolled into the back of my skull. I’m quite sure Meghan will source local produce and products, and most likely those from women, and/or BIPOC-owned businesses. We’ve already seen her putting a ton of small businesses on the map so why would she do anything differently here?

    • Barb Mill says:

      Well I use WhatsApp all the time. I use it to video chat with my kids and grandkids and mostly. I live in FL and know lots of people I know here use it the same way to communicate with family members that live in the north.

    • Cessily says:

      American 🇺🇸 here, I have used WhatsApp forever. It started as the best way to communicate with friends and family living in other countries without international charges. I don’t know many people that don’t use it, but I lived most of my life a bridge away from Canada 🇨🇦 and international fees.

    • CatMum says:

      yeah, this is more royalist DARVO. unsurprising considering the source. she had to do trademarking at the same time as rolling out the website or someone else would have snapped them up.

      stay salty, bitter brit media!

  14. 1st time commenting says:

    The woman who wrote this article and who tends to write most of the snarky pagesix articles about Harry and Meghan. Is named sara nathan. She’s a British woman who previously worked at The Sun & Daily mail before moving to the NYP/PageSix in 2018. Just thought people should know

    • MsIam says:

      Someone up thread suggested we follow her on IG or X to get “up to date info”. Seriously? I swear these Rota rats are the latest British invasion and not in a good way either.

  15. equality says:

    I thought the appeal of WhatsApp was that conversations were private and only group members knew the content. So are these tools getting somebody to tell what was private or are they members of these groups? If they are members of the groups, they may be the ones starting the conversation so they can claim this.

  16. Just Jade says:

    If what those idiots are reporting is true the LA society is talking about ARO makes Meghan look bad. Toto you are not in salt island anymore. Me think they are waiting for Meghan’s Jam to compare it to the KCIII Jam but than again what do I know.

  17. Talie says:

    I’ll admit I don’t totally get the strategy of having the instagram just sit out there or weeks, but I know she has a big team behind her so I we’ll see what they do.

    There’s a lot of people invested in wanting to see them fail, so I know they always want to have their ducks in a row.

    • Barb Mill says:

      I thought they would be adding more content earlier rather than later. I’m wondering with Kate’s cancer video they have decided to wait a bit just to eliminate all the nasty stories.

      • Kingston says:

        M gave that tantalising glimpse of ARO website & IG on MARCH 14. 2024! That’s just TWO WEEKS ago and its standard operating procedure for the start of a major campaign.

        It might seem longer to folks but that’s because we’re all GAGGING for it.

        And BTW, who is that lying loser who said H&M are “all glamour” and “no substance ” LMFAO That one came straight ot of Pg 6 arse. They know that’s WanK’s rep so as usual, they want to try it on H&M to see if it will stick.

        Whatever….all these suckers are merely gagging & getting mad at M for making them gag whole preparing to be WOWED.

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      The strategy is to start collecting email sign ups now. It is Business 101 in today’s world. There’s nothing hinky about it, it’s to get as many people as possible on their newsletter list so when they send their Open For Business email it will go to as many people as possible.

      In turn, a lot of those email listers will tell family and friends.

      It’s basic online marketing.

  18. Mary Pester says:

    Page six spins a good yarn, but there is no “someone close to”, Megan and Harry speak for themselves and I for one think getting the Instagram page up early was a brilliant strategy. Look at all the free publicity they are getting!

  19. Islandgirl says:

    “They [Harry and Meghan] consistently make announcements and roll things out really early … to what point”….ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.
    When I see that comment I take everything said with a bag of salt because I can see the bias of the source and the agenda.

  20. sevenblue says:

    Page Six also wrote an article about how Meghan was bragging about the fact that she would never make the same photoshop mistake as Kate. Meghan’s spokesperson had to refute the story on record since BM started attacking Meghan for this made up quote. Page Six doesn’t have sources close to H&M or know H&M. I am sure they are either making it up or asking some royal reporter who once saw them on a tour. I can’t wait Harry’s case against Murdoch.

  21. matthew says:

    Puhlease no society figures in LA or anywhere care about a brand that’s been announced but not even launched. Do these people think no one has anything better to do than talk about MM’s jam line? We love her but come on. No.

  22. Cessily says:

    I have a May birthday to buy for… I’m just keeping my fingers crossed 🤞🏼 that the gift will come from American Riviera Orchard. Not to mention Mothers Day is coming 🫣🤞🏼⏱️. If you can’t tell I’m excited.

  23. Elsa says:

    I’m not interested much in jams, but I adore Meghan. I can’t wait to see what she has to say and I will probably buy whatever she offers. Love her.

  24. MsIam says:

    Meghan will do what Meghan will do when she needs to do it. Page Six doesn’t know sh*t in case anyone was wondering. I think the only thing that they had anything remotely accurate was concerning Harry’s book but even that information was minimal.

  25. B says:

    Lol what I’m hearing is that the haters want ARO more than the supporters and can’t even handle a 2 week wait. Stay salty and gagged losers! Meghan will release when and how she wants and you will just have to deal. To the rota rats who stalk this website I suggest you look to the left behind royals and beg them to work if you want to fill your column pages. Harry and Meghan no longer cater to your timetable.

  26. BlueNailsBetty says:

    So, once again, people who don’t know Meghan or her business plan are spouting off about Meghan and her business plan.

    Got it.

    You’d think that by now the rota would be tired of getting egg on their face when they are proven to be wrong but nope, they just keep lining up to get smashed in the face with eggs.

  27. Laura says:

    All this talk of jam, my mouth is watering. If the gossip is designed to sell her products it’s working. Anyone else want a slice of warm toast and some $30 California jam??? I’m sold.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Can you imagine the sour island storm that will ensue if she has a “homemade chutney” product?

  29. phlyfiremama says:

    This is Meghan we are talking about. Of course she will source it from as close to home as possible. Hence the name, American Riviera. You can be sure that she is doing her research to find local farms owned by women, or minorities, or who treat their staff ethically and have stellar reputations. Those custom clay dishes you want?? Made by MayMar Keenan, in San Francisco (gasp), Or whatever the equivalent as local as possible craftsman who makes them. You won’t find them at Burlington or Ross! LOL I hope to see multiple ethnicities included, I would like to see legitimate INCLUSION from her product lines.

  30. bisynaptic says:

    LOL These people are so… hurt. 😂