NY Produce Market delivers the goods

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the wee hours of the morning and the docks of New York’s largest fresh produce market were bustling in the cold. Thanksgiving approached and sacks of onions, potatoes, and carrots flew off the shelves.

Amidst the buzz, buyers and sellers struck deals on tomatoes, mangoes and lettuce. Trucks were ready to tow away the bounty — a bounty of fruits and vegetables destined for supermarket aisles, household refrigerators, and eventually millions of mouths in the Northeast during the gluttonous holiday season.

“This time of year is our busiest. We have Thanksgiving, we have Christmas and New Year. These are all very big family and dining holidays,” said Stefanie Katzman, the executive vice president of S. Katzman Produce, one of the country’s largest and oldest produce dealers, which operates in the Hunts Point Produce Market.

The market is a sprawling collection of wholesalers that make it the nation’s busiest distribution center for fruits and vegetables, responsible for more than 60% of New York City’s daily supply and feeding more than 30 million customers, according to another Hunts Point report. wholesaler, E Armata Inc.

Thanksgiving is a particularly busy time of year as the quintessentially American holiday is widely celebrated in the United States.

“Our market as a whole is doing about three times as much business as normal on a day like today,” Katzman said as he led a tour Tuesday morning of her company’s cavernous warehouse, which stretches for a quarter of a mile (0.4 kilometers) and offers space for products all over the world. almost two football fields.

In a huge room, the smell of onions filled the cold air. In another, the scent of berries wafted through the room—though Katzman’s biggest seller, strawberries, was in short supply due to inclement weather that wrecked the growing season.

“Our market is really unique. It’s kind of like the stock market, but a little more intense. Because our ‘stocks’ are perishable, we can’t hold them for too long in the hope that they will appreciate in value,” Katzman said.

Not only can the place be compared to a stock market, but it’s also a kind of Grand Central station with delivery trucks going in and out of the Bronx facility.

In total, Hunts Point wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of products a year, with around 30 million pounds on Tuesday alone. The products end up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty stores, as well as smaller mom-and-pop stores.

Michael Rubinsky, a buyer for Market Basket, a gourmet grocery store, makes an hour’s drive three times a week from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, to inspect the goods.

“I come for the basics – everything like celery, lettuce, strawberries and potatoes – but quality is number one,” he said. “I check the quality and load everything on the truck.”

Charlie Mule, one of Katzman’s product salespeople, said consumers don’t realize where their products come from.

“You ate our stuff without even knowing you ate our stuff,” Mule said. “When you go to a restaurant or store, you probably don’t realize the full extent of how it got there before you put it in your fridge or on your plate.”

Leave a Comment