The New York Produce Market supplies the produce – Winnipeg Free Press

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the wee hours of the morning and the docks of New York’s largest farmers market were chilly. Thanksgiving was slowly approaching, and sacks of onions, potatoes, and carrots were flying off the shelves.

Amid the buzz, buyers and sellers were finalizing deals on tomatoes, mangoes and lettuce. The trucks were ready to haul away the bounty: a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables destined for the produce aisles of supermarkets, home refrigerators, and eventually millions of mouths across the Northeast during the gluttonous holidays.

“This time of year is the busiest. We have Thanksgiving, we have Christmas and New Years. These are all very big holidays for families and big meals,” said Stefanie Katzman, executive vice president of S. Katzman Produce, one of the country’s oldest and largest produce distributors, which operates out of the Hunts Point Produce Market.



A man takes notes among boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables at S. Katzman Produce inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds moving on Tuesday alone. The product ends up in places like Whole Foods, high-end grocery stores and specialty markets, as well as smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is an especially busy time of year because the quintessential American holiday is universally celebrated throughout the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

The market is a sprawling collection of wholesalers that make it the busiest fruit and vegetable distribution center in the country, accounting for more than 60% of New York City’s daily stock and feeding more than 30 million consumers. customers, according to another Hunts Point wholesaler, E Armata Inc.

Thanksgiving is an especially busy time of year because the quintessential American holiday is widely celebrated throughout the United States.

“Our market as a whole does about three times more business than normal on a day like today,” Katzman said as he led a tour Tuesday morning of his company’s cavernous, quarter-mile warehouse ( 0.4 kilometers) and has space for agricultural products along almost two soccer fields.

In a huge room, the smell of onions filled the cold air. In another, the scent of berries wafted into the room, even though Katzman’s best-seller, strawberries, was in short supply due to inclement weather that wreaked havoc on the growing season.

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

The place can not only be compared to a stock exchange, but it is 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 product a year, with about 30 million pounds moved on Tuesday alone. The product ends up in places like Whole Foods, high-end grocery stores and specialty markets, as well as smaller mom-and-pop outlets.

Michael Rubinsky, a shopper at Market Basket, a gourmet grocery store, makes the hour-long drive from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, three times a week to inspect produce.

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

Charlie Mule, one of Katzman’s produce vendors, said consumers don’t realize where their produce comes from.

“You have eaten our things without even knowing that you have eaten our things,” Mule said. “If 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.”

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