Holiday cornucopia: NY produce market supplies the goods

Nov 22, 2022, 4:05 PM | Updated: Nov 23, 2022, 6:17 am
Drivers position their trucks on the loading docks inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday...

Drivers position their trucks on the loading docks inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

(AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

              A man take notes in between 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's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              A client, right, transports boxes of oranges as he arrives to shop at S. Katzman Produce inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              People shop 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's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              Workers load fresh fruits on their trucks at S. Katzman Produce inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              A client shops 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's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              A client walks at the onion section to shops at S. Katzman Produce inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              Drivers position their trucks on the loading docks inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              A client shops at S. Katzman Produce inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
            
              Drivers position their trucks on the loading docks inside the Hunts Point Produce Market on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the Bronx borough of New York. Hunts Point's wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets. Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is universally celebrated across the United States. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

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

Amidst the whir, buyers and sellers were finalizing deals on tomatoes, mangoes and lettuce. Trucks stood ready to haul away the bounty — a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables destined for supermarket produce aisles, household refrigerators and, eventually, millions of mouths across the Northeast during the gluttonous holidays.

“This time of year is our busiest. We have Thanksgiving, we have Christmas and New Year’s. All of these are very big family and big-eating holidays,” said Stefanie Katzman, the executive vice president of S. Katzman Produce, one of the country’s largest and oldest produce dealers, which operates at 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 the daily stock for New York City and feeds over 30 million customers, according to another Hunts Point wholesaler, E. Armata Inc.

Thanksgiving is especially busy time of year because the quintessentially American feast is widely celebrated across the United States.

“Our market as a whole does about three times as much business as normal on a day like today,” Katzman said while leading a tour Tuesday morning of her company’s cavernous warehouse, which extends a quarter mile (0.4 kilometers) and room for produce across nearly two football fields.

In one huge room, the whiff of onions filled the cold air. In another, the scent of berries wafted through the room — although Katzman’s biggest seller, strawberries, were in short supply because of inclement weather that wreaked havoc on the growing season.

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

Not only can the place be likened as a stock market, but it is also a Grand Central station of sorts with delivery trucks in and out of the Bronx facility.

In all, Hunts Point’s wholesalers distribute 2.5 billion pounds of produce a year, with about 30 million pounds having moved on Tuesday alone. The produce ends up at places like Whole Foods, high-end grocers and specialty markets, as well smaller mom-and-pop outlets.

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

“I come for the basics — everything like celery, lettuce, strawberries and potatoes — but quality is No. 1,” he said. “I check the quality and load everything on the truck.”

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

“You’ve eaten our stuff without you even knowing you’ve eaten our stuff,” said Mule. “If you go to a restaurant or store you probably don’t realize the whole scope of how it got there before you put it in your refrigerator or on your plate.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

murders...
Associated Press

Appeals court upholds most Eyman campaign finance violations

A Washington state Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld most of the campaign finance violations that longtime anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman was found liable for last year.
16 hours ago
A Washington State Department of Agriculture worker displays an Asian giant hornet taken from a nes...
Associated Press

No northern giant hornets found in 2022 in Washington state

Citizen trapping of northern giant hornets in northwest Washington ended Nov. 30 without any confirmed sightings of the hornets this year, state officials said Tuesday.
16 hours ago
FILE - The moon rises on Nov. 29, 2022, as a Moscow police officer stands guard in his vehicle at t...
Associated Press

Idaho cops seek car seen near site where 4 students killed

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Police are asking for help finding the occupant of a car that was seen near where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last month, saying that person could have “critical information” about the case. The Moscow Police Department issued a statement Wednesday afternoon asking for the public’s help […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Indiana sues TikTok, citing safety and security concerns

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s attorney general on Wednesday sued Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, claiming the video-sharing platform misleads its users, particularly children, about the level of inappropriate content and security of consumer information. Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita claimed in a complaint filed Wednesday that while the social video app says it is safe […]
16 hours ago
Rapper and actor Ludacris, right, smiles with a student who received new shoes at Miles Intermediat...
Associated Press

Ludacris, Mercedes-Benz grant holiday wishes with new shoes

ATLANTA, Ga (AP) — Just in time for the holidays, Ludacris and Mercedes-Benz have surprised schoolchildren in Atlanta with more than 500 new pairs of shoes. “It’s all about giving kids moments that they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives,” Ludacris said Wednesday at Miles Elementary School. “And I think today is […]
16 hours ago
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., arrives at the Capitol after defeating Republican challenger Herschel ...
Associated Press

Warnock win makes it official: Georgia is a ’24 battleground

ATLANTA (AP) — Fresh off Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s runoff victory, Georgia Democrats are embracing — and Republicans are reluctantly accepting — the state’s transition from GOP stronghold to a premier battleground as the political calendar turns to the 2024 presidential cycle. Democrats and Republicans alike are parsing their victories and defeats after an extended […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Holiday cornucopia: NY produce market supplies the goods