Building on Experience
Boston merchants encourage buyers to continue to rely on the experience and convenience the Chelsea, MA-based New England Produce Center companies can provide.
“There’s a reason why there are 100-year old companies in Boston going into the third generation. We’re good at what we do,” says Steven Piazza, president and treasurer at Community-Suffolk, Everett, MA. “We know when to have the product or when to not have it. That expertise is irreplaceable. It’s time on the street and talent. This is a huge benefit, especially for people coming into the business.”
Peter John Condakes, president of Peter Condakes Co., reports market merchants’ ability to monitor what’s going on in the marketplace and supply chain is of great benefit to customers. “We try to buy the best available at the best time to offer the best to our customers,” he says. “That is the major value we provide.”
Though many retail and foodservice buyers reportedly still value what the market offers, Steven Piazza notes newer computer-oriented buyers fail to take advantage of this key expertise. “These new buyers and companies are missing out on a huge talent pool on the wholesale markets,” he says. “Especially in Boston, Philly and New York, you still have very viable markets with 50- to 100-year-old companies that really know what they’re doing.”
Bill Maheras of J. Maheras Co., Chelsea, MA, notes many Boston market companies know how to adapt due to their longevity. “Flexibility is key,” he says. “Anything last-minute can be an option because of our proximity. We can cater to our customers’ specific needs. And, the customers know they’ll get what they asked for.”
Focusing on building trust and promoting labels is a vital part of John Cerasuolo Co., Chelsea, MA. “Customers know the label, so they know the quality is what they expect,” says Dominic Joseph Cavallaro III, general manager in charge of sales. “Our customers trust us and have confidence in our product and the labels we carry.”
The market also presents convenience for buyers as a one-stop shopping spot, according to Maurice Crafts, purchasing and sales at Coosemans Boston, Chelsea, MA. “A retailer or wholesaler can pull the truck up, pick up spring mix and then buy other products from other vendors on the market. In a few hours, you’ve got a full mixed load of exactly what you need,” he says.