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GreenMarket vendor has own market in West Palm Beach

Posted On: 05-19-2016

By Roberta Sabban

Special to the Daily News

Although the West Palm Beach GreenMarket’s season comes to an end on May 28, participating vendor Don Victorio will have fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables available throughout the summer months.

Opened in 2005 by Peruvian-born husband and wife team, Gladys Del Carpio and Victor Perez, Don Victorio’s has become a neighborhood fixture. The green grocer stocks a wide variety of sustainable and organic produce at competitive prices. Customers include chefs, home cooks, local restaurants, avid juicers, vegetarians and vegans.

“When we started, we sensed a trend. We noticed that everybody wanted to eat healthy food.” said Del Carpio. “The demand for fresh produce was growing. Our idea was to have quality fruits and vegetables at competitive prices. We developed a business plan and got a bank loan.

“We thought there was a void in the marketplace we could fill by opening a wholesale/retail green grocer. In the beginning, we sold sodas and chips. They were big sellers but not healthy. Our customers started asking us for more organic produce and specialty items. We got rid of the sodas and chips and replaced them with a juice bar, wraps, quinoa salads, vegan sandwiches and healthy snacks.”

They are always learning from their customers and now carry turmeric, celery root, a variety of sprouts, wheat grass, Persian and European cucumbers, locally grown herbs and shallots, as well as Caribbean and Latin American produce. Customers asked for more seeds and nuts. They sell quinoa, amaranth, chia, flax, black corn, sesame seeds, pine nuts and wheat berries.

Customers also will find a selection of dried beans sold by the pound; fresh and dried peppers; pea flour; free-range eggs from Indiantown; and chuño, freeze-dried potatoes made by Quechua communities in Peru.

Throughout the winter months, Perez buys from local farms whenever possible. During the summer months, Perez travels weekly to North Carolina and Georgia to buy produce.

As the tropical world takes over in South Florida, the market will be selling locally grown lychee, mangoes, dragon fruit, jackfruit, carambola, longan, rambutan, mamey sapote, papaya, passion fruit, sapodilla and avocados.

 

 

 

Source: Roberta Sabban, May 19, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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