La Hortaliza Produce Inc. has been a tenant of Coosemans for about eight months, doing business in jalapeno and serrano peppers, plum tomatoes, limes, chayotes, tomatillos, cactus fruit, calabasitas and other produce items, said Mark Pappas, president of Coosemans Chicago Inc.
Pappas said Coosemans Chicago continues to increase its dragonfruit business, and has shown strong results with apples and Michigan produce.
“We’re starting to get dragonfruit directly in from Vietnam, so it is a little more consistent,” he said. Volume is building up to about a container of dragonfruit per week. The dragonfruit comes in 10-pound cartons, typically with about nine fruits per carton.
Dragonfruit prices on the Chicago wholesale market have averaged $41.95 per carton from January through November 2013, up from an average of $36 per carton for all of 2012 at the Chicago market. Prices peaked at more than $60 in early July and traded near $37 per carton in late November.
The overall performance of the Chicago market has been quite steady in 2013, Pappas said.
Pappas said the departure of Dominick’s could cause replacement stores to utilize the Chicago wholesalers to a greater degree than did the chain.
“It could be a positive effect,” he said. “There could be some silver linings.”