“This is one of the most sophisticated food cities in the world,” said Gary Teilmann, a produce buyer.
“In Los Angeles, it’s all about price and not as much about the ‘farm candy.’”
Every day, Greenleaf’s trucks make deliveries to more than 700 accounts in the region.
Not only are many of firm’s customers into higher-end foods, but they also want locally produced product.
In fact, many of the large corporate accounts, such as Google and Apple, demand the produce come from within a 150-mile radius and they request information about the farms, Teilmann said.
Greenleaf prides itself on handling a wide assortment of specialty items. Produce still comprises about 70% of the business, although the company over the years has added complementary dry goods, artisan cheeses, fresh eggs, olive oil and other items to round out truck loads.
Veritable Vegetables, San Francisco, also has benefited from foodservice operators for large companies, such as Facebook and Zynga, increasing purchases of organic produce, said Karen Salinger, co-owner.
The America’s Cup World Series races, held in San Francisco Bay, also boosted demand for organic produce while the sailing event was in town.
“They’re feeding their staff, which ebbs and flows as the race activity ebbs and flows,” she said.