Business updates for Know Your Market: Chicago

12/13/2011 09:12:00 AM
Bruce Blythe

EveryDay Fresh to expand imports

Wholesale distributor EveryDay Fresh Produce expects to begin importing persimmons from Spain to meet growing demand from Chicago’s ethnic markets, chief executive Steve Chmelovsky said in mid-November.

Persimmons are a staple for many Asian consumers, according to Chmelovsky.

EveryDay Fresh Produce, based at the Chicago International Produce Market, already buys persimmons from California, Israel and South Africa.

The company, one of the area’s top ethnic market suppliers, also recent added Yali pears from China to its offerings.

The Fresh Market opens fifth area store

In November, Greensboro, N.C.-based specialty grocer The Fresh Market added its fifth location to the Chicago region, a 22,300 square-foot store in the far-northwestern suburb of Crystal Lake, Ill.

The Fresh Market also has stores in affluent suburbs of Lake Forest and Wilmette.

The new store includes a “bountiful produce department” with more than 400 items and a large organic selection, the company said.

“We look forward to introducing the Fresh Market’s concept of quality perishables, excellent customer service and a unique atmosphere to an expanded customer base,” Craig Carlock, the company’s chief executive, said in a Nov. 10 statement announcing the Crystal Lake opening.

Most of the company’s 107 stores, which the company says provide an atmosphere “reminiscent of old-world European markets,” are in the Southeast.

Goodness Greeness sales rise in 2011

Recently added products for Chicago-based organic produce supplier Goodness Greeness include living Boston lettuce, president Bob Scaman said.

Also, Goodness Greeness’ packaged herb category has “really come on dramatically,” reflecting people cooking at home more often, Scaman said.

Overall, Goodness Greeness had “a pretty good year,” with sales up by “double-digits,” in percentage terms, from 2010, Scaman said.

Michael J. Navilio & Son expands local offerings

Distributor Michael J. Navilio & Son handled a lot more locally grown products from Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin this year, according to Michael Ruffalo, a sales representative for the company.

Ruffalo defined local as a one-day shipment away, as opposed to the three to four days it takes to ship products from major growing regions such as California.

Limes from Mexico did well for Michael J. Navilio after the company connected with a good shipper earlier this year, Ruffalo said.


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