Every year since then, the store has seen sales go up, he said.
“People are more comfortable doing the full shop now,” he said, noting that produce sales account for $5.7 million of the store’s $34 million in yearly sales.
At Kowalski’s Markets, a nine-store retail chain based in Woodbury, Minn., the economy has not been a major problem for at least 18 months, said Tim Fortier, produce manager.
“Sure, we felt it in 2010 and 2011, but I think it’s gotten better,” he said.
“It sounds arrogant to say it, but I don’t see us being affected by the economy.”
For Maple Grove, Minn.-based Chandler-Topic. Inc., the high cost of fuel continues to be a drag on growth, said Tim Grace, spokesman.
That translates into higher prices for consumers, he said.
“But, people are still buying it,” he said.
Things are better than they had been but there still is room for improvement, said Tom Bergin Jr., vice president of Bergin Fruit & Nut Co. in St. Paul.
“I was thinking it was looking rosy last fall. Now, I think it’s better but not as strong as what I was hoping for,” he said.
“Maybe it’s safer that we’re slowly coming out rather than jumping out fast.”