The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market is celebrating its fifth year.

In September, the market is considering celebrating the event for customers and market workers, said Christine Hoffman, the facility’s marketing coordinator.

“There’s a good spirit of cooperation at this market,” Hofmann said. “The sellers are friendly and cooperative and will direct market customers to where they need to go (to purchase other product). I’m not sure you find that in every market.”

Overall, the market is doing well and houses a strong core of merchants, said John Vena Jr., chairman of the market’s marketing committee and president of John Vena Inc. in Philadelphia.

By the end of 2016, the operation should be on schedule to be at 100% occupancy, he said.Â

“There are benefits up and down the supply chain (with the market), Vena said. “Our market is well-positioned to do what terminal markets have always done well: provide variety, freshness and quality. As the industry continues to incorporate additional standards for food safety and security, transparency, and sustainability, our market will continue to provide value to the industry at all levels.”

When most of the market’s wholesalers relocated from their aging and decrepit facilities, they absorbed additional expenses, said Chip Wiechec, president of Philadelphia’s Hunter Bros. Inc.

As with any move, some always say they couldn’t afford the rent and how the move wouldn’t be good, he said.

However, five years later, market wholesalers have experienced more benefits, Wiechec said.

“There’s really a lot of positive vibes with the people that are here,” he said. “Once we’re at 100%, we will be on a very solid ground as a market. Everyone will benefit from that.”

Martin Roth, secretary-treasurer of Coosemans Philadelphia Inc., acknowledges the move was worthwhile.

“It’s okay,” he said. “Business has increased.”

 
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