Above: The St. Louis Produce Market circa 1953. Construction of the market started in 1950. Below: The market as pictured in 2017. ( Photos courtesy St. Louis Produce Market )

At nearly 70 years old, the St. Louis Produce Market may be a senior citizen, but it is by no means retiring. One Produce Row continues to actively serve the fresh produce needs for millions in a several hundred mile radius around the city.

Sean Kelley, market manager, said operations have been steady.

“I think things are good, and we haven’t had much change since last year,” he said. 

“Companies here are thriving and everybody seems to be very busy.”

The market will thrive in the years ahead, believes Dan Pupillo, president of St. Louis, Mo.-based Midwest Best Produce.

Likewise, Vince Pupillo, owner and president with St. Louis.-based VMP Produce Co., said the terminal market has stable for several years and has good years ahead.

“We’ve been here for a long time, and think we will be here a lot longer,” he said.

While there are as not as many customers on the market as years ago, merchants have adjusted, he said. Retail fruit markets provide a boost in sales in the spring and summer.

The market is open 24 hours a day, with some downtime on Sunday.
There are no plans to change the market in a big way in the next few years, but Kelley said infrastructure challenges are being addressed as needed.

“I don’t think we have anything planned currently upgrade-wise, but we have a 70-year-old concrete building,” he said, noting roof and parking lot repair is attended to every year.

“We really have a pretty solid maintenance plan, so we don’t have really anything happening on a larger view,” he said, noting improvements in recent years included roof work, a fence around the property and a new front gate."