Diane Ratliff was on the hunt for some recent vegetables and fruit.
She pushed her small procuring cart to the again of the shop and picked up a package deal of asparagus and a few child tomatoes. Then she dropped a small container of blueberries into the cart.
“These are $1 a pack!” she stated. “This could be far more costly on the grocery retailer.”
On this current day, the Galena resident wasn’t procuring at a typical market. Situated inside a produce terminal, Ratliff was at Sanfillipo’s Money and Carry, which is a part of the bigger Sanfillipo Produce.
The Sanfillipo household has been within the enterprise for greater than 100 years and payments itself as being the realm’s oldest produce household, spanning 5 generations.
Situated on Columbus’ East Facet throughout the road from the John Glenn Columbus Worldwide Airport on fifth Avenue, Sanfillipo Produce has a small market open to the general public however does its predominant enterprise as a wholesaler.
It supplies recent vegetables and fruit to eating places, caterers, nation golf equipment and nursing properties in Higher Columbus. Purchasers embody Tee Jaye’s Nation Place, Flyers Pizza and the assisted residing facility Willow Brook at Delaware Run.
Co-owner Jamie Sanfillipo, 47, of Dublin, stated the corporate carries a minimum of 500 totally different produce objects at any given time.
“You do not carry simply mushrooms. You’ve got medium mushrooms, tiny button mushrooms, massive mushrooms, thick sliced, skinny sliced,” stated Jamie’s father and co-owner, Jim Sanfillipo, 68, of West Columbus. “We promote to eating places, and everybody’s menu is totally different and so we’ve got to attempt to tailor shopping for to what every particular person restaurant makes use of.”
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A enterprise spanning 5 generations
Sanfillipo Produce’s presence within the metropolis dates again to 1899 with Jim’s great-grandfather, Salvatore Sanfillipo, Jim stated.
Salvatore moved to Columbus from Sicily, and a cousin set him up with a retail stand inside the previous West Market, in response to the corporate web site. Shortly after, Salvatore bought a horse and wagon to haul his produce and started delivering to small eating places and shops.
His son, Joe, took over the enterprise on the age of 17 after Salvatore died in 1911. He stayed in that position for 36 years, till his sons Joe Jr. and Jim Sr. took over after serving in World Struggle II.
Whereas the elder Jim finally left the enterprise, the youthful Jim went to work at his uncle Joe’s firm, Sanfillipo Brothers, in 1979. However by 1982, Jim began his personal enterprise — James Sanfillipo Produce Co. in Downtown Columbus.
Jamie and his youthful brother, Rob, have helped their dad out since they have been children.
“On the weekends, he would purchase a load of watermelon and replenish the again of a hatchback or no matter automotive it was,” Jamie stated. “He’ll have us go up and knock on doorways, saying, ‘My dad’s promoting watermelons out right here. Would you like any watermelons?'”
“Robbie actually could not even discuss and he would simply knock on the door and say, ‘Daddy,'” Jim added.
In 1996, Jim and Jamie turned companions, and eight years later, the wholesaler moved to its present location, 4561 E. fifth Ave., which is the house of the Columbus Produce Terminal.
Jamie stated he has at all times labored along with his father and might’t think about doing the rest.
“All people at all times says, ‘How is it working in a household enterprise?’ I do not know as a result of I do not know something totally different,” he stated. “I haven’t got something to match it to.”
‘Purchase native, from native’
Jim stated Sanfillipo Produce brings in merchandise from world wide every single day, from California to Florida to Mexico.
“There’s nearly nothing out of season ever,” Jamie stated. “They’re going to be small gaps the place you may’t get sure objects, however for probably the most half, even should you bought to fly them in from Israel or have it are available in from Guatemala or Chile, you may get it.”
Nevertheless, the Sanfillipos do take into consideration seasons in terms of shopping for produce in Ohio. Jamie stated the homegrown season normally lasts from June to October.
“That is one thing we actually attempt to push,” he stated. “We at all times say, ‘Purchase native, from native.’ We have been born in Columbus, we stay in Columbus, our constructing is in Columbus. We attempt to use as a lot Ohio product as we will.”
Buyer Elvin Cooper, 60, appreciates these recent merchandise. The East Facet resident comes into the corporate’s Money and Carry market two to a few instances every week to purchase produce and meat for his meals truck, Queen’s Desk.
“The meals is recent and it is handy from the place the meals truck is,” Cooper stated. “The costs are nice.”
Micah Walker is the Dispatch trending reporter. Attain her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-251-7199. Observe her on Twitter @micah_walker701.