We met up with Joe, Director of Liverpool Produce to talk seasonal fruit, British vegetables and the day in the life of a greengrocer.
Tell me a bit about you. How did it all start?
I started 33 years ago, I was always into fitness so I took my bicycle down to the wholesale fruit and vegetable market at 3am for two weeks. Eventually I got myself a little job in the industry and built relationships with different stall holders. I was working for a view firms, but just over eight years ago Catherine and I decided to set up my own business, Liverpool Produce Catering Supplies and I haven’t looked back!
When I started in the business there were over 100 fruit and vegetable stalls, but over the years things have changed and now I’m one of three. It’s changed in such a short period of time. However my excellent customers and strong supplier base have made us who we are today.
What is a normal working day look like?
My alarm goes off at 1am, I’m straight to work to start processing the orders. We start pulling out all the fruit and veg of the day. The porters start preparing the stock and weighing them out for catering sites; just like Two Hands. Around 4am the customers start to arrive for the market and they start selecting the best produce of the day.
Then it’s off to our lovely customers. All our deliveries go out about 6:45am so the stock is there nice and early.
How many farmers do you deal with directly?
I deal with many farmers in the local area from fruit in Cheshire to root vegetables in Preston.
Do you have a fruit or vegetable that you feel is widely overlooked?
It’s definitely lovely ripe fruit, in general the British consumer wants identical, colourful fruit and sometimes the taste is overlooked. A juicy well ripened fruit is packed with flavour! For me it’s always about taste.
Finally as Christmas is fast approaching, what’s produce is in season in the run up to Christmas?
For the winter season we are seeing fantastic British vegetables from carrots to swedes and even spring cabbages (the name is quite deceiving). We will also see in the next few weeks Christmas clementine starting to enter the market – just in time for the festive season.
Joe and his team support the Liverpool café with fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables for our fruit bowls to sandwiches.
Find out more https://liverpoolproducecateringsupplies.com/