Hunts Point Produce Market continues to feed millions
The Hunts Point Produce Market is the biggest produce market in the country, and only taking into consideration the sale of fruits and vegetables, the Bronx market is the largest in the world.
“Some may say that makes us special, however, I believe what makes us truly special are our employees,” said Phillip Grant, CEO of the Hunts Point Produce Market. “Those that showed up to work every day during the pandemic, the truck drivers that made sure our food got here on time to feed our families and our merchants who have been feeding us for generations. What makes us unique is how we work together as a family to feed millions of people that depend on us every day of the year.”
With approximately 30 merchants, Hunts Point’s family-owned businesses provide customers with exceptional guidance and service, drawing on generations in the trade.
The cooperative is still recovering from the significant impact of the pandemic; however, it is optimistic about the future growth of the market.
“Despite the Hunts Point Produce Market being the largest in the nation, many are not aware of our existence and the critical role we play in feeding the nation,” Grant said. “Over the last year, we’ve made a deliberate effort to reach out to the community, local businesses, farmers and non-profits to educate and provide affordable food options to those affected by food insecurity.”
The Hunts Point Produce Market requires a significant investment to replace ageing infrastructure while maintaining its existing footprint and capacity for future growth opportunities.
“Without a revitalization, our facility does not have the capacity to meet the demands of the growing population while maintaining the highest food safety standards it prides itself in upholding,” Grant said. “We hope that with the outstanding support we have received from our elected officials we will be able to revitalize our market and significantly improve our region’s food infrastructure for generations to come.”
In 2023, Hunts Point leadership is working closely with community partners, plus city, state and federal government officials to fund the revitalizing of the 55-plus year-old market.
“The new market will be an economic development engine for the New York region,” Grant said. “The new market will create over 1,000 new good paying jobs and help keep fruits and vegies affordable for the 22 million people and businesses we serve every day. We look forward to our continued partnerships with local non-profits, health organizations and New York farmers to highlight the importance of food and its impact on our health and well-being.”
Additionally, Hunts Point will be teaming up with schools to educate students about potential career paths available to them at the market — from transportation logistics required to import produce from across the globe to the financial acumen needed to run a profitable business; students can learn it all from within the market.
The philosophy at Hunt’s Point is simple — its keeps New York fed, something it has done for more than 200 years, 55 of which have been from the Bronx market.
“We look forward to supporting New York, our customers and the local economy for generations to come,” Grant said. “In our industry, we need to be well informed about a little bit of everything to survive such a competitive landscape. We collaborate with institutions of higher learning to learn about cutting edge research, transportation experts to better understand what could potentially impact our food deliveries and our farmers who can see trouble in the horizon regarding potential crop shortages. A lot of these connections happen naturally from everyday business interactions while other times industry conferences serve as the place to share ideas, new technology, and other developments.”