S. Katzman Produce is a fixture on the Hunts Point Produce Market
For the team at S. Katzman Produce, one of the exciting things about being part of the Hunts Point Produce Market is the diversity that comes with doing business in New York City.
“We’re surrounded by so many different cultures and people who want so many different types of flavors and products from all around the world,” said Stefanie Katzman, executive vice president of S. Katzman Produce, which operates about 50 units in the Hunts Point Produce Market.
A fixture on the market for decades, the company has grown significantly over the years, and that growth has been reflected in S. Katzman Produce’s sales department and by adding to the list of grower-shippers it works with.
“I’d say the driving force behind this is our pursuit of flavor,” Katzman said. “We’re homing in on what growers are doing with technology and research and development. We’re really going out there and finding those great-flavored products because that’s what the customers are looking for — that’s what the consumers want. That’s really what drives end users back to stores for that repeat purchase — that flavor and that experience.”
Its hard work has S. Katzman Produce experiencing a solid year that follows what was an improved 2022 over the previous year.
“I think our industry is still facing struggles around labor and weather challenges, especially in growing regions — challenges we’ve never really faced before,” Katzman said. “But I think one of our unique traits is where we are on the supply chain and being able to collect all that information from our growers and pass it down to our customers and really be there to support them no matter what happens.”
She added that the company is focused on growing and expanding in pursuit of its mission to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables for consumers.
“We’re there to support our growers and shippers as they keep expanding and looking to do more,” Katzman said. “We’ve seen a lot of new stuff out there that’s pretty exciting around indoor agriculture as a complement to our industry. As the population keeps growing and people are going to be consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, we need to figure out new ways of getting them to consumers faster, more efficiently, and with that great flavor profile so it keeps them eating healthy and wanting more.”
S. Katzman Produce has been around for more than 100 years, and its ongoing success is due in large part to the partnerships the firm has developed.
“There are so many examples of farmers where my grandfather did business with their grandfather, and as the businesses have come down through the generations, we just continue to build on those relationships and partnerships,” Katzman said. “In our business, you have to really be able to rely on your partners to be there with you, day-in and day-out. Our customers rely on us to get them the product that they need so their retail stores and their restaurants don’t go without and don’t have empty shelves. And our suppliers are there for us to make sure they have the product for us year-round so we can complete that food chain. With all the unknowns in our business, I think having those relationships is very important.”
Photo: S. Katzman team