Trucco: the trusted name in chestnuts
As one of the leading importers of fresh produce, dried fruits and nuts from around the world, A.J. Trucco has been a mainstay at the Hunts Point Terminal Market since the Bronx market first opened its doors 56 years ago.
Trucco offers three powerful brands—KiwiStar, TruStar and Fresco—providing both conventional and organic produce at the peak of their flavor, delivered on time anywhere in the U.S.
The company’s retailers and partners are serviced by its sister company, Trucco Inc., out in Vineland, NJ, where there is a dedicated 75,000 square-foot state-of-the-art refrigeration and packaging facility. Thanks to its 2,500 pallet positions, superior environmental, high-efficiency tech and brand-new advanced packing machinery, the facility is one of the most advanced on the East Coast.
“We have been known for the nuts for the last half-century, and also the dried fruit category as well here at Hunts Point,” said Nick Pacia, CEO of Trucco.
One of its big products is fresh chestnuts out of Italy, which will start around the second week of Oct. this year and going all the way through Christmas.
The TruStar Organic Italian Chestnuts are harvested in the Campania Region of Italy, using traditional methods passed down and perfected over generations, the chestnuts certified organic by both the European Union and the USDA.
The company also offers organic chestnuts in a pouch that it carries year-round.
“They are ready-to-eat, and can be a snack item or for culinary purposes as well,” Pacia said. “It eliminates all the work that needs to be done. You just open the pouch and consume.”
“Every year, we see more people getting into these items,” Pacia said.
The company also offers TruStar Chilean Conventional Chestnuts, though it is not as much of a focus as the Italian chestnuts.
Another exciting development on the nuts side is Trucco is trying to bring back roasted organic hazelnuts, which it’s done in the past, but it has been discontinued over the last few years. “They are ready-to-eat in a pouch under the organic umbrella, and it will be hopefully be available by late Nov. for the Christmas holidays,” Pacia said.
When it comes to dried fruit, it works with mostly domestic dates and figs from California, though it also imports figs from Greece and Turkey.
“The Greek figs were an item that was really, really big in the past, but it’s getting smaller every year, probably 50 percent of what we used to do in the past,” Pacia said. “The Turkish figs are still stable. More folks are also interested in organic figs, and we are slowly trying to build an organic line.”
The dates and figs from California have also seen steady sales.
The crops from Greece will be a little late for 2023 as the country has been experiencing heavy temperatures and rain this summer, which postponed things for a few weeks.
Turkey will be early this year and a strong crop is expected, while California is on schedule, and should be packed by mid-September.
“The quality and volume should be in-line with the past season,” Pacia said.