Philadelphia — It’s amazing how fast a decade can fly by. It’s been ten years since the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM) opened the doors to 6700 Essington Avenue to its fully-enclosed, fully-refrigerated 686,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility.
The PWPM is home to 19 wholesale produce businesses that employ hundreds of people in both union and non-union positions and donate over two million pounds of fresh produce to local charities every year. “We are proud to pave the way as a leader in cold chain management, product safety, staging, loading, security, and recycling,” says Mark Smith, General Manager of the PWPM. “In addition to establishing the highest global standards for distributing produce, our goal is to divert as much waste from the landfill as we possibly can. Through anaerobic digestion and other environmentally friendly practices, we’ve reduced our waste stream by about 80% and continue to focus on that last 20%.”
“The past 10 years have gone by in the blink of an eye,” says Tracie Levin, General Manager of M. Levin & Company, Inc.“ We couldn’t have asked for a better facility to showcase our produce. The bright, clean (and of course “cool”) and spacious market that has become our home has been great for the merchants and all of the customers who shop at the PWPM.”
Tom Kovacevich, President and COO of TMK Produce, agrees. “We are truly grateful for the opportunity to transact business here,” he says. “There is no better arena for wholesale produce trading anywhere on earth.” John Vena, President of John Vena Inc., said the key to planning and developing this facility was the collaborative spirit of the merchants. “We worked together and made it happen,” he said. “10 years on, that same willingness to work together continues to push us all forward.”
As the pandemic winds down and the world starts to open back up safely, the PWPM plans to officially celebrate in early fall. “We want to thank everyone who helped us achieve this milestone and we look forward to serving the produce community for many years to come,” says Smith.
About the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market: The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market is the world’s largest, fully-enclosed, fully refrigerated wholesale produce market. Completed in 2011, our 686,000 square foot facility provides customers with security, comfort, efficiency, and an unbroken cold chain. We are open to the public and serve a range of produce buyers from the home cook to national supermarket chains. Because the PWPM is made up of 19 fresh fruit and vegetable merchants, buyers have the opportunity to compare products, brands, and price points. Find out more at pwpm.net.