The two markets serving Boston and beyond have experienced several changes over the past year, but one thing hasn’t changed—how the New England Produce Center and the Boston Market Terminal work together to serve the industry. And while Massachusetts growers produce a wide range of fruits and vegetables including apples, peaches, potatoes, and sweet corn, cranberries remain the top crop. The Bay State provides 27 percent of the nation’s supply, ranking second in U.S. production behind Wisconsin (for information on Wisconsin crops and wholesalers, see “Midwest Road Trip” in this issue).
Located off Beacham Street on Riley Way in Chelsea, the New England Produce Center (NEPC) is just a hop, skip, and jump from the Boston Market Terminal (BMT) on Market Street in Everett. Less than half a mile apart, these two markets are technically competitors, yet they collaborate to keep fresh produce flowing through the city and entire eastern region of the United States, Canada, and beyond.
Founded more than 40 years ago, the NEPC is home to about 30 vendors who move a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables. The market is privately owned, and each vendor is a shareholder. Smaller than its rival, the BMT was founded nearly a century ago in 1922 and continues to serve the region’s agricultural trade.
Updates & Improvements
Anthony Sharrino, president of Eaton & Eustis Company, a receiver and importer, says the NEPC is undergoing some upgrades, including paving, a new fence, and more efficient electrical fixtures with LED lights.
Travers Fruit Company, Inc. recently updated its facility at the NEPC as well. “We have a state-of-the-art facility now that our internal improvements are complete,” says Paul Travers, company president. Improvements include new refrigeration and racks for storerooms, storage trailers, and an upgraded electrical system. Travers also recently hired a new salesman, Nick Spinale. “Nick has diversified our product line immensely,” remarks Travers, saying the company has added onions, melons, parsley, beets, bok choy, and a full line of mixed vegetables to better serve its evolving customers.
Peter Condakes Company, Inc., which has a presence on both markets, recently moved its sales operation from the BMT to the NEPC. “We still have warehouse space in the Boston terminal, but we do all our sales out of the Produce Center,” explains president Peter John Condakes.
Both the Chelsea and Everett markets offer advantages to both vendors and customers. First and foremost is location, according to Shawn Grant, president/owner of Grant Stanton Produce Company, Inc. at the NEPC. “Because we’re centralized, we can handle Northern New England, Eastern New York, and even the Maritimes of Canada.”