On a recent trip to LA I wasn’t most excited about the celebrities or the sunshine. I was most excited about visiting the LA produce terminal. Maybe it is because I grew up seeing the industrial side of meat, but only knowing produce from behind the consumer side of the food industry veil. Who knows.
The LA produce terminal is impressive on many levels. For one, it is enormous. Think of your grocery store. And, then think of how big that store would be if it were selling to restaurants. And, then think of how much bigger it would be if it were selling to distributors. This is where distributors shop. There are probably a couple miles of vendors (with cavernous warehouses behind)
You can find pretty much any produce species you can imagine from grocery store tomatoes to the most exotic asian fruit.
Vendors sit in rustic booths fashioned like an curbside airline check-in and seemed to be frantically checking in produce orders.
And equally impressive was that by 8 AM they were starting to shut down. (look at the below photo … most of the doors were already closed). Shutting down at 8 AM?! These guys make the meat industry look like college kids sleeping off hangovers.
The LA produce terminal is the epicenter of the US produce universe and is very interesting to walk through. It’s open to the public, so next time you are in LA drop in super early and check it out.