Rob looks depressed because this is the last delivery he will be making for us from Annapolis Produce. AP has been taken over by Wagner, which may or may not be a good thing. We've been dealing with Annapolis Produce since our beginning, and while they've had their ups and downs, they have always been responsive to our needs. We get some stuff from Wagner already, mostly soft drink related and things like plastic wrap and drinking straws, but they are not really known for their produce. Maybe that will change...
Anyway, Kevin is very concerned about where he will get some of the quality ingredients he is used to - especially in this area, where there are not a whole lot of choices for wholesale produce suppliers. So many of the better ones make the trek right down 301 to Easton and the Ocean City area, but don't take the northern route. We're lucky to get a delivery from Chef's Warehouse, IMHO.
Kevin's salesman from CW recommended one such company, who in turn recommended another: TeddyBear Produce, out of Easton. In speaking with a representative, Kevin was offered enough encouragement to make a few calls to some of his cohorts in Chestertown, to see where they are headed, the thinking being if we could get several buyers from this area, we could attract a new wholesaler.
Herb's is a good AP customer and while he already deals with another produce purveyor, but he agreed that replacing the goods that AP sells will be difficult. Joe from the Imperial was not interested, responding that their Chef Bernie purchases all of the produce he needs from local farmers. (Of course we do kind of wonder how they do that this time of year, and what about lemons, huh? Oh well...) Jeff's Mom was answering the phones when Kevin called the FishWhistle this morning, but they are big AP customers and would most likely be looking for a replacement as well. Higgys Market's might be another interested possibility, according to the manager. It would be great to create a market of customers that would bring a good produce supplier into town, great for all of us and great for them too. We'll see how it plays out.