Southside Produce, the Perkins Road produce market that proclaims itself as the largest open-air market in Louisiana, has added a second truck to its wholesale delivery route, expanding the division to accommodate increasing demand from restaurants and grocery stores.
The family-owned market, which moved to its current location in 1992, started as a fruit stand in the 1930s, making it one of the oldest food businesses in the Capital Region. The wholesale division is the brainchild of fifth-generation family member Hayden Pizzolato, who, in July, launched the business line with a single delivery truck following his graduation from LSU.
Seven months later, Southside Produce caters to some 40 restaurants and grocery stores throughout Baton Rouge, Denham Springs and Gonzales, including Louie’s Cafe, Edible Arrangements, Albasha, and Roman’s Cafe. The demand alone called for a second truck, says Pizzolato, who serves as the company’s vice president of wholesale operations.
“We had too many stops for one truck,” he says. “It’s improved our retail and it’s increasing brand recognition.”
Pizzolato says wholesale delivery has also driven up company profits, though he declines to say by how much.
The expansion of the company’s wholesale division brings new competition to a scant market that has largely been dominated by Capitol City Produce, which over a year ago acquired Table Fresh Foods, an Associated Grocers subsidiary, to grow its distribution network.