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Local couple helps revive local farm business during cold winter

Farm linked to romaine E.coli outbreak also recalls cauliflower, other lettuce
Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 04, 2020

EDEN, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s hard being a farmer anywhere, but imagine being a farmer in Upstate New York during the middle of winter. Grocery stores and local markets start outsourcing for produce. But, by the time it gets here, some of the produce is bruised, aging, or no longer for sale.

“In the U.S. alone, statistics show that at least 160 billion dollars worth of produce is thrown out on a yearly basis,” President and Founder of Producer Peddlers Gary Wieczorek said. His business, Producer Peddlers, is attempting to diminish that waste from at least a local level.

Think of it as an online 'Scratch and Dent' seller of fruits and vegetables. Produce Peddlers will take imperfect produce from local farmers, which otherwise would have been a financial loss for them, and sells them in bulk to resturants, schools, and other institutions.

“It’s like shopping on Amazon or it’s like shopping on instacart. You kinda go through, you fill your shopping cart up, select delivery and boom, Petey shows up with your order,” Founder Gina Wieczorek said.

Produce Peddlers has been running for only 6 months now, and in that time span, they have delivered 5000 boxes worth of produce increasing local farm revenue by more than $50,000.

David Walczak, Operations Manager of Eden Valley Growers says he has seen increase in his business as well.

"It's harder to do business during the winter time, but we’ve definitely seen an increase in our revenue," Walczak said. "This time of year is usually pretty dormant for us.”

The website connects buyers to sellers in the matter of seconds and right now, the business has about 2 dozen farmers selling on the website and more than 50 active buyers.

“You’re able to support your local farms. You know its coming in fresh [and] in daily," Gary Wieczorek said.

For more information on the website or to buy produce, click here.