It seems that living in the sunshine state, good produce would abound at local grocery stores, but choices at the major food chains are slim and expensive.
Travel distances from farms to consumers account for a large part of the cost of fruits and vegetables at supermarkets. It is estimated that items travel up to 1,500 miles to reach their selling destination (Source: 100 Days of Real Food). It also doesn’t help that produce is one of the biggest profit areas for grocery chains with some items having a 75% margin (Source: Wallet Pop).
Visiting local produce stands can yield big savings plus the enjoyment of fresher, locally grown produce. Three of the best in Central Florida are:
Eat More Produce – Winter Park
- Prides itself on hydroponically grown tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers
- Newly added deli with Boar’s Head Meats
- Holds license to sell beer and wine
- Often has local breads available for purchase
- Since the operation is fairly new and still growing, the selection is sometimes small
- Regularly distributes coupons via its email newsletter and in local “rag” publications
Clemons Produce – Conway area of Orlando
- True mom-and-pop operation – cash and checks only
- Great selection of produce staples plus less commonly seen seasonal items
- Organic selections are limited
- Often has the lowest prices of these three produce stands
- The staff is always very knowledgeable about the products (gave me great tips on cooking spaghetti squash) and accommodating to special requests
- Also sells dried fruit, canned fruits and vegetables, homemade condiments and cheeses
Freshfield Farms – SODO / Delaney Park area of Orlando (See picture above)
- Largest of the three stores but be warned – it is almost always busy. Try to avoid it on Saturdays when the crowds make shopping difficult.
- Two divisions of the operation – one selling produce and the other offering meats, seafood and cheeses
- Fairly good selection of organic produce that is constantly growing
- Displays signs for all locally grown produce listing the place of origin
- In addition to fresh produce, frozen vegetables and dried beans are also available
- Offers trimmed and pre-packaged herbs
- Coupons can sometimes be found in the Cooking section of the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesdays.
Happy Shopping and enjoy your fruits and veggies!
Orlando Produce Stands Map
View Orlando Produce Stands in a larger map