Our industry has such a great story to tell. The passion of growers who work the land to bring crops to harvest. The dedication of the pickers and packers who prepare the products for shipment across town or across the world. The marketeers who toll in the wee hours of the morning to move the freshest product out to the community. The merchandisers who create appealing displays for the customer to browse. All of these folks work in a magically choreographed dance without ever having read the screenplay.
There is always something new and even what is old can suddenly become hot again (think of Betty White). I recently had a Royal Star papaya. It is a cross between a Meridol and a Hawaiian papaya. The flavor was spectacular. But if the story wasn’t told and then followed by a sample taste, I wouldn’t know what it was or what I was missing.
The same thing happened with the lowly honeydew melon. An excited shipper was touting the current crop of honeydew he had to offer. My first reaction was ‘here we go again, another melon that will crunch and taste like a cucumber’. Was I ever wrong. A random melon was plucked right off the packing line and cut open with an old school produce knife of questionable sanitary condition. The melon was meaty and colorful with a great aroma. The texture was perfect and the flavor was beyond compare.
These are the wonders of our industry that are not captured in the faxed price list or the emailed photograph of the product. Don’t take that the wrong way; technology has become a wonderful tool to quickly pass information. But it is the interesting story behind the product that sets the table for ultimate customer satisfaction. And satisfied customers come back for more!