Joining our team when Hart’s was only two-weeks old, our Produce Supervisor Bill, has built his department into one of the gems of our store.
“I love the weather! I love hot sunny weather.” he beams here at the end of July. He’s got a lot of reasons to be happy because for one, he’s a newlywed(!), and secondly there’s so much local produce on the way for us all!
Growing up in Webster, he proudly declares, “On my 15th birthday, I submitted an application to work at Wegman’s.” By the time he was 18, Bill had learned the produce business. He immediately comes across as a proud native, “With Rochester it’s kind of a small town so you typically know what’s going on. Plus, everyone always knows the accent when you go other places.” It’s true, as he draws out the “Raah” when he says Rochester.
“Running the Produce department at Hart’s is fun, yet challenging. It’s fun because I’ve got a great team, and you get to be involved in the community working with all the local farms. Normally you’d just see the produce come in, but here we get to go out and see the farms and all the operations that gets you the end product.”
“Running a produce department in a smaller store is a balancing act. On one hand you want to keep the department full, but on the other you can’t let things go to waste, so I’ve built my team with the mission of using everything while maintaining a clean fresh department.”
Peak season for local produce would normally be July through the middle of August, but Bill explains there’s been a delay in local produce from inclement weather in June. “July has been better and we hope this continues for the major growing season. June was rough for a lot of farmers”
Now that produce is on the way, we ask him what he’s looking forward to.
“I’m most excited about the corn – I love the corn! New York State corn has got to be some of the best – it’s super sweet and a great color. Tomorrow we’re getting peaches in, and then we’ll have a zillion types of tomatoes from August to September. The melons will be good soon too – we’ll be getting a bunch of interesting melons from LOV Farms that I’m hoping to delight our customers with.”
Bill’s energy is a bit contagious as he continues, “Then of course we’ll be in gourd season. Then guess what! (he snaps his fingers as if he just remembered his best friend was coming to visit) it’ll be apple season again!”
He’s proud of his produce and Rochester, and we are too.