Author Archives: Veritable Vegetable

Receptionist/Office Management Assistant

Serve as the public face of Veritable Vegetable and first point of contact for customers, vendors, and applicants.  Screen and direct multi-line telephone calls and walk-ins and provide administrative support to all departments to ensure the smooth functioning of our operation. Ensure VV kitchen and restrooms are kept clean and stocked in an environmentally sound manner and in accordance with Food Safety regulations.

SCHEDULE: 6:30 AM – 3:00 PM MONDAY – FRIDAY

Responsibilities:

  • Manage company switchboard
  • Welcome on-site visitors, determine nature of business and announce visitors to the appropriate persons
  • Send daily invoices to customers
  • Sort and process mail to ensure it goes to the proper department
  • Assist Office Manager with ordering and stocking food for VV meal program
  • Assist VV Managers with a variety of clerical duties
  • Assist Purchasing Dept. with compliance support for organic certification and food safety
  • Assist Marketing Communications department with photo shoots and company events
  • Provide informational materials and set up snacks for tour groups
  • Participate as required in other tasks as directed by the Office Manager to achieve department goals.
  • Assist Office Manager in daily maintenance of office, kitchen, and bathrooms.
  • Understand and follow VV’s safety policies, procedures and best practices including food safety, safe use of equipment and safe lifting practices.
  • Serve as back-up for Office Manager
  • Provide warehouse support as requested

Qualifications:

  • At least 1 year of full time work experience
  • Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office applications with emphasis on Excel spreadsheets
  • Excellent attention to detail

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to sit for prolonged periods of time
  • Must be able to lift up to 45lbs. without assistance
  • Must be able to lift more than 45lbs. with assistance
  • Must be able to type repetitively on a keyboard
  • Must be able to stand, walk, bend, twist and perform a variety of other physical functions on a consistent basis
  • Must be able to work in varying environments including the ability to withstand cold temperatures with proper protective clothing for several hours at a time.
  • Must be able to follow safety procedures (i.e., proper lifting techniques)

WAGE RANGE – $19.00 – $22.00/hour, depending upon experience

Veritable Vegetable offers an excellent work environment, competitive salaries and great benefits.  We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourage applicants from all diverse backgrounds.

To apply:

Stone Fruit Extravaganza

The arrival of stone fruit is synonymous with the arrival of summer. The two go hand in hand, because really, what is better than biting into a juicy peach or a handful of cherries on a warm sunny day?

A stone fruit, also called a drupe, is a fruit with a large “stone” or pit in the middle. This includes the obvious fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, and cherries, but also the less obvious such as lychee and mangoes. Stone fruit are extremely versatile and can be eaten fresh, grilled, used in pies or cobblers, made into jams, added to salads, and more. Here’s some of the stone fruit you’ll see this season.

Cherry: Cherries are usually one of the first stone fruit on the scene. They are either a sweet variety or a sour variety. The sweet ones are the one commonly found in stores and consumed. They can range in color from dark burgundy to yellow-red blushes.

Apricot: Apricots are delicate and fuzzy with golden blush color. Depending on the variety, apricots have a unique sweet flavor with a zing of tartness.

Peach: Peaches can be yellow, white, short and squat (like a donut), or, more traditionally—heart-shaped. They are ripe when you can smell their scent. When ripe, the flavor is rich and sweet.

Nectarine: Generally larger, nectarines are similar to peaches without the fuzzy outside. They are also not quite as soft as peaches. Nectarines are characterized as freestone, clingstone, or semi-freestone which describes how the pit is attached to the flesh.

Plum: Plums range from sweet to tart. You’ll see plums with red skin, black skin, green skin, yellow skin, or even mottled skin. Their flesh can be dark red, orange or yellow.  Plums have a longer growing season than most stone fruit.

Pluots/Plumcot/Apriums: These are all crosses between plums and apricots, depending on the percentage of each. Pluots are more plums, plumcots are half-half, and apriums are more apricots than plum. Similar to plums, pluots can have dark red, orange or yellow flesh.

 

Keep a lookout for our staff picks noted in orange.

 

Fruit

Apple and Pear

Gala supply is tightening and import prices are going up. Granny Smith are steady with Chilean import supply. Fuji remain in good supply. Plenty of Cripps Pink on hand.

Autumn Bartletts are here now and tasting delicious! Alex Lucas are readily available at a sharp price. Although similar in texture and appearance to the D’Anjou, we think the Alex Lucas is even more buttery and attractive. Alex Lucas also turn a lovely yellow when ripe!

Avocado

Hass availability is strong and deals are available. Ask your Account Manager for the size and price you need. We will pre-condition upon request.

Berry

Strawberry production remains strong locally. Talk to your Account Manager if you’re interested in pallet deals. Blueberry supply is plentiful and steady. Bulk blueberries from Sierra Cascade Organic Blueberry Farm will be available soon. Mexican import blackberries should start to wind down this month and California production should gain momentum. Mexican raspberry season is winding down soon as well.

Citrus

Lemon prices are continuing to rise as supply tightens. Lime prices have been at all-time low but will likely go back up. A small shot of #1 quality Meyer lemons is available. Expect a two- or three- week gap after those are gone. California navels are done for the season. Valencia oranges are in good supply as more California growers come on with their fruit. The last of Golden Nugget tangerines are here now! Look for Peruvian imported Satsumas at the end of June.

Fig

The first crop of Brown Turkey figs from the Coachella region is coming on. It was delayed due to cold weather as the fruit needs heat to color up. The first crop is also known as the “breva” crop. Maywood figs will be ready in late July or early August and are looking great so far. This is, of course, all dependent on favorable weather. Extreme weather or high winds could change availability and quality.

Grape

Grape prices are coming down as California supply picks up. Domestic green Sugarone and red seedless Flame are steady. Mexican seedless Black Royal are also available.

Mango

Tommy Atkins are on hand now. Ataulfo should be back in supply next week. Mangoes are currently transitioning growing regions so supply is limited. We should see more product come on the market mid-June.

Melon

Cantaloupes are coming on slowly. Galia and Honeydew are steady. Orange honeydew has been delayed as the fruit needs more time to sugar up. Mini seedless watermelon is in good supply. We should see seeded bins coming on in the next week followed by seedless bins.

Stone fruit

Stone fruit season is well under way. Supply is strong on Rose Diamond yellow nectarine, Pearl White white peach, and Best May and Princess Time yellow peach. Black plums are slowly picking up. The plum and pluot crop is limited this year. Cooler weather has slowed down the harvest. We won’t see Dapple Dandy pluots until July.

California cherry season is winding down, but there is still plenty of fruit available. We should see Bings for another week or so.  Washington fruit has started with Chelan variety and lower prices.

 

Vegetables

Bean

Green beans are readily available. Look for specialty beans coming on in the new few weeks. We’ll see Romano, French, Wax, and Cranberry!

Broccoli/Cauliflower

Broccoli production remains strong on both crowns and baby broccoli. Cauliflower supply is abundant and prices are sliding.

Cabbage

Green and Napa cabbage have good volume. Red cabbage has promotable pricing.

Celery

Celery is limited and prices are up. Colder temperatures at night have slowed production. Watsonville and Salinas celery production are not expected to pick up until mid-June.

Cucumber

California product is slowly coming on. Persians have sharp pricing. English cucumbers are in good supply. Dragon egg cucumbers are very limited. Aptly named, this variety is cream colored and about the size and shape of a large egg. The flavor is mild and sweet-tasting with little bitterness. Pickling cucumbers have also just arrived!

Eggplant

Mexican globe eggplant is gapping until next week. California-grown globes are starting strong. Specialty varieties are not yet available.

Greens, Lettuce & Herbs

As temperatures heat up in the Central Valley, growers are starting up coastal production for bunched greens. Supply should remain unaffected on most items.

Red butter lettuce is in better supply than previous weeks. Red and green leaf are readily available. Romaine is a bit limited. Cilantro continues to be in strong supply. Bunched basil is coming in steadily.

Pea

Snap peas are very limited. We’re getting all we can! English and snow peas are in better supply.

Pepper

California green bell peppers have started from the Coachella Valley growing region. Orange bells are limited but steady. Red bells are extremely tight. California product is not expected to start until July. Yellow bells are readily available. Jalapeno, Poblano, Anaheim, and Serrano are all steady. Cherry bomb peppers are gapping until mid-June. Sweet peppers are in good supply.

Potato

Russets are limited on 90-count sizes and 10×5-pound bags. Check out our specialty potato offerings. Amarosa potatoes have beautiful deep red color on the skin and flesh. The flavor is sweet and creamy. Mascarade potatoes are one of the most attractive varieties we’ve seen! The skin of this bicolor potato is a brilliant contrast of purple and white abstract shapes. No two potatoes are alike! Inside, the flesh is white and moist which is perfect for baking, mashing, and roasting. Red Lasoda have smooth red rosy skin and waxy white flesh. This variety stores well and is great for boiling since the potatoes never lose their flavor. We have lots of fingerling packs on hand including rainbow fingerlings, fingerling medley, and Russian Banana.

Squash

With summer just around the corner, the summer squash season is in full force with plenty of supply from local California growers. Zucchini is readily available. Crookneck squash is plentiful and promotable. The vibrant yellow color and unusual shape makes this squash a quintessential symbol of summer. The mild and sweet flavor lends itself to any number of dishes, raw or cooked. For squash lovers looking for something more unique to the season, straight packs of Patti Pan, 8 Ball, Yellow 8 Ball and Ronde de Nice are available as well as a mixed medley of assorted summer squash. The round varieties, 8 Ball and Ronde de Nice, are perfect for stuffing!

Acorn, Butternut, and Kabocha squash are limited. Spaghetti squash is steady.

Tomato

One-layer tomatoes are limited. Tomatoes-on-vine and Roma are in good supply. The cherry tomato market is booming with an abundance of California and Mexico product available. Lots of variety on hand! Mixed heirlooms from Mexico are readily available, but straight packs are still gapping.

 

 

Floral

Full Belly Farm’s large mixed bouquets offer a little of everything that is being harvested right now. Expect to find about 12 to 15 stems per bunch of seasonal varieties including Baby’s Breath, Bells of Ireland, Black-Eyed Susan, Calendula, Canterbury Bells, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Lavender, Queen Anne’s Lace, Shasta Daisies, Snapdragons, Spring Wheat, Statice, Sunflowers, and Zinnias.

Sunflower straight-pack bouquets are now available from Thomas Family Farm. Look for Dahlias coming soon!  In the Thomas Farm mixed bouquets, you will see many if not all of the following varieties: Sunflower, Iris, Godetia, Protea, Saponaria, Snapdragon, and Sweet William. These bouquets come in varying sizes: Cutie, Seasonal, and Large Holiday.

 

 

Merchandising Corner

Merchandising 101

Effective merchandising displays drive sales, increase purchasing volume, and lead to repeat visits from customers. Every produce department has strengths and weaknesses; develop a realistic understanding of the physical space your department occupies, so you can emphasize the strengths and play down the weaknesses.

Successful produce displays share these characteristics:

  • Quality produce
    • Cleaning, hydrating, culling, and rotating all contribute to the effort
  • Visually pleasing
    • Enhances the produce item
    • Is neatly stacked
    • Takes full advantage of various colors, textures, and shapes
  • Communicates abundance
    • Create large displays to sell more produce
    • “Dummy up,” or create false bottoms in baskets and crates to give a full appearance without as much pack out. Another benefit: this reduces product damage due to excess weight on produce at the bottom, reducing product shrink
    • Fill “holes” as they occur
    • Provide continuity—use boxes from the label of the displayed product when waterfalling or fronting the product
  • Easy to shop
    • Build displays that prevent product rolling off the top when touched
    • Stack product so customers can easily see into the department
    • Provide great signage:
      • Easy to find, preferably located near each product
      • Clearly communicates key information

Props

Props are needed in produce departments to create visually appealing displays, hopefully increasing impulse purchases. If set right, props create abundant looking displays while reducing the amount of product actually on display. A smaller quantity of product allows the department to keep products fresh

Swing Warehouser

Swing Warehousers work with team members on the Swing Shift to receive, warehouse and ship fresh organic produce in a safe, accurate and timely manner while maintaining high quality standards with minimal product loss. The position reports to the Warehouse Supervisor and takes direction from Warehouse Team Leads.

Thursday – Monday 2:00 PM – 10:30 PM

(TUES/WED WEEKEND)

Primary Job Responsibilities:

  • Pull customer orders in an accurate, timely and safe manner
  • Complete pick slips accurately and neatly
  • Build proper (safe and sturdy) pallets and load product to meet truck completion deadlines
  • As directed by IC or Receive Lead participate in the safe and efficient flow of incoming product to ensure timely availability of product for order pulling
  • Provide accurate accounting of received product
  • Be familiar with storage requirements, product sensitivity and handling needs
  • Stock incoming product, rotating new stock into old, and dating lots
  • Understand and comply with VV’s safety policies, procedures and best practices and encourage co-workers to do the same
  • Maintain warehouse in a green, clean and orderly condition
  • Report equipment and facilities issues to Warehouse Supervisor and Facilities Manager
  • Successfully complete training on the safe use of material handling equipment and consistently operate equipment in a safe manner
  • Report product quality issues to Team Lead and Inventory Control
  • Attend and participate in Warehouse crew meetings
  • Participate as required in other tasks to ensure achievement of warehouse department goals

To Apply:

WAGE RANGE: $18.75 – $21.75

Hello, Honeydew

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to get excited for melons! Although often overlooked next to summer’s more vibrant melons, honeydew—particularly ripe honeydew during peak season–is glorious!

A ripe honeydew bursts with floral sweetness, dripping with juices that taste very much like honey. Its pale green rind surrounds similarly pale green flesh and white seeds.

Honeydew is the American name for the White Antibes, a variety of melon that was cultivated in southern France and Algeria centuries ago. It is popular in Chinese culture and is known as the Bailan melon. Honeydew and other melons are part of the cucurbitaceae (gourd) family, which is divided into fruits (melons) and vegetables (squashes, pumpkins, and cucumbers).

When selecting a honeydew, look for one that feels heavy for its size and has a waxy, not fuzzy, rind. The surface should bounce back when pressed. While we prefer honeydew fresh, it can also be added to any number of sweet and savory dishes including salads, ice cream, smoothies, and more!

Keep a lookout for our staff picks noted in orange.

 

Fruit

Apple and Pear

Washington supply of Fuji, Gala, and Granny is winding down fast. Import Gala, Braeburn, and Fujis have started up.  Domestic Pink Lady are done but we have a small shot of Cripps Pink cello bags and more Cripps coming at the end of May.  

Alex Lucas supply is limited. This buttery green pear is similar in appearance and texture to D’Anjou. Alex Lucas also turn a lovely yellow when ripe! These won’t last so get them before they are gone! Autumn Bartletts are in-house now. Abate Fetel and Bosc are still available. We also have Red D’Anjou available which makes a great red pear option.

Berry

Local strawberry supply is in full swing. Supply is plentiful. Blueberries and raspberries are steady.

Citrus

Many citrus growers are peaking on 63 count and 75 count lemons. Prices are promotable. Lemons are predicted to be tighter this summer. Meyer lemons prices are going up as supply tightens. Lime prices are coming down. In the past two weeks, we have seen a big price drop. Buck Brand has steady supply of finger limes. They have sharp pricing on 1-pound preorders. Ruby grapefruit from B&J Ranch is done. There is still supply from other growers; expect a price increase. Valencia oranges are readily available. The last of Golden Nugget tangerines are here now!

Grape

Domestic green Sugarone and red seedless Flame have started from California. Flames are a cross between Thompson seedless, Cardinal and several other varieties. They are sweet and crunchy with a beautiful deep-red color—perfect to kick off the grape season! Red seedless Flame and green seedless Perlette are also available from Mexico. This early-season variety is light in color—almost frosty green with a translucent cast. The berries are nearly round. Overall, the domestic grape crop will yield high numbers and should eventually make prices very competitive this season.

Kiwi

California-grown kiwi is winding down. New Zealand fruit will be in available in a couple weeks.

Melon

Mini watermelon is in good supply from Mexico. California growers will start watermelon bins and mini seedless on May 30th. We expect to have a strong watermelon season, lasting through Labor Day. The cantaloupe market is tight with limited sizes and high prices. Tightness should ease up once California growers come on this week. Several growers reported late frost having a huge impact on melon yields and are not waiting for warm weather for the crop to sugar up. In addition to cantaloupes, expect to see honeydew, orange honeydew, and Hami melons just in time for Memorial Day celebrations.

Stone fruit

Stone fruit season is off to a slow start due to cold weather. Apricots and apriums have started but remain very limited. Supply should improve as the season progresses. Early season varieties available include May Bright yellow nectarines and Polar Light white nectarines. Look for Arctic Sweet white nectarines coming soon. Best May peaches, Sauzee Queen donut peaches, and Pearl White peaches are here now. Flavorosa pluots have also started! Cherry supply is tight due to much smaller and shorter California crop this year. Chelan cherries have come on. Look for more Coral Champagne soon. Prices may remain strong until Washington starts their harvest at the end of June.

 

Vegetables

Asparagus

Asparagus prices are up; supply is tight.

Bean

California green beans have good volume which is expected to last for the next two weeks. We’re seeing very promotable pricing on fava beans.

Broccoli/Cauliflower

Cauliflower is in good supply. Product quality is high. Broccoli is in better supply than in previous weeks.

Cabbage

Red cabbage continues to be limited as it has been for a few weeks now, but supply should be improving soon. Green cabbage is steady.

Cucumber

Domestic slicers are limited; however, supply is steady with plenty of Mexican product available. Persian cukes have strong volume.

Eggplant

Prices have dropped on Mexican globe eggplant. California product is still limited. Graffiti eggplant has been tight due to quality issues.

Greens, Lettuce & Herbs

Arugula and baby spinach are a little limited. Bunched greens overall are in good supply. Green kale is plentiful as several growers have volume supply. Red and green dandelion is steady. Collards are seeing promotable pricing. Rainbow chard and fennel are readily available.

The lettuce market is steady on most varieties. J.E. Perry Farm has started with their lettuces under the Trina/Perry label. It’s been a slow start for the farm and green leaf and green butter are both limited. Romaine is starting soon with iceberg set to come on in July.

Italian parsley may be limited as two of our main growers are coming up short on their harvests. Cilantro is holding steady at sharp pricing. Bunched basil from Road Twenty Farm is starting and should come into volume in about a week.

Onion

California yellow onions have started. Mexican reds and whites are continuing; California product is a couple weeks out. Shallots are still gapping until late June or early July.

Pea

English and snap peas are readily available. Prices are sharp!

Pepper

The green pepper market is tight; both California and Mexico product are limited. Prices are going up. Orange bells, on the other hand, have strong volume. Jalapeños are coming into better supply. Poblanos and Anaheims are limited while Serranos are still gapping.

Potato

Russet potatoes are ending soon. Local specialty potatoes are starting soon. Look for lovely Red Lasodas, French fingerlings, and more!

Specialty Veg

Washington rhubarb will be available for two more weeks.

Squash

With spring comes the abundance of squash! Zucchini supply is plentiful. Prices are coming down slowly. Lots of yellow squash and other specialty varieties on hand including straightneck and crookneck.  We’re seeing beautiful mixed medley packs from Chico grower Comanche Creek.

Kabocha squash is winding down while Spaghetti is still in good supply. Butternut and Acorn are limited. Delicata is done until the California season starts up.

 

Floral

Full Belly Farm’s large mixed bouquets offer a little of everything that is being harvested right now. Expect to find about 12 to 15 stems per bunch of seasonal varieties including Spanish Iris, Calendula, Godetia (red and pink), Agrostemma, Snapdragon, Delphinium, and Bachelor Button.

Sunflower straight-pack bouquets are now available from Thomas Family Farm. Look for Dahlias coming soon!  In the Thomas Farm mixed bouquets, you will see many if not all of the following varieties: Sunflower, Iris, Godetia, Protea, Saponaria, Snap Dragon, and Sweet William. These bouquets come in varying sizes: Cutie, Seasonal, and Large Holiday.

 

Merchandising Corner

Summer Merchandising Tips

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to think about revamping or even starting up a fresh cut program to maximize your summer produce sales. Providing easy grab-and-go precut food options is a great way to boost your sales and help keep your shrink down on fragile items like grapes, berries, and stone fruit. Cut melons such as honeydew and cantaloupes filled with riper berries and fruits are a delicious and attractive quick-grab snack for customers. When working in a produce department, we all find those loose grapes, over ripe berries and bruised stone fruit everyday while stocking the displays. These items can be easily used to fill the center of hollowed-out melons.  Single-variety cut-and-wrapped melons are also easy and always popular. If you already have a well-established precut program you most likely have a source, like our Bay Cities line of precut items. or perhaps you are hand-cutting at your location. Wherever you are sourcing your product, adding seasonal fruits like berries and cherries to your pack is a great way to add some seasonal flair.

The seasonal goodies aren’t just limited to fruit. There are plenty of summer veggies you can quickly prep and add to the precut grab-and-go case. One vegetable that is quick to prep and attractive when displayed is split artichokes. Cut the top inch off of the ‘choke to remove most of the spikes, then cut lengthwise and include a half of a lemon as well. Present on a small oven-ready aluminum tray or paper tray and now these artichokes are ready for the grill or oven. There is no limit to the fresh-cut combinations you can provide for your customers to make their shopping more convenient and in turn increase your department sales.

Chopped mixed beets, sliced squash, asparagus, mixed peppers, and mushrooms are just a few. If you haven’t yet set up a fresh cut area in your department, now is definitely the time to get moving! Market trends show that customers are turning more toward convenient precut produce items and ready-made meals. Talk to your Account Manager about starting a fresh cut program today!

Account Manager/Sales

Veritable Vegetable is seeking a full time Account Manager to develop and maintain strong relationships with existing customers and to contribute to Sales Department goals.

Primary Job Responsibilities:

  • Meet goals established for assigned customer accounts: volume, margin, credits, etc.
  • Interact with customers to demonstrate products, explain product features, handle all transactions including sales orders, invoices, credits, etc.
  • Recommend products to customers, based on customers’ needs and interests
  • Answer customers’ questions about products, prices, availability, product uses
  • Quote standard prices; identify and get approval from Sales Manager for pricing strategies for individual accounts
  • Provide ongoing account support: understand customer needs, direct resources as needed, resolve account problems
  • Provide customers with product samples
  • Monitor sales activity (sales goal, volume, trends, history for each account), analyze activity and prepare reports for Sales Manager
  • Conduct in-store visits to provide face-to-face time and visual assessment of store
  • Monitor market conditions, and competitors’ products, prices, and sales

Requirements:

  • 2 years of experience in sales or customer service
  • Produce industry experience required; retail produce experience a plus
  • Knowledge of produce varieties and seasonality
  • Appreciation for the principles of sustainable agriculture and the value of organic produce
  • Comfortable with office applications: Word, Excel, Outlook
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be an insurable driver

To Apply: