All About Cabbage

One of the healthiest and sweetest vegetables, cabbage is a favored food staple around the world. It is mild, versatile, delicious and plentiful year-round. Cabbage is related to broccoli, collard greens, and brussels sprouts, so it is unsurprisingly high in vitamins and nutrients. As a member of the Brassicaceae family, all cabbage varieties boast numerous health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties and healthy digestion.

Cabbages vary in color and texture, from smooth purple, to crinkled green and white. The most common varieties in the USA include Savoy, Green, Red, and Napa. Savoy is characterized by crimped, curly leaves with mild flavor and tender texture. Green types vary from pale to dark green, and can be round or with slightly pointed heads. Red cabbage has gorgeous purple leaves that are packed tightly. Super-popular in fermented kim chi, Napa has long, light green leaves, a mild flavor with a peppery kick, and a light crisp texture.

While the origins of cabbage are hazy, it is known that humans have been cultivating and breeding the vegetable for thousands of years. Cabbage can be prepared in many ways; pickled, fermented, steamed, stewed, sautéed, braised, or raw, you can’t go wrong with cabbage! Don’t forget to stock up for cabbage-heavy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 11th!


Merchandising Notes

Mushroom Merchandising

Mushrooms are a having a huge moment! We are delighted that mushrooms are increasingly important to the success of any produce department, not to mention the health of people and planet! Here are a few tips to build enticing displays and get in on the ‘shroom boom!’

  • Handle with Care. Mushrooms are sensitive to their surroundings, and if not handled properly, will lose shelf life. Store them at a cool 34 degrees, avoid stacking them too high, and keep away from your department’s spray misters.
  • Looks Matter. Visual appearance is the key to selling mushrooms. They should be rotated every few days to ensure that the freshest, most appealing product is at the front of the shelf to draw customers in. If you have the space, put them in a multi-deck case in a high-traffic area.
  • Focus on the Staples. Give shelf priority to familiar and popular mushroom staples such as Crimini, White, Portabella and Shiitake, while giving a small amount of space to new or specialty mushroom varieties. Customers are looking for their favorites, but still want to be delighted by something new.
  • Retail Signage. Post signs with a few recommended uses and cooking tips to inspire your shoppers. It’s also helpful to talk up the health benefits of mushrooms – whether it’s keto, plant-based, or vegan, mushrooms fit into almost any diet, and are a wonderful meat substitute. This may seem obvious, but cannot be overstated.
  • Cross Merchandise. Mushrooms are an incredibly versatile food, equally at home in a soup, sauté, or on a grill. If you have a meat department, consider promoting sliced mushrooms alongside the meat. Also consider placing a grilling recipe near the portobellos, or a few handy soup staples near the Shiitakes, such as soup stock, garlic, celery, or onions.


Produce Resources

The Produce Department Manual provides tools and resources for product ordering, inventory management, in-store merchandising and more.

Produce Department Manual

Save time and boost sales with our ready-made shelf talkers. Shelf talkers help educate employees and shoppers alike with produce flavor notes, nutrition, and eating tips.

Jayleaf Retail Greens Shelf Talkers

Fair Trade Avocado Shelf Talkers

Citrus Shelf Talkers

Citrus Variety Guide


Weather Watch

The West Coast was hit again with severe winter storms, along with the rest of the country. Extremely heavy snow, icy wet roads, and multiple road closures have created a nightmare of trucking challenges for our team. We are doing everything we can to deliver food to our customers safely. Thank you for your patience!

The heavy rainfall delayed harvest for our citrus growers, but fortunately the crop was mostly unaffected. Luckily, the fruit on the tree had a chance to dry out between rains.

Our grower, Willow Creek Farms, located in Humboldt County, reports an early end to their Purple Brussel Sprouts season, as snow destroyed the remaining crop.

March is traditionally the month when fruit orchards are most vulnerable to random or crazy weather events such as late frost, hail, or untimely rains, so keep your fingers-crossed!


New & Exciting

Blueberry: California-grown blueberries are here now and expected to be steady! They are fabulous; surprisingly sweet!


  • Fuerte: Smooth and creamy, a medium-thin green skin with a long neck. Rich and oily with a nutty, distinctive flavor. Considered one of the best-tasting avocadoes! Our grower, Eco Farms in southern California, harvests this superb fruit from trees that are over 100 years old! We anticipate these remarkable heirlooms all year!
  • Fun Fact: A harsh 1913 frost killed many of California’s avocado crops, however one variety was mostly undamaged. This became known as the Fuerte Avocado, Spanish for ‘strong.’
  • Green GarlicHass: California-grown Hass are just starting to come on. The market may be a little unpredictable for a few weeks, as Mexico continues to export steadily, but prices are expected to stabilize by mid-March.

* Green Garlic (right): Green Garlic is young garlic and resembles spring onions. It has a milder, fresher, and sweeter taste than fully grown garlic, and can be used cooked or raw. The flavor becomes milder when cooked and can be used the same as onions, scallions, or leeks.

*Onion (left): Coming soon! Eco-friendly Earthbag onions from Peri & Sons. These 3-pound bags are 100% made of paper and bamboo, are biodegradable and compostable, and contain no plastic. Earthbags are offered for both red and yellow onions.

TDE Tangerine: A cross between the Temple, Dancy, and Encore, the TDE has a cult following here at VV. Seedless, easy to peel, and unbelievably sweet! Try a TDE and you’ll become a believer!

Tommy Atkins Mango: Coming soon! Tommy Atkins mangoes are round with a striking red blush and deep yellow flesh that is juicy and slightly fibrous. They are ready to eat when a small squeeze yields some give. Expect prices to be a little higher than the Kent variety, as the new season starts up.

Yellow Hawiian Ginger: Grown on the beautiful island of Kauai, in Hawaii, by small farm, Kolo Kai. Yellow ginger has become a popular ingredient in juices and health concoctions and is considered a staple in Asian and Indian cuisine.



Bacon Avocado: Volume deals available. Bacon is oval-shaped with smooth, bright green skin and a buttery, creamy texture. This is the last of the season, so act fast!

Baby Bok Choy: Small, tender leaves with a sweeter flavor than fully mature bok choy. Wonderful addition in green salads for a nice crunch, or enjoy in a quick sauté with immune- boosting garlic. Supply is plentiful; perfect for winter promotions.

Cherimoya: Ask your account manager for volume deals on this incredible tropical treat!

Hard Squash: Strong supply and low price on Acorn and Spaghetti Squash.

Citrus - Murcott Tangerine* Murcott Tangerine (left): Priced to move! Murcotts are beloved for their seedless, super juicy flesh and easy-to-peel skin. One taste of this delicious Vitamin C rich tangerine, and these will be flying off your shelves.

Pink Lady Apple: ‘Inflation busting’ prices on this refreshingly crisp, sweet-tart apple. Strong volume on shopper friendly grab ‘n’ go retail bags as well as 113 count. Good for eating fresh and baking. Ask about pallet pricing!

Radicchio: A vibrant purple color, Treviso has a pleasant bitterness that complements many flavors in salads or savory dishes. Like other chicories, when cooked, grilled, or broiled, the flavors will mellow and sweeten.

Royal Tangerine: Promotable pricing and abundant supply from small grower, B&J Ranch. Royals are also known as the Temple Orange, ancestor to many citrus varieties. The flavor is sweet, very juicy, and acidic, with hints of lemon and orange. Easy to peel, with some seeds.

* Tomato (right): Fair Trade cherry tomatoes are nutritious, sustainable, and exactly what inspired shoppers are looking for right now. Perfect for snacking or adding to winter salads. Bring in an assortment and build a colorful, enticing display!

  • Poppies: Crisp, flavorful, red cherry tomatoes on vine.
  • Brites: Tasty mix of red and yellow cherry tomatoes on the vine.
  • Kaleidos: A delicious and colorful assortment of snacking tomatoes, each with a distinct flavor profile to please all palates presented in a pack of equal color and flavor proportions.
  • Round out your tomato selection with juicy Tomatoes on Vine (TOV), sharply priced, and available in volume!

Tulips: Stellar blooming deal on fresh-cut organic tulips from Thomas Family Farm. With ten long stems per bunch, there are 12 bouquets per case. Spruce up your floral displays with these eye-catching beauties! No preorder needed for the next week; get them while you can at a rock-bottom price while supplies last.





Beef steak tomatoes

Baby broccoli


Hard Squash: butternut, kabocha and delicata are all limited.


Yellow pepper


Done for the Season

Zutano Avocado


March is B Corp Month!

As a values-driven company, we believe in operating based on our values rather than the bottom line. Being a certified B Corp demonstrates this commitment.

B Corps consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, customers, and the environment. We are proud to be B Corp certified and part of a community of over 6,000 companies worldwide.

Learn more about B Corps on our blog!


Food Movers & Shakers

Let’s celebrate the changemakers in our food system who have contributed to the areas of food justice, organic farming, transportation, culinary arts, and sustainable agriculture. Thanks to these individuals and organizations, our food system is becoming more transparent and changing for the better.

Leah Penniman

Courtesy: Jamel Mosely & Soul Fire Farm

Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol farmer, educator, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm, in rural New York, near the border of Vermont. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2010 with the mission to reconnect with the land and end racism in the food system. Penniman is part of a team, including her sister Naima, facilitating powerful food sovereignty programs – such as training for Black & Brown new farmers, subsidized fresh harvest distribution for food insecure communities and domestic and international policy education focused on equity and food justice.

Penniman authored Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land (2018) and Black Earth Wisdom: Soulful Conversations with Black Environmentalists (2023).

Leah Penniman is a passionate and eloquent speaker, organizer and historian. If you have the opportunity, catch her live-in-person. Soul Fire Farm has their own YouTube channel with videos in Spanish and English! Watch Leah Penniman give a rundown on the farm and their goals in this 1-minute video. A true Food Mover & Shaker, you won’t want to miss her!


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