Hello Cherry Season!


California cherry season is here! Cherry trees are among the first trees to bloom in early spring. Their sweet and fragrant blossoms announce a time when sweetness is returning to our lives. Japanese culture holds viewing cherry blossoms during their brief bloom in high regard; many poems in the Haiku style are famous. Here is a favorite:  

A lovely spring night 
suddenly vanished while we 
viewed cherry blossoms 

Cherries have been around longer than most civilizations. They originated in the area between the Black and Caspian seas in Asia Minor in about 4000 BCE. It is believed birds carried cherry pits into Europe prior to human cultivation.  

Fun Fact: Turkey is the biggest producer of sweet cherries, with over double the production of the USA. 

Due to favorable weather in California and the Pacific Northwest, this year’s crop has a good set, with high volume expected, which means better prices than recent years. 

Small sizes are particularly affordable this season. Order your cherries today, the delicious fruits are in high demand and the short California season will be gone in a flash! 


New & Exciting!

Apricot: It’s not a mirage—stone fruit season has started! The Kylese is an early variety with deep orange skin, a good blush and floral flavor. 

Bi-Color Corn: California-grown bi-color corn is here! High-sugar and low starch content. Sweet flavor. Great in raw and cooked applications.  Cherimoya

Cherimoya (right): Sometimes called ‘dinosaur eggs’, this sweet tropical fruit is as distinct looking as it is delicious!  The custardy white flesh has a blend of flavors with hints of pineapple, papaya, vanilla, pear, strawberry and even mango.  Supply is expected to be steady for two more weeks. 

Cherry: Cherry season has begun, and we could not be more excited! For convenience many growers pack under the umbrella category of “Sweet Cherry” or “Dark Sweet” which can include Tioga, Royal Hazel, Royal Lynn, or Champagne Coral varieties. If time permits, they might identify the variety on the box, as Fruitworld, Murray Family and Ferrari Farms do. The later season Bing is still the most well-known and popular type and thus is usually identified by all growers and packers. This week we offer a new early-season variety from Murray Family Farms, playfully named OB1kinobi, a pun on the OB1 number assigned during the patent process. This high-sugar black-skinned cherry is full of flavor and one of the growers’ favorite new varieties! May The Force be with you! 

Melon: The California melon season is starting with Mini Seedless Watermelon. Cantaloupe and Honeydew will arrive soon. 

Nectarine: Polar Light, a white flesh nectarine from First Fruits in Reedley California, is in the house, withWhite Nectarine yellow flesh varieties coming on soon! 

Peach: Our first yellow-flesh Krista have been finally picked, and the stonefruit excitement is kicking in for reals! Masumoto Family Farm says they will start the second week of June. 

Ume PlumUme Plum (left): Despite its name, Ume plums are more closely related to the apricot than a plum. It has a sour and astringent taste and should not be eaten raw. Once pickled or fermented, the flavor becomes more appealing and lends itself to many applications including drinks, vinegars, and desserts. 

Fun Fact: The natural acidity helps to break down lactic acid, so samurai used to carry umeboshi (pickled plum) to eat during battles.   



asparagusCalifornia-Grown Asparagus (left): A strong harvest means steady volume on tender sweet spring asparagus! We source ours from cult favorite Durst Organic Growers in Yolo County. 

Cucumber: Slicers are steady. English Hot House continue to be steady and low priced. 

Hass Avocado:  Good volume available on 40s & 48s from Las Palmalitas Ranch, late to get started but now steady on supply. The overall crop is going to be short this year, and growers are reporting that over 25% of the harvest in California is already over.  Small sizes are particularly tight right now, as growers are ‘size picking’ and are leaving little fruits on the tree to get big! 

Mango: Both Tommy Atkins (right) and Altaulfo continue to be steady. Price remains promotable. 

Ruby Grapefruit: Great deals for the best-tasting grapefruit! All sizes available; supply expected to go until June. Delicious for eating fresh, fancy fruit salads or juicing in a spring mocktail! 

Sugar Snap Peas: Snap peas from Veliz Organic Farm in Hollister, CA have the best flavor, crunch and freshness of any pea this season! Get ’em while supplies last! 

Tomato: As the weather warms up, we welcome salad season with open arms! Don’t miss out on our sharp pricing for TOVs and Mixed Heirlooms. 


Avo-cation Corner 


Las Palmalitas Ranch as well as other California growers need your support this year, more than ever. This year’s crop has a high percentage of exterior cosmetic damage. Thrips are a small leaf-eating insect that can sometimes cause scarring on avocado or citrus skin and requires it to be graded choice or #2. The avocado flesh is unaffected; the fruit inside looks and tastes just as delicious as ever. Please educate your staff and customers on the value of “inner beauty” of fruit and vegetables. It’s particularly important to support small farms by using all they grow! Join us to prevent food waste! 



Broccoli: Supply is improving but we don’t expect steady volume until June. 

Cauliflower: No expected gaps but the market is up and down. 

Celery: Very limited availability, prices are expected to go up until availability improves in June. 

Jalapeno: Continues to be limited. 

Lemon: Supply is tightening–expected prices to increase as they become more limited. 

Lettuce: Availability is improving but costs remain high. 

Meyer Lemon: Gapping 



Done for the Season 

Cocktail Grapefruit 

Navel Orange Bins from Marian Farm 

Red Daikon from Riverdog Farm 

Tangerine (most varieties are practically gone) 



Produce Resources

Apple Variety Guide

B&J Ranch Profile Sign

Citrus Variety Guide

Pear Variety Guide

Stone Fruit Varietal Overview

Check out the Customer Toolbox on our website (login required) for more produce resources!

Merchandising Corner 

Memorial Day Display

Memorial Day Merchandising Tips 

Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer weather and eating outdoors. Everyone is looking forward to getting outside and celebrating the holiday weekend. Customers are looking for foods that are easy to take along on their outdoor adventures, BBQs and picnics. Here are some ways to prepare your stores for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday: 

Must Haves: Corn, cherries and watermelons are in high demand for Memorial Day celebrations! If you can’t accommodate a bin of full-sized watermelons, bring in cases of mini watermelons. These are great because they are smaller and easier to transport for small outdoor gatherings. Drop bins of melons outside the store if possible. Another great location is right inside the door to greet customers as they come into your store. Corn should also be displayed in high-traffic areas–just make sure to keep on ice to maintain freshness. 

Stock Up on Stone Fruit: Customers will be looking for seasonal items like cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Not only are these exciting and new, but they are also easy to transport to outdoor celebrations. 

Grill-Ready Produce: Many customers will be looking to BBQ for the holiday weekend. Build a large display for grill-ready items including spring onions, mushrooms, zucchini, pineapple, asparagus and corn. Try our new discovery: grilled cherimoya for a caramelly contrast to savory items. 

Berries: Although strawberries and blueberries have been around for a few months, there is never a holiday when berries are not in high demand. Make sure to have plenty on hand and cross-merchandise with shortbread cookies, pound cakes, yogurt, and whipped cream to encourage fruit-inspired dessert purchases. 

Cross-Merchandise: Bring in items like corn skewers to work into your produce displays. Try incorporating other picnic and BBQ-related items like reusable cloth napkins, insulated bags, cases of sparkling waters, beer, packaged dates, and nuts. Think of foods that travel well and any supplies that might be needed. 

Healthy Snacks: replace or blend high sodium and fatty chips with snap peas, cherry tomatoes and baby carrots for a virtuous and delicious holiday. 

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