GOODBYE CHARLIE B
In the last days of 2018 we lost a real treasure of a man and a giant of the produce business. Charles Balducci of Balducci’s in NYC died last year. I had the pleasure of knowing and learning from this man for the past 30 years. I would argue this man forgot more information about produce than you will ever know, he was a walking produce encyclopedia. Ask him, Charlie what is this? He would give you the name, history and how to care for it and how to sell it. I could remember in the 1980’s during the time of “conspicuous consumption” Charlie would tell me that people would brag about how much they paid for a certain item, for example paying $5 for a ½ pint of raspberries. I also remember 20 to 25 years later him telling me that very affluent people were bragging about paying $.99 for the same size pint of raspberries and that “conspicuous consumption” was long dead. He saw the changes in the retail landscape and adjusted accordingly. Charlie worked until his Mid 80’s for Baldor Foods in NYC, with the same passion as when I met him 30 years prior. His mind fully intact and ready to debate you on a variety of subjects. On a personal story Charlie and I were also Facebook friends. He a liberal progressive and I a Conservative. He used to come to my office about once a month and we would debate the current state of Politics and the world for a couple of hours. Charlie knew History so you better have your facts straight. The debates were hard but always courteous and never insulting and were contained in the time frame of his visit. Now on FB there were no time constraints, Charlie was relentless. Sometimes writing something so outrageous, in my point of view, that I had to answer even though I told him I Had to stop because of work or sleep, or I was driving. He would infuriate me so much I had to unfriend him several times because I thought I would kill myself in my car. I found out from a mutual friend that Charlie told her “ I don’t believe a lot of that stuff I just do it to get a reaction. Well Charlie it worked! I have only good memories of my friend, teacher and true gentleman Charlie Balducci, the produce business just lost a wealth of knowledge in one man but luckily, he gave it to hundreds of us to pass it on. Rest in Peace my friend, you will be missed greatly.
Firs and foremost we did have a freeze from Sinaloa and North in Mexico. Some of our growers experienced damage others went through unscathed.
I have been through many of these weather issues and what it has it told me? Don’t buy the hype. What do I mean? Take squash for example a few days ago it was $4 to $6 and please take them. 2 days later $10 to 12. My problem with this is there was too much volume to make the market $10/12 before the freeze and undoubtedly the growers picked all they could before the freeze as well, which all translates to me too much volume to support those prices this week. NOW if we really have a problem the market should react and sustain itself with higher prices a week or 2 from now. This to me is when I would step in. Yes if I am wrong I miss the market going up by a few dollars but if I am right I don’t get crushed by paying $12 prices in a $6 volume market. Remember HOGS GET SLAUGHTERD. I may add my system has been right much more than wrong.
RED PEPPERS. The party is almost over. Red peppers will be lower but not reasonable yet, but this market will come off it’s lofty perch. More volume and less demand will fuel the decline.
GREEN PEPPER – This market should remain steady to stronger. There are not an abundance in Fl and Mexico is coasting along.
GREEN & YELLOW SQUASH. I am a hand to mouth buyer this week until we see the real direction of this market and the severity of the damage.
EGGPLANTS – I don’t see anything here to take this market higher.
CUCUMBERS. I would also be a hand to mouth buyer on this item, same as squash if they try to take the market much higher.
ROMA TOMATOES – Some tomatoes were affected by the freeze, but this can be offset by the lack of demand the next two weeks. This one is a coin toss.
I will be in Nogales from Jan 14 through the 18thand in NYC from Feb 7 to the 12th. Lets get together a grow your business.