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Specialty Produce is bringing it all to the table

The local culinary hotspot is redefining the way you shop for produce- and inspiring you to become the next fruit explorer.
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Ask any San Diegan about Specialty Produce, and they typically respond with, “Oh yeah! I see their trucks everywhere!” While the colorful fruit and vegetable logo does catch attention as delivery trucks whizz by to drop off produce to restaurants, the company’s local warehouse off Old Town Road has been the heartbeat of San Diego’s culinary scene for more than 30 years. Open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., one step inside Specialty Produce’s warehouse transports you into a global culinary adventure.

A hallway brimming with photos of local chefs sets the scene for a warehouse filled with vivid displays, world maps of produce markets, a fruit museum, and a twenty-six-foot jumbotron. Organic, conventional, and rare produce such as Cherimoya, Yellow Watermelon, and Ice Cream Beans are artfully arranged throughout the bustling warehouse. Daily staples like nuts, spices, and grains, and even high-end provisions like truffles, imported cheeses, and salts are also supplied to meet recipe needs. 

Professional chefs browse products alongside home chefs, and the warehouse is accessible to even the most novice food enthusiast. Knowledgeable staff are available to offer recommendations and assistance, or if a solo journey is preferred, every item is marked with a sign and QR code. Each QR code can be scanned with a phone, pulling up a curated article explaining flavor profiles, traditional uses, recipe inspiration, and engaging facts that can be used during dinner party conversations.

These curated articles are written by an in-house research team, who, like Indiana Jones, are quite literally sent to the ends of the Earth to venture through jungle markets, forage and cook wild vegetables in villages, and listen to experts share their traditions, experiences, and knowledge around produce.

Their collected information is compiled into a handheld database known as the Specialty Produce App. Think of the Specialty Produce App as an encyclopedia of fresh foods with a passion for narrative. The mobile app is an educational, expository, and exploratory tool that can be held in the palm of a hand and travels with you on any food journey. Currently, there are over 3,000 articles on the app, and new articles are being added daily. The Specialty Produce App also features a customizable recipe cookbook, trends and analytics to study what items are being searched for worldwide, and a share market to browse products currently available locally and in global markets. 

While a trip around the world may not fit into an everyday schedule, make time to visit the Specialty Produce warehouse for local, memorable culinary experiences. Embark on a guided expedition of the warehouse’s Fruit and Vegetable Museum to learn more about produce around the world, visit the Fresh Origins Cooler to encounter a whimsical array of edible microgreens and flowers such as Buzz Buttons, or download the Specialty Produce App to dive into a world of unfamiliar and familiar produce.

Your Culinary Adventure Awaits.

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1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA