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Fresh Foods

We all think we know the importance of fresh foods, but in spite of the facts and health benefits gained by eating fresh foods and produce, only 1% of adults and 2% of children in the United States eat the recommended daily amounts of fresh foods. YIKES!


I may have a solution to your fresh food problems.

For me eating healthy foods seems like a daunting task. The cost of fresh fruit and veggies can be high and the time it takes to gather and prepare fresh foods, not to mention the ever present fact that fresh foods always seem to go bad before you get a chance to prepare them—ugh! I may have a solution to your fresh food problems.




There are few MEGA stores in Europe and other places like Walmart and Aldis. These big stores are convenient as they allow one to hit the store once a week and stock up. The problem with this is that the fresh fruits and veggies rot before you can eat them—this is because we buy too much on our weekly crusade to stock up.


So here is the idea. When fresh foods are abundant in the summer, try visiting a farmer's market or produce stands. This takes the pressure off impulse buying, allows you to relax, select smaller portions, and gives you a little time to enjoy the fresh foods experience and plan better meals. Fresh fruits and vegetables are almost always cheaper than chips and cookies, and they taste better to boot. To save money (I like that) and you gain better health—we want that!

The 573 is loaded with tons of fresh produce stands and farmer's markets.

The 573 is loaded with tons of fresh produce stands and farmer's markets. We love that. Recently, we met up with the owners of one of my favorite haunts in Farmington. The produce is always spot-on, and the people are friendly and very helpful. Meet Crystal and Rich Figge of Crystal and Rich's Produce.


Crystal and Rich Figge of Crystal and Rich's Produce

I love these guys; They are everything the 573 Magazine stands for and stands behind—hard-working individuals with a plan and a passion for making things work for themselves and their families.



573: Rich tell us about yourselves.

For over 100 years, selling produce has been our family's way of life. It started with my great grandfather, Joe Orlando, going door to door selling produce in his neighborhood to help feed his nine children. Years later, his children and grandchildren followed what he had done to make a living with roadside stands and selling in flea markets in the St. Louis area.

My mom and dad opened up in 1989, selling produce at the Pevely flea market. My childhood consisted of many days going to work with them and lots and lots of weekends with them at the flea market.



During high school, I was lucky enough to meet the love of my life, Crystal. At 16, we worked for my parents as much as we could. While most high school kids spent weekends and summers hanging out with friends, Crystal and myself spent more time working with fresh produce.


Fast forward to 2013, College was finished for Crystal and me. We opened up our produce stand on Potosi St. in Farmington. At the time, we had no power or water. Our operation was far from pretty, but it was cheap and got us started. We had four fold-up tables I took out of my parent's garage and 2 of the cheapest collapsible tents I could find at Walmart.




We worked HARD, and when I mean hard, I mean we hired no one. We did everything on our own.

We worked HARD, and when I mean hard, I mean we hired no one. We did everything on our own. Our mornings started at 4 am, going to pick up our produce, then bringing the produce back to Farmington, unloading it (without a forklift, of course) then working until 7 pm. We did this every day without taking days off.


In 2015 the hard work began to pay dividends. We were able to save enough money for a down payment to purchase the property right next to us. The property had an existing business on it, Tropical Snow. It was a staple to the town. There was enough room on the lot for us to put up a large and very sturdy tent along with a walk-in cooler.




In 2020 after years of standing in puddles, dodging raindrops, fixing broken tents beaten up by the wind, and battling the heat in the summer, we were able to build the building we have today.

Surrounding yourself with hard working people is very important. I wouldn’t trade my staff for anyone in the world. Our staff consists of Candy, Tracy, Sam, Abbey, and Mallory in the Kitchen. They do all of our food prep, everything from chopping pineapple to preparing fruit/veggie platters.

David Kennedy is the store manager, he’s the man with a smile on his face from the minute he arrives to the minute he walks out the door to head home EVERY DAY! His sales floor staff consists of Danielle, Macey, Ryan, Caden, Kyle, Connor, Emily, Tanner, Nathan, and Mason.


David Kennedy is the store manager, he’s the man with a smile on his face from the minute he arrives to the minute he walks out...

John Matthews leads all of our seasonal crew. Everything from bedding plants to pumpkins requires planning with seasonal staff. He is in charge of making sure our customers' needs are met when visiting our store.



Roger and Timmy drive our trucks, their jobs just might be one of the single most important jobs that I have anyone do. They get all of our product back to the store. When they get back Andy is there to greet them.


Andy is inventory control. He is responsible for unloading the truck and getting items in their respective places, keeping the coolers organized and clean, and making sure we have enough space to bring on more inventory.


Our business would not have the opportunity for growth without my team beside me. We all work together every day to achieve the same goal and that is offering the best customer service you can get anywhere while sending that customer home with a superior product.



As much as things have changed aesthetically since 2013, many things have remained the same morally and ethically. We will ALWAYS continue to work hard and ALWAYS treat our customers fair. The one thing we've done over the years to build our success is excellent service to our customers—we will NEVER lose focus of that.












For a comprehensive list (always growing) of produce stands and farmer’s markets in the 573 visit: 573magazine.com/573-farmers-market-guide



GET OUT THERE!


pics & words t. smugala







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