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Hello all. Does anyone have any recommendations for produce vendors out here in Long Island. I run a small cookshop/school. Currently not on the turn and burn mentality anymore, and want to focus on extremely good product with the option to break cases etc. I already touched companies like Al's Produce, Bella Produce, and 495 Express, etc. I am extremely tired of getting garbage. Sorry, but there seems to be no care out here. If I stepped on any toes with this message and offended you..... sorry.

Anyone here have any recommendations? I would really appreciate it.

Chris.
 

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I have a recommendation but not for a specific place. I'm in the Capital District of NY. I use google maps and the internet all the time to find all kinds of places all over the country. It's quite the amazing tool. I remember using the phone book when younger and this is so much better, especially for your situation.
So if I were in your shoes, I'd pick an area, google map it. Zoom in close and all the businesses pop up. Click on the names and a link on the left side of the map appears, description and photos and typically with the website link. If it looks promising, I can hit "street view" and see the actual business. I visit the websites. I'll keep doing this for any area I'm interested in. I use a note pad to write down those places I think would be able to help me. You can cover quite a large area each time. I'd start by asking google maps something like "Long Island produce vendors" Long Island farms/orchards/" (www.pickyourown.org is great for local farms and orchards), Long Island foodservice, etc.
Once I've discovered businesses I'm interested in and think might be able to help me, I visit them in person, look around, find someone in charge to talk to about what I want and whether or not their actual business matches the internet representation. I am very specific about what I want and expect. If they can't or won't, I ask for their recommendations for someone who can help me.
In short, old fashioned detective work and wearing down the shoe leather is still the best way.

Fwiw, here's a long story short. After returning from a stage at a Michelin NYC place I attended a local food show. A local produce supplier was quick to boast he could get anything I wanted. Anything at all.
Ok, I want fresh garbanzo beans.
Oh, I can't get those.
Why not, they have them in NYC. We're a couple hours north. What's the problem?
I'd have to drive down to the _ Market early in the morning.
Right. And while your down there you can see what else they have and bring those products too. Chefs around here are dying for new products.
What I meant to say was I can get any typical produce pre processed like chopped potatoes, vegetables and fruits. Not strange stuff. I don't know who would get that stuff.
Ok. Thanks for the chat.
 
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