How did you get started in the produce business?
When I was 15, my dad, Rico, was the director of produce for Heinen’s. He always felt that being a close family like we are, to work for a family owned company like Heinen’s would instill good work ethic and values. I got a job in produce at 15. I learned everything from him. He still yells at me.
Do you cook?
My wife likes to cook. I don’t. But I do love to grill. I take some of our Italian traditions, like roasting peppers, and take it to the grill. I char them up and keep them in a jar with extra virgin olive oil and garlic.
How about a garden. Do you have a green thumb?
I definitely don’t have a green thumb, so no garden. Honestly, I can buy everything I need at Heinen’s and I know it’s fresh and handled carefully.
Name a few ingredients that are always in your kitchen.
Always extra virgin olive oil, there’s a big fruit bowl, fresh mozzarella (my girls and I love it!) and pasta (naturally).
What is the most frequently asked question you get from customers?
Not only what is in season, but what tastes good right now. I tell customers to eat what’s in season and you can’t go wrong. You can also ask anyone on the produce floor for a taste of something. We’re more than happy to let you try before you buy.