Page 104 - December2018
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says Fabio. “Our ethnic customers buy a lot in the market and do a good job.”
Maurice Crafts, co-owner of Coosemans Boston, reports serving numerous ethnic customers, including ethnic wholesalers. “We do see an evolution of some of the larger ethnic customers going to other distributor wholesalers but the small and medium guys are still coming in and paying cash,” he says.
Boston’s ethnic retailers range from multi-store chains to one-unit operators. “We supply produce to purveyors from many ethnic backgrounds, servicing major super- markets all the way to local food carts,” says Travers.
One notable trend described by Boston merchants is the relocation of ethnic groups to the suburbs, thus resulting in larger suburban ethnic stores. “As the Boston real estate market goes crazy, the ethnic popula- tion is being squeezed out of downtown, and suburbs close to Boston are growing with ethnic markets,” says Piazza. “ ere might be an Indian store in one town or a Russian store in another town. Because they don’t have warehouses, they shop the market every day or multiple times a week to take advantage of what we can o er them.”
Steven Piazza and Tommy Piazza of Community Suffolk
Retailer India Market is a good example of a store that started small and has grown into larger suburban stores. Yousuf Bokhary, president of India Market in Shrewsbury, MA, reports a growth of families in the suburbs. “In the long term, we have seen families move to the suburbs,” he says. “ is has resulted in us putting up a suburban-style store but still focused on an ethnic market.”
Other examples of this growing trend include: Julien’s Market in Waltham, MA, and Vicentes Supermarket in Brockton, MA,
Kara Rullo, Skip Cavallaro and Robert DeAngelo of John Cerasuolo Co., Inc.
both serving the Haitian community; V-Mart International Market in Lowell, MA, serving the Asian community; Seabra Supermarket, with three locations serving the Portuguese and Brasilian demographic; and Mexi Market in Marlborough, MA, with a Mexican and Latin American clientele.
Boston’s continued customer diversity drives variety in product o ering, as well, on the part of the Boston market merchants. Bonafede carries a wide array of products. “We o er 130 items on average, a lot of it catering to the ethnic communities,” says Fabio.
Bonafede also o ers a full line of dried peppers. “ ey are good because they don’t go bad and are used a lot,” says Fabio. “We also see movement in yucca and tamarillo.”
Companies continue to increase busi- ness in particular products exhibiting high growth rates or future potential. Fabio reports continued growth in Hass avocados. “It is steady and increasing,” he says. “More and more Americans are enjoying avocados and, combined with the ethnic trade, aggregate demand has been increasingly steadily.”
Boston Tomato sources and imports herbs from numerous sources. “We have a steady supply of high-quality herbs,” says Marcela Rovere, buyer/manager for herbs. “We can pack and deliver the same day.  is is a great advantage for our customers who value fresh- ness.”
Coosemans varies product o ering from season to season. “We brought some exotic fruits in September including rambutan, dragon fruit, pomegranates and guava,” says Jack McGinn, sales. “ ese are becoming more popular especially at certain times of year. We handle other products seasonally, for example, more citrus in December through

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