LA wholesale food company Nature's Produce opens warehouse for community groceries

The massive quantities of food provided by Nature's Produce are normally reserved for LA hotels and restaurants, but now the family-owned business has opened to the public.
VERNON, Calif. (KABC) -- A family-based market in Los Angeles that used to deliver to hotels and restaurants is now making house calls.

Nature's Produce works with local farmers to distribute dairy, meat, produce and dry goods to cruise lines, airlines, universities and hospitals. It's family owned and operated, serving SoCal for more than 20 years, but like everyone else, they've taken a hit.

The fresh foods inside the company's 150,000 square foot warehouse are usually only accessible to chefs working at LA's finest hotels and restaurants.

"About 70% of our business disappeared overnight it seemed like," said Blake Polisky, executive vice president with Nature's Produce.

So they decided to change their business model, save their family business and support other families concerned about going to the grocery store. Nature's Produce has opened up its huge refrigerated warehouse to the public.

"Our phone lines really took off. And we started having hundreds of people calling us on a daily basis asking how they can utilize our services," said Polisky.

Customers will need go online to, add groceries to their cart, and place their order. Instead of going inside, shoppers stay in their vehicles. They back their cars into the loading dock, so employees can load their trunks with groceries, which means no contact with workers or other shoppers.

Just last week Nature's Produce launched a delivery service as well, keeping in mind that not everyone is capable of driving to them.

"I get feedback from my drivers now because they come back to me and they say 'Blake, they were so thankful,' people are giving my drivers tips," said Polisky.

More than 50 home deliveries are made every day. Delivery requires a $100 minimum. Pickup requires a $50 minimum.

They say the goal is to make shoppers feel safe and comfortable, knowing they're following physical distancing guidelines, while also paying wholesale prices, like the chefs.

"If I'm able to get product into your doors at a cheaper price, in my world it's just a win-win," said Polisky.
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