Where do you live?
We live in Brickell
Where are you originally from and what brought you to town?
I grew up in an area called Huntingdon Valley, on the outskirts of Philadelphia. I moved here in 1969. In those days there was a big energy push, oil prices were going sky high, and everyone was talking about the growth being in the South. My friend and I had just graduated Temple University and came up with a plan to move to Florida. We went into business, and I’ve been here ever since.
What was the business that you started?
I was in the ice cream business. We brought down Dannon frozen yogurt bars from Chicago and we sold them to Publix and other supermarkets. I’ve been in the food business a long time.
Please share about what you do for a livelihood or what keeps you busy during the week?
Mostly I am running our business. Now, I have a wholesale nuts and candy business called City Nut. We purchase from the companies that shell the nuts and ship them to me by the pallet. We repackage and sell to local companies making products. It keeps me very busy. We sell to all the kosher stores in the three-county area, and a lot to the cruise ships in the winter.
When did you start this company?
In 1988. I knew how to distribute things and work with stores, and I was looking for a growth market. I had a three young mouths to feed, 5, 7 and 9, and I was single and had to take care of them. I came across nuts. I did not have a lot of time to reinvent myself and I knew the food business.
What trends have you noticed in the food business?
Over the last year or so, we’ve noticed that a lot of people are going organic. People are getting the message that you can only stay well by eating well.
How often do you come to the Pinecrest market?
Do you have a market ritual? If so, please describe.
We start with two smoothies from Adena and turmeric tonic from Walt. It’s hard to choose which smoothie so I get the rainbow. Maybe you can freeze them, and I can distribute them. They are all delicious. We drink the tonic every day. My wife swears by it – she feels better when she has it than if she doesn’t.
After you, we’ll go to produce guys and get some things.
What’s your favorite thing to buy at other stands at the market?
I love Zak the Baker’s bread. I usually stay off it because of the calories but it’s so good.
Most-frequented local restaurants and what dish to order:
Plant Food and Wine now has a new name – it’s a beautiful restaurant and all health foods. Horatio is the chef and they are great customers of ours. It’s so unique, I love everything. You must go there and see. They changed the management recently. The building owner took over and the staff and chef stayed.
For special occasions, I go to:
We went to Flemings last week for my wife’s birthday. It’s the only time I eat meat. I grew up eating steaks, now I get them once a birthday.
How did you meet?
We were set up 20 years ago. One of her friends gave me her number. I was living up north and called to find a time to meet. She was crazy busy – it was between Christmas and New Year. She said – what are you doing Thursday? I was like that’s New Year’s Eve. So, we met in the parking lot of Wild Oats, on the beach - on a blind date - on New Year’s Eve. We're still enjoying each other’s company.
What do you cook at home?
We mostly eat salads and juices. I’ll bring home some almonds, walnuts, and cranberries – we always have good snacks in the house. My favorite salad is a Waldorf salad made by someone else. My every day salad for lunch is simpler. Romaine, cucumbers, radishes scallions with almonds and berries – I make a vinaigrette with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
What’s the area’s best-kept secret?
Miami is a wonderful place to live, and it’s worth every penny.
A worthy splurge:
For me, time off is a splurge. I took off four days last week for the holiday. I got to relax. There was a lot of rain, so we got to hang around and go out for dinner.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Do you participate in any community or philanthropic events that you would like to share?
Temple Beth Am is our community. We are active there.
Do you own your own business or offer a service? Would you share a pitch about yourself or company with the community?
Eat nuts, eat well, stay healthy.
Is there a question that you would like to ask the LNB’s?
More a thank you. I appreciate all the things you make and grow.
If you would like readers to be able to contact you, how should they get in touch?