Reiko Fujibayashi - November 29, 2012
Category: Hot Shots

Howdy Y’all,

Hot Shots is backkkk….

Sorry about the long break, we’ve been busy here at Disco, and it’s been hard to get in the coolers and fully explore it like I’d like to.

We would like to take the opportunity to welcome Heather Russell to our Sales team! It’s super exciting to have her here, and she brings great experience and energy to our group…hurray!

Today’s the start of something good…

Let’s take a look at what we’ve discovered.

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Red Leaf Lettuce from Lakeside!

Crispy and fresh!

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Red Savoy Cabbage from

Tahoma Farms in Washington!

Something new for your cabbage selection!

(It is almost Winter, after all…)

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Sunburst squash!

Bright, sunshine-y summer squash!

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Red Sunshine Kabocha!



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Every season there’s an apple to get excited about!

The Nicola is mine this time ‘round…

super crunchy and sweet!

A few of our customers have said,

“These apples remind me of my childhood.”

Pretty good, hey?

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And lastly, Navel Oranges…so much citrus happening here at Disco!

+Continue reading Hot Shots!+
Randy Hooper - November 28, 2012
Category: Produce Update

We’re having great fun with our Fair Trade blueberry program. These come from a small producer near the Andes. Seasonal workers decide where the social premiums are spent. Their priorities – new kilns so local bricks can be made for housing, a community bakery, hundreds of pairs of shoes for children, free bicycles for community use. Another load of avocado leaves Michoacan tomorrow – this program is growing every week. We’ve asked for more bagged avocados, where sales continue to grow. Hot weather continues across Mexico, which is bringing everything on nicely, especially Cantaloupe and mini-melons. Price points are hot and quality superb on all melons. We’ve priced the larger sizes around the same price (per each) as smaller fruit – take advantage! We’ve already sold more Mandarins this year than all of last year, but supply will become “iffy” in about 10 days, with harvesting halted because of on-going torrential rains and flooding. The rest of the citrus category continues to gain momentum – a nice selection of beautiful Navels, early Desert Valencias, and Satsumas will soon be joined by a wider and wider selection. Prices will slowly come off as more districts start harvesting, although heavy rains over the next few days will impact producers from Bakersfield north. More CAPA

+Continue reading Interrupcion blueberries!+
Randy Hooper - November 14, 2012
Category: Produce Update

We finally have a price break for you on bananas. Lengthy and expensive government inspections have declined substantially, which were adding an average of 10% to our cost price. Everytime some bozo puts coke in a container somewhere in Latin America, inspections increase world-wide! We have excellent supply and lots on the water – no weather disasters, no port strikes – just smooth sailing. Our avocado sales continue to be strong – if there’s anything you need to promote Fair Trade avocado let us know – we’re always ready to step up with ad and in-store special pricing. The citrus scene is about to blow wide open, so start making room! Several new listings this week – Chinese mandarins are now in-stock, along with California Satsuma and Daisy Tangerines. (The Daisy is a taste explosion, and the mother variety that has been hybridized to create over a dozen other tangerine and tangelo varieties. The rest of the fruit selection continues to be stellar, with the exception of grapefruit where supply is virtually non-existent. That big heat wave that hit California basically stopped growth in its tracks, and set grapefruit production back 3 weeks (unless you want to buy 72 count.) That short 10 day gap on mango’s is over with the first Ecuador Ataulfo arriving tonight. Mango sales have doubled in North America over the past 3 years and it’s that demand that is driving prices in those lean times in the fall when Brazil and Ecuador just don’t have enough production. We continue to see very tight markets on many veg items. This is the worst we have seen it, with a perfect storm unraveling the market. There’s that big Thanksgiving day draw in the U.S., which never helps, and we’re transitioning quickly from coastal California (Salinas) to the desert (Imperial Valley / Yuma), except that the southern districts are starting 3 weeks late because it was just too damn hot to plant.

+Continue reading Bananarama!+
Randy Hooper - October 17, 2012
Category: Produce Update

There’s lots of fruit news today: Kiwi Berries are now in full harvest mode – expect these to become a year-round item soon. With so many rampant diseases affecting the larger Hayward (fuzzy) variety affecting producers in Chile and N.Z., growers there are switching hundreds of acres to this smaller traditional variety. Kids love these little grape sized kiwis – all the flavour, but no yucky skin! We were hoping we had overcome our Peru banana supply issues but we’ve had a container at port for 5 days while CBS takes their time looking for whatever they think they’ll find, like the 100 other containers we’ve had inspected, that didn’t have anything in them except bananas. So….Expect some shorts on the weekend. But after this, no problems as we continue to ramp up supply. Our Pragor avocados are amazing. Don’t forget the great deal we have going on 84 ct lugs – those are the same size as our normal 24 ct packout. The last California mango harvests are about done, and as usual, all the fruit is huge. Don’t be afraid – mango lovers will pay the price for these beauties, and when they are done in a couple of weeks, we will have the usual gap on organic before Ecuador fruit arrives. The pear selection continues to astound, with several new listings from Washington and the first of the B.C. Asian Pears and Bosc. Our CAPA pineapples are beautiful. These are the MD2 variety that are supersweet, and look fresh-cut for a long time. Enjoy these! We’re still receiving the last harvests of B.C. late plums. Italian’s are harvested 3-4 times as they don’t ripen evenly. Empress plums also will impress; these are the very very last BC plum to come off the trees. Asparagus is beautiful. This is going to be a nearly year-round category soon, with new production areas and techniques. This Argentina product is stunning, which will transition to Peru in a month. We’ve been selling Josie’s brand broccoli for months, and the quality just continues to impress the heck out of us.

+Continue reading New Pragor Coop avocados are in+
Randy Hooper - October 6, 2012

We have a lot of thanks to give on this Thanksgiving Weekend.

+Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving+
Randy Hooper - September 28, 2012
Category: Produce Update

Honeycrisp is the next mid-season apple to run over the lines this week and arrive tomorrow. Other than Fuji, our import program is over, and local Fujis are still a month away. Local pears, plums, peaches and grapes are the shining light – with a few treats, including the very first D’Anjous of the season, in fact a great variety of the first picks from Brooks Grove, and Venus grapes – another Concord variety. A very short season for a few things – Bartlett will be finished soon, and Sunrise apples are disappearing quickly. So many of you are hoarding Bartletts we have had to shop in Washington already for later in the week. Blueberries from eastern Washington are also enjoying this late summer, with supply expected for at least another 10 days – even a few local left as well. The mango deal is about to enter it’s 2 month gap, with just enough California to get us through the week. We just looked at a massive Peruvian crop on the trees earlier this week, with earlier than normal ship dates. Loads of beautiful melons – personal watermelons, cantaloupe and more – let’s keep this category rocking while the weather holds, and promote local! Plums are flying, and with so many varieties we’ve dropped prices hoping for some big displays. Citrus is an ugly category, with high prices on limes, virtually no grapefruit in the market, and Valencia winding down. Crappy weather has delayed our Mexican grapefruit program. .

+Continue reading Honeycrisp apples just arrived!+
Randy Hooper - September 26, 2012
Category: Produce Update

Here’s your Wednesday update, starting in the far south (Peru) where we’ve just visited all our banana and mango coops. Banana supply is dismal – a combination of high demand for Peruvian fruit, production down as much as 60%, and buyers offering higher money. Our supply will be a little tight over the weekend, and then open up, and should be consistent after that as we add fruit from other coops The mango season out of Peru will start earlier than normal – up to 6 weeks earlier than last year, and should be an incredible season. We have some Fair Trade surprises coming your way in a couple of weeks, but we’ll keep it secret until the first of it arrives!. It was great to see how money we donated in April has now created so many new social projects, especially geared to education. On the fruit side, the selection of local apples will continue to expand as more varieties come off. This late burst of summer like weather has helped size up the crop. Unfortunately the local supply of some other fruit is either ending, or was decimated. The B.C. Bartlett crop is almost done already. If you know anyone out there who wants to start a company making canned pears, this is the time, and if you have customers who like canning – please ask – growers will get very little to the juice market. Brooks D’Anjou missed the hail up north of Kamloops, with good supply starting in 10 days.The selection of plums and peaches will change considerably, with the latest varieties of both now being harvested. ON the high side, there is an abundance of all three locally grown grapes, and being local, we think these are the best. Once our stone-fruit season ends, there isn’t anything out there for many months. Continued sun is bringing on lots of late production of tomatoes, eggplant and coloured peppers – just keeping our fingers crossed that frost comes late to the Interior! Cliffe Farm Celery is coming on strong - dark green, crisp, and full celery flavour.

+Continue reading Delicata? Don't mind if I do!+
Randy Hooper - September 13, 2012
Category: Produce Update

The first Galas are now in. Volume will be tight. Unlike most other apples, Gala don’t ripen evenly, so each tree needs to be spot-picked 2 or 3 times – so this is just the first shot. Growers are trying to recover their various losses, and with a shortage of fruit, expect prices to be very high for some time. The first Macs are also in – the story is similar, with limited volume and high demand. Lots of GROW bananas to be had for the next couple of days. Our next BOS container, which ‘missed the boat’ arrives today, so we should have good supply by the weekend. Our Fair Trade Kiwi program from San Roque in Chile is just about finished. Sales on these were excellent this year – thank you! A plethora of local melons are arriving simultaneously with great weather. It’s so nice when we nail that – it isn’t often the case. Holy peach, Batman! What an incredible crop this year – and strong movement, reasonable prices and fast turns are keeping your customers happy. Early plums are winding down, with not only a good selection of later varieties, but all the specialties that Sproule’s planted that should go for another 3 weeks or so. It’s pomegranate season, and sales in this category continue to climb every year, maybe thanks to POM and others promoting the health benefits! We’re even offering a 5# box for the first time. All this great late weather is keeping us in great shape on a wide variety of “stuff”. Biodynamic green and yellow beans are excellent! Finally, beet prices are coming off after months of tight supply, as local growers start to bulk up. Destin Lydiatt’s Destiny Lane carrots are on the list – so welcome back! Joe Siri’s beautiful cauliflower now available. Joe has always done a sensational job on his fall cauli program. Now, you know we’ve been working with Darrel and Audrey Cliffe up in Armstrong for a long time.

+Continue reading Marvelous Macs and Gorgeous Galas!+
Stefan Misse - September 10, 2012

Canada’s National Organic Week is the largest annual celebration of organic food, farming and products across the country. Hundreds of individual events showcase the benefits of organic agriculture and its positive impact on the environment. Organic represents a vibrant alternative food system and an alternative option for clothing, personal care and cleaning products.

We have so much to celebrate in Canada:

A growing sector. Organic farming is a rare success story for Canadian agriculture with lots of new farmers, fair prices and growing markets in Canada and abroad.
A transparent food source. Organic foods are the most regulated in Canada, offering Canadians a healthy source of food that isn’t just good for our health, but also good for the health of our environment.
A source of food that is sustainable in the future. Organic farmers work with nature, not against it to produce food that doesn’t degrade soil quality, ensuring future generations will have access to the rich farmland that exists in Canada.

Last year, events included anything from pickling workshops to recipes contests, farm tours, or organic food and drink tastings in retail locations across the country. If you want to get involved in organic week this year check out

+Continue reading Canada Organic Week Sept. 22 - 29+
Randy Hooper - September 5, 2012
Category: Produce Update

A few short notes: Local blues are all but done, so we’ll be buying from Eastern Washington for a couple of weeks, where they don’t have the normal problems here of heavy dew and warm days making the fruit soft – good thing there’s a good market for frozen fruit! The new great thing this week will be the first harvest of Neil Sproule’s Coronation grapes. With increasing production at several farms, and a long season, this is definitely something to make good shelf space for. These are the grapes that have traditionally been used for grape juice – because of the flavour and natural sugars. Coronations are a cousin of the original Concorde that has a great big seed in the middle.
A great weather forecast – even long range ones look like they’re just perfect for what we hope is a great melon season – both for growing, and for sales. Plum selection continues to increase – we’re into the thick of it now. And local pear volumes are increasing. Of course, we are discounting California fruit as we make this transition. Ralph’s Greenhouse bunched carrots have been our mainstay through the summer, and continue to sell well, based entirely on quality and presentation. With a warm spell coming up, supply of all B.C. vegetables will continue strong on most fronts – we’re having to buy very little south of the line right now. If you’ve been doing well with Walla Walla onions, there’s only one stack left – you snooze, you lose. The tomato flood is starting with every grower coming out of the woodwork with good volumes, great flavour and high quality. This is the time to promote local tomatoes – aren’t they better? These aren’t picked white, but higher colour which equals better eating. Fabulous selection of potatoes, don’t ya think? More standard B.C. varieties will roll in, with the balance now mostly Washington. The specialty fingerlings (which are all USA grown) have been a total hit this year.

+Continue reading September harvests begin+