The Produce Only Market and Smoothie Bar Offers a Unique, Fun, and Informative Shopping Experience
By Hilary Dartt
The Produce Only Market and Smoothie Bar is more than just a store … it’s an experience.
Inside, shoppers will find a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in every color and at reasonable prices. But more importantly, according to owner Chad Tidlund, they’ll have the chance to learn about what they’re buying and get their hands on unique offerings they won’t find elsewhere.
Chad spent about three decades in the produce business as a salesman for, and later as a partner in, distributor, grower, and shipper that sold fruits and vegetables nationwide to the likes of Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, and more.
In that time, he developed a rare expertise in the trade—on everything from growing to transport to storage to distribution to sales. When he opened The Produce Only Market and Smoothie Bar downtown in March, it was with the goal to share that expertise with shoppers.
“I love sharing what I know with people when they come in,” he said during a recent interview. “I let them try it, I talk about it.”
For example, he shared that pineapples don’t ripen after being picked; a green one can be just as sweet (or sweeter than) a gold or yellow one. Growers produce white asparagus by keeping it covered with dirt, so photosynthesis won’t turn it green. A papaya that looks like it’s starting to go bad (brown and mottled) is actually at the peak of its ripeness.
Another perk of running a small store (as opposed to a supermarket) is that Chad can be very selective in buying produce of the highest quality (larger and with higher sugar levels), whether it’s traditionally or organically grown.
Not only does the store carry the staples—bananas, apples, tomatoes, and asparagus, to name a few—but it also carries unusual choices such as cape gooseberries (orange fruits similar to small tomatillos), exotic lychee nuts (an Asian delicacy), and Jackfruit (the world’s largest fruit!).
For those who aren’t sure what, exactly, a fruit or vegetable is or how to cook with it, Chad and his staff are happy to offer knowledge and advice. Shoppers can sample fresh fruit, and the staff offers live demos.
“If I’m out there, people are trying the cherries,” he said.
Plus, the smoothie bar offers very healthy, all-natural smoothies so shoppers can sit and relax or enjoy their drinks while they shop.
All of that, Chad said, combines to make The Produce Only Market worth a separate trip: “This is your community market.”
Visit The Produce Only Market and Smoothie Bar at 405 W. Goodwin Street in Prescott. Learn more at https://theproduceonlymarket.com, and follow the market on Facebook and Instagram @theproduceonlymarket.