Wynnefield: Grocery Retailer Serves As a Community’s Health-Food Oasis

A worker places flowers into a display inside Produce Junction in Wynnefield.


A worker placed flowers into a display at Produce Junction.

When it comes to finding fresh and healthy food options in one of Philadelphia’s communities, one grocery retailer stands out as a health-food oasis.

Produce Junction, 2241 Bryn Mawr Ave., offers local residents an equal opportunity to add affordable and nutritious foods to their diets.

John Sherm, the store manager at Produce Junction, gave four reasons that his Wynnefield location stays busy all day, every day.

“The prices, the produce, the quality and the flowers that we sell at a discounted price,” Sherm said.

While the prices and quality are enticing to potential customers, the retail space and produce displays inside the store aren’t set up like a typical, big-box grocery store. Instead, shoppers are greeted by a whiteboard displaying the day’s available products and prices and the fruits and vegetables are mainly prepackaged.

John Sherm, store manager at Produce Junction, helped a customer purchase fruits and vegetables.

It’s not like a supermarket, where you can pick one; we sell in bulk,” Sherm said.” We’ll sell bananas for four or five pounds for $2 or oranges for eight for $2.”

Customers who shop inside the square, concrete building don’t seem to mind the simple atmosphere. Sherm said the real attraction to his clients are the healthy and quality products available at rock-bottom prices.

“A guy was in here today and spent $90,” he said. “The guy told me his purchase would have cost him over $200 at a supermarket and that he’ll be back.”

The merchandise inside Produce Junction arrives straight from the growers to the store or by train to a distribution center.

“We get a decent amount in-season from California, Arizona and Florida,” Sherm said.

Two shoppers inspected avocados before making a purchase.

The fresh food and quality products draw business from Wynnefield and other neighborhoods in West Philadelphia, but the produce store also supplies numerous food vendors, such as local eateries and street merchants.

“We do a lot of wholesale for restaurants where they’ll come in and buy their cases of produce for business that night, and we have a lot of people come in and resell the produce out of trucks,” Sherm said.

With many of the community’s shoppers attracted to Produce Junction, Scherm added one final thought.

“Supermarkets don’t like us,” he said with a smile.


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