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GROW Features Top Growers, Tastiest Fruit

Nov 17, 2014 11:15PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Kathy and Barry Fisher, owners of GROW (photo via GROW South Bay)

The calendar may say it's winter, but that doesn't mean there will be any slowdown in fresh produce at GROW, Manhattan Beach's local specialty grocery store. Customers can look forward to a wide range of new apple varieties in the next few months, as well as sweet winter citrus, says owner Barry Fisher.

"We're looking at more varieties of apples, and this year they'll be coming in through February or March," says Fisher, who mentions the Honeycrisp, Jazz, and Lady Alice as some of this season's best varieties. Fisher also notes that the drought has resulted in sweeter citrus coming out of California. "I'm really excited about the Cara Caras (oranges) from Buck Brand - They usually come out in December, right around Christmas."

Fisher says that the many new varieties of produce are an example of how the industry is shifting to a focus on fresh foods that taste better - as opposed to producing large quantities of lesser quality items. "Growers in general have been looking at not just telling you to eat fruits and vegetables, but rather compelling you to want to eat more."

GROW, which opened its doors in Manhattan Beach eight years ago, began as a specialty produce store and has since expanded to a full-service market that offers home delivery. Having educated its customers about the best produce available, it has developed a devoted following of fruit and vegetable connoisseurs who ask for specific varieties - and even specific farms - by name.

Fisher says he is pleased that so many customers have come to rely on GROW for the best-tasting fruits and vegetables. "There’s a big trust factor, which is nice to have. You have to continually earn that trust, by consistently putting good product in the store."

He says he recently met a customer who told him that his young daughter has become so discerning that she is automatically suspicious of produce from the major grocery chains. "She'll ask, 'Are these GROW grapes? Are these GROW oranges?'"

GROW has clearly made its mark in local kids' minds - Their orange stand is a fixture at major school events and running races. And in its store, GROW features a basket of free (pre-washed) apples for kids with the message, "It's never too early to start eating healthy."

"For me, fruit is the ultimate fast food," says Fisher.

GROW South Bay is located at 1830 N. Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach. A second GROW location in downtown Los Angeles is opening soon. Looking for ideas of how to prepare GROW's produce? Check out the recipe section on their web site.

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