IT ALL STARTED WITH A LEMON…
At the time, the Washington Street Market was the epicenter of the New York produce world. In the early days, the market had cobblestone streets and horse-drawn delivery carts that were unloaded by hand, as the day of the forklift had not yet arrived. When trucks were introduced, there were still no platforms, so the produce was merely moved from truck to street level and sold. Men worked long, hard days; a sixteen or eighteen hour day was typical. In the winter, Erasmo and other workers of the Market kept warm by big steel oil drums that were used as fire cans on most street corners.
As Erasmo’s customer base grew, he expanded to sell other fruits, which also meant trading in the pushcart for a horse & wagon. Later, as business continued to grow, Erasmo bought a small wholesale store in the middle of one of the blocks of the Washington Street Market – a bold business move at the time.
Erasmo’s family grew, too. He had five sons and one daughter. Four of the sons, Pete, Frank, Joe and Nick went into business with him, and the Armata family had now become wholesalers in the Washington Street Market. Soon Erasmo had the opportunity to buy a store on the corner of Washington and Chambers Street. The corner store proved to be a much better location that helped the business flourish, and Erasmo quickly became known for providing the highest quality fruit.
After 9th grade, Nick Armata first began to work in the family business with his father and three brothers. In the late 1950’s, Nick approached the family and suggested in order for the company to excel, they needed to expand into vegetables and get into the Western produce business for products such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. This was a significant and essential move and meant someone would have to go to California and represent the company.
Erasmo’s sons, Nick and Frank, went to meet people in California and started developing relationships on the West Coast. This wasn’t easy, as they had to break through many lines of stereotypes, being young, Italian and from New York. So it was decided that someone would stay in California to cultivate those critical relationships. The older brother, Frank, was then chosen to be the “West Coast guy.” Frank agreed, and relocated to Arizona to continue to represent E. Armata and prove that the Armata family was honest, hardworking, and did business with integrity. This move helped solidify E. Armata as a key wholesaler of Western vegetables.
With Frank’s move, he became a ground broker; the old way to buy. He often had to stay in dingy, second-rate hotels, away from his Arizona home, as he followed the crops from Arizona to southern California and traveled all the way up the coast, deep into northern California. In order to ensure that only the best produce was shipped, this was mandatory…he had to personally walk the fields, and select the specific lots of the vegetables that would be shipped to New York. He was known as the family’s “bird dog,” and the relationships he forged 40 years ago still exist today.
While Frank bought products on the West Coast, Joe was subsequently purchasing fruit through the New York Auction, which at the time was the way it was done. He would go to rail cars and bid on lots of already packaged fruit from the downtown auction. All products that were sold at the Washington Street Market came in and went out the same day since there was little to no storage, and no refrigeration. At the time, all products were shipped in big, heavy, wooden boxes, and moved throughout the market using steel hand trucks with steel wheels that clanked on the cobblestone roads of Washington Street.
Erasmo was very proud of his product and only accepted the best. Everyone knew he would only buy and sell products that met his high standards, guaranteeing his customers would get the very best when they bought fruit and produce from him. To keep the whole operation running smoothly, Uncle Pete focused on handling all the money and accounting in the office above the corner wholesale store, while Erasmo and the other brothers bought and sold the products.
When New York City decided to build the Trade Center, the city needed to find a new location for the Washington Street Market. The marshland in Hunts Point, New York was identified, and the new, state-of-the-art Hunts Point Market was built in 1967.
In 1968, at the age of 85, Erasmo Armata passed away before the company he built from the ground up moved to its new location. Erasmo’s four sons completed the move, and E. Armata, Inc. became one of the original 128 companies to occupy the new Hunts Point Market. At that time, E. Armata had one location in Row A, also known as “Broadway,” and over the years they have expanded to multiple locations throughout the market. Through the years, the number of companies in the market has been reduced to 45, as some companies moved, some went out of business, while others grew. The Hunts Point Market to this day is still the largest market in the country.
E. Armata continues to be a successful, hands-on company, now with multiple divisions of high-quality products including fruits, vegetables, tomatoes, mushrooms, and specialty items. E. Armata presently employs a hand-picked team of hardworking, dedicated and honest people. This team has the desire and heart for this business that Chris and Paul grew up with; a team that will propel E. Armata into the future. The brothers know their father and grandfather would be very proud of what they have continued to accomplish with the company. Chris and Paul are also very proud of the people who work here. The family tradition of honor, quality, and hard work will continue with the 4th generation Armatas, Chris’s children, Nicky, Chelsea, and Michael. Each with their unique talents in business management, accounting, and sales, E. Armata’s 4th generation has been brought up, like generations before them, learning the business from the bottom, so they can continue to uphold the traditions their great-grandfather started. A company with an obsession for quality, and a desire to sell nothing but the best fruit and produce, with the best service possible, is what the Armata family strives for.
- This guarantees proper cleanliness and optimizes quality to our customers. We are diligent about the inspection process and take the time to review all products being shipped out to our customers before delivery. All of our quality teams are staffed and managed in-house at E. Armata Inc. and we take pride in being produce distributors in the Hunts Point Market that offers the freshest produce to our clients.
Food Safety:At E. Armata Inc., we take pride in being one of the best produce distributors in the Hunts Point Market providing the highest quality products. Food safety and quality control are important in preventing food-borne illnesses such as Escherichia coli O157, Shigella, and Yersinia. At E. Armata Inc., we are GMP-certified as well as a recipient of a 100 percent superior rating through the FDA’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Our commitment to food safety is evidenced by the practices we’ve implemented. Below are a few ways our team at the Hunts Point Market produces of the highest quality product:
We receive shipments daily
All of our trucks are temperature controlled
- This method limits contamination of harmful bacteria and pollution many distributors experience during transport. For example, increased humidity causes increased the risk of spore and fungi production on fruits and vegetables.
We keep thorough track of our products
- We specifically keep track of all the fresh food products we receive by immediately uploading a picture of them as they are delivered onto our iPad tracking system. This means that we takethe extra time to ensure all deliverables are up-to-date in our system to ensure quality.
We employ an experienced quality control team
- Our employees are trained in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) quality control. This process consists of seven principles: hazard analysis, identifying critical control points, determining critical limits, monitoring critical points, establishing corrective actions, developing record-keeping procedures, and establishing verification procedures. This ensures we continue to be provide top-quality produce in the Hunts Point Market.
Our inspectors are USDA-trained
- Our inspectors are trained by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service inspection standards, which is a nationally recognized agency that provides the standardization, testing, and grading of all food products sold in the US
How can produce distributors located in the Queens Area help you grow?At E. Armata, we don’t just take orders for delivery; we accept responsibility. As produce distributors located in the Hunts Point Market, our sales team follows these steps to help you:
- We deliver fresh produce daily to efficiently fulfill your replenishment needs.
- Our modern trucks are temperature controlled to make certain we meet your high-quality standards all year round.
- We use the latest in technological advancements in order to maximize our shippers delivery schedules to accommodate both your business’s needs and our growing demand.
- To ensure the safety of our drivers and the communities we serve, we monitor and track the speed of our shipping vehicles.
- We are committed to meeting all of our new and long-standing customers’ needs.
What is a Produce Wholesaler?Few things are more delicious than fresh fruit and produce in the summer. E. Armata Inc. is one of the largest Produce Distributors Queens NY operating in the Hunts Point Market. Our team is fully committed to our customers, and we take pride in providing them with the highest quality produce in a clean and organized cold-chain-compliant facility. To learn more about the role of a produce wholesaler, continue reading below.
What is A Produce Wholesaler?Most shops, restaurants, and supermarkets do not grow their own produce and sell it. For this reason, they must outsource to get the products they need delivered to them. As one of the leading Produce Distributors Queens NY, we provide an essential service to our customers that is key to moving produce from farm to table. E. Armata Inc. is a fourth-generation operation that has been servicing the tri-state area for over 100 years. Our network of shippers and growers allows us to provide businesses with wholesale produce to meet the needs of their customers.
DistributionE.armata Inc. has dedicated years to perfecting our wholesale operation to ensure the satisfaction of our customers. Our dedication has allowed us to design a seamless process to maintain quality and excellence. Here is a closer look at our Produce Distributors Queens NY process:
- Wholesale produce distributors must cultivate and maintain relationships with quality shippers and growers to be successful. We have been building relationships for over 100 years, so you can be assured that you are receiving the finest fruits and vegetables.
- Once the produce has reached us, it is stored in our state-of-the-art facility with over 60,000 square feet of temperature-controlled storage. We use RF guns for our racking system to meticulously keep track of our inventory, which allows us to service our customers more efficiently.
- Our top concern is that our customers receive their produce while it’s still fresh. We use temperature-controlled trucks to keep the produce fresher longer and monitor our drivers’ speed to ensure safe drop-offs.
Contact Our Produce Distributors Queens NYWhen looking for a produce wholesaler, you want to make sure you’re working with the best. E. Armata Inc. has set and maintained high standards since its inception over 100 years ago. Our commitment to excellence guarantees satisfaction and freshness. If you’re looking to work with a Produce Distributors Queens NY, be sure to contact our team today!
From Our Blog
All About PeppersPeppers are very healthy for you. Although they sometimes are quite spicy, they are packed tight with nutrients and vitamins that are extremely beneficial. Peppers contain the following benefits:
- They help to burn off fat
- They can protect against the buildup of cholesterol
- They are extremely high in Vitamin C
- They can lower the risk of breast cancer
- They contain a ton of Vitamin B6, which lowers the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease
- They serve as an antioxidant
- They promote good eye health
- They promote good blood circulation
- Red/Mixed Red – Red peppers are fully ripened green peppers that allow for a sweeter, fruitier taste.
- Green – Green peppers are unripe peppers that would turn into yellow/red peppers. They often have a bitter taste. As they are not as ripe as their counterparts, green peppers are certainly not as nutritious.
- Suntans – A suntan pepper is a green pepper with spots of yellow and/or red in it. It is not fully ripe, but not as unripe as a green pepper.
- Cubanelle – Also called a Cuban pepper, a cubanelle pepper is a long, sweet type of pepper that is used in Spanish and Italian cuisines. Many chefs prefer cubanelles over bell peppers because they are more suited for quick cooking.
- Jalapeno – Jalapeno peppers have a reputation for being quite spicy. They come in either green or red varieties, with red jalapenos as the spicier of the two. The heat that is associated with the jalapeno actually comes from the membrane around the seeds inside of the pepper.
- Long Hots – Also known as Italian Long Hots, these peppers are typically used in homemade Italian cooking while they are still green. Each one, however, varies in spiciness.
The Best Vegetables For Your Summer BBQThe warmth of summer has finally set in, and the grilling season is in full swing! Cooking vegetables from the Hunts Point Produce Market on the grill brings forward an irresistible flavor for your next barbecue! E. Armata Inc. is a family-run produce wholesaler that has been serving our customers for over 100 years and takes great pride in our outstanding summer vegetable selection. Continue reading to discover some of our favorite veggies to bring to your summer BBQ!
Best Vegetables for a Summer BBQMeat has always been the center of attention during barbecue season, but summer is the perfect time to brighten up your plate with in-season summer fruits and vegetables. Veggies may make an appearance as a side dish, but you can turn them into the main attraction during grilling season. Here are some of our favorite summer vegetables available at the Hunts Point Produce Market you can enjoy at your next BBQ:
- Bell Peppers – You can grill bell peppers whole or quarter them for skewers! Char your bell peppers on the grill for about 4 minutes until they are blackened, then let them steam for around 10 minutes. You’ll be left with smoky and delicious fire-roasted peppers!
- Onions – Grilled onions should be a staple at your BBQ! Slice the onions into rounds, and place them on the grill for around 5 minutes to get enough char, then flip to cook the other side for a minute.
- Roasted Garlic – While garlic is not traditionally associated with barbecues, you can easily roast garlic on the grill and bring more flavor to your dishes! All you need is aluminum foil and olive oil. Simply slice the top off an entire bulb of garlic, place it on foil, and drizzle it with oil. Then wrap up the garlic and put it on the grill for around 40 minutes.
Local Produce Distributors in Queens NYE. Armata Inc. has operated out of the Hunts Point Produce Market for years, and our customers taste the difference in our produce! To discover more about our summer vegetables or for general information, be sure to contact us today!
What Fruits Are In Season For Summer 2023?The summer season is in full swing, and so are delicious fruits at the Hunts Point Market! E. Armata Inc. is the leading wholesale produce operation in Hunts Point that distributes fresh, seasonal produce to our customers. Our team would like to share some of our favorite fruits that are in season for Summer 2023, so continue reading to learn more!
Summer Fruits 2023From ripe peaches to juicy watermelon, the bounty of fresh summer fruits coming into Hunts Point Market is an exciting celebration of flavors, colors, and textures. When you shop for fruits that are in season, you not only save money but also get to enjoy the freshest and most nutritious fruit. Our team would like to share some information about what’s best in season this summer:
- Cherries – Cherry season is short but sweet. Cherries are a wholesome snack with high amounts of potassium, which is critical for optimal cell function and heart health!
- Raspberries – Raspberries are in season from July through October. This delicious and colorful berry pairs perfectly with other summer fruits. Enjoy raspberries on their own, or add them to a dessert or smoothie!
- Limes – While they may be too sour to eat on their own, limes are the perfect fruit to add flavor to your next BBQ. Squeeze this fresh citrus over any protein and let the juices sear with the smoke. You can also add limes to your favorite summer beverages!
- Stone Fruits – Peaches and other stone fruits are at their peak from July to August. Peaches are full of vitamins and antioxidants and are delicious on their own or on the grill!
- Honeydew – Honeydew is the sweetest melon that contains more natural sugars than watermelon or cantaloupe. Honeydews are a refreshing snack or dessert and taste amazing when infused into beverages.
Contact Our Produce Distributors in Queens NYWhen you shop with E. Armata Inc. at the Hunts Point Market, you can feel confident that you are getting the best tasting fruit around! There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer months, so be sure to contact us today to learn more!
What is Belgian Endive?Belgian endive, or witloof or chicory, is a leafy vegetable often used in salads, appetizers, and side dishes. It has a slightly bitter flavor and a crunchy texture, making it a popular ingredient in many dishes. Our produce distributors Queens NY at E. Armata Inc. have created a guide to using this exciting ingredient, so continue reading to learn more!
Belgian Endive:Belgian endive is grown from the roots of chicory plants. The roots are dug up in the fall and kept in a dark, cool place for several weeks. During this time, the roots sprout new leaves, which grow into the familiar tight heads of Belgian endive. Belgian endive is grown in both hydroponic and traditional soil-based systems. Hydroponic cultivation involves growing the endive in nutrient-rich water, while traditional cultivation involves growing the endive in soil. Both methods produce high-quality endives, but hydroponic cultivation is becoming more popular due to its efficiency and environmental sustainability. Our produce distributors Queens NY ensure our customers have the freshest, high-quality endives.
Cooking With Belgian EndiveBelgian endive is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes. Its slightly bitter flavor pairs well with other ingredients, such as cheese, nuts, and fruit. Here are some popular ways to use Belgian endive in your cooking:
- Appetizers: Belgian endive leaves make an excellent base for appetizers. Fill the leaves with various fillings, such as cheese, nuts, or smoked salmon, for an elegant and easy-to-make appetizer.
- Salads: Belgian endive can add crunch and flavor to salads. Mix it with other leafy greens, such as arugula or spinach, and top it with a flavorful dressing for a delicious salad.
- Side dishes: Belgian endive can be cooked in various ways and makes a great side dish. Try braising it in chicken broth for a flavorful and tender side dish.
- Grilled: Grilled Belgian endive is a delicious and unexpected way to enjoy this vegetable. Brush the endive with olive oil and grill for a few minutes on each side until tender and slightly charred.
Contact Produce Distributors Queens NYBelgian endive is a delicious and versatile vegetable that can add flavor and crunch to various dishes. Its unique flavor and texture make it a popular ingredient for produce distributors Queens NY. Whether you are a fan of Belgian endive or have never tried it before, it is worth adding to your culinary repertoire. Contact E. Armata Inc. today for more information!
Asparagus Benefits For DiabetesDiabetes is a prevalent and chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood, which can lead to a range of health complications if not managed effectively. One of the ways to manage diabetes is through a healthy diet, and asparagus is a vegetable that can play an essential role in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Our produce distributors Queens NY offer our customers a fresh selection of asparagus. Continue reading to discover the health benefits of asparagus from our team at E. Armata Inc. Asparagus Benefits For Diabetes Asparagus is low in calories and has a low glycemic index, meaning that it does not cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. In addition, it is high in fiber, which helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, asparagus is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help to improve the overall health of individuals with diabetes. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamins A, C, E, and K
- High in Antioxidants – Antioxidants are essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases, including diabetes. Asparagus is a rich source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and glutathione, which help to protect your body against damage from free radicals. In addition, asparagus contains antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce the development of complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease and neuropathy.
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity – Insulin sensitivity is a crucial factor in managing diabetes, and asparagus has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The fiber and chromium in asparagus help to regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, making it an excellent food choice for individuals with diabetes.
- Weight Management – Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for managing diabetes, and asparagus can play a role in this by helping to regulate appetite and promoting feelings of fullness. Asparagus is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent option for individuals trying to lose weight.