Deals on produce, flowers come to Jersey shore

EGG HARBOR TWP., New Jersey - August 4, 2010

With prices like that, it's no suprise that the Produce Junction store that opened in Egg Harbor Township in May has been busy.

Albert Gentile already owned six Produce Junction stores in and around Philadelphia. But this store is the first at the shore.

"I live down the shore most of the summer with my family," Gentilen says. "And I just saw that there was such a need down here because I go out to buy produce and when I'm down here I see the prices and the prices of flowers and I just thought it would be a natural for us."

"Most of the people down here have roots back in the Delaware Valley, so we figured a lot of people already know about us. A lot of customers have always requested that we open up here. So, we thought it would be a natural for us," he adds.

The Produce Junction moved into a spot left vacant when the Superfresh moved out of the Heather Croft Square shopping center nearly three years ago.

Shoppers love the produce prices, which average about 50% less than supermarkets. And it's not unusal to find florists stocking up on flowers -- which sell for about 70% off retail.

Louella Rose of Pleasantville, New Jersey, stopped in for the first time the day we were there.

"I've been riding by, riding by and today, all of a sudden, I said 'I'm going to stop,' " she explaind. "I stopped and I'm just fascinated that the prices are outstanding. I can't get over it. I'm just walking around like in a daze."

Much of the produce is sold in bulk. Cherries are two pounds for $4. Peaches are three pounds for $1.

And there are separate checkout lines for fruits, vegetables and flowers.

But the unusual set-up is what enables Produce Junction to keep prices so low.

"That helps us maintain lower margins, if we can sell more volume," Gentile explains, adding that it also helps keep the stock fresh.

Produce Junction takes cash only, no credit cards, checks or coupons.

The new store is located at 6825 Tilton Road. The store phone number is 609-383-6025.

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