Fresh Pickin’s Produce Market is a local, family owned business that prides itself with bringing fresh produce to customers at a lower price than conventional supermarkets. By cutting out the middleman and buying produce straight from local farmers, Fresh Pickin’s is able to deliver higher quality products without the extra cost.

Co-owner and LSU alumnus, Russell Saia, graduated in 1989 with a degree in finance. Upon graduating he worked for the Federal Reserve Bank in New Orleans and then had a job in sales. However, after not feeling truly fulfilled with life behind a desk, he and Paul Ferachi decided to open a small fruit stand. The stand began to receive a lot of business and he decided to quit his position in sales and pursue his fruit stand career full time.

In 1993 two lifelong friends, Ferachi and Saia, opened a small fruit stand at 10375 Coursey Blvd. with the idea of selling produce at a lower price. A few years later, they expanded to a much larger market that now stocks several different, hard-to-find gourmet items and fresh produce.

“Our marketing strategy has always been to bypass the middleman and deal directly with the growers,” Saia said. “We don’t go through a wholesaler, so we’re saving the consumer that money.”

Fresh Pickin’s is an open-air style market with a friendly and helpful staff. Along with all of its homegrown produce, the market also maintains a variety of fresh, frozen fruits and vegetables year round. After their original location started to boom, they decided to expand to Lafayette.

Fresh Pickin’s is the ideal market for consumers who seek a healthier, cleaner diet. It is a great alternative to buying produce from big retail outlets whose products use chemical-filled fertilizers and preservatives.

“Our products are fresher, because when you involve a middle man not only are you incurring a higher cost but the product is being stored somewhere else for a period of days.” Saia said. “Since we go directly to the farm and the truck delivers directly to us, it creates a savings in two different places- time and money.”

Not only does this market specialize in produce, but it also offers a wide selection of Louisiana products such as jellies, honeys, dressings, sauces, breads, seasonings and many more “Louisiana Cajun” items. All products that Fresh Pickin’s offers are tasted and approved before they are sold to consumers. Farmers markets, such as this one, are the perfect avenue for start up businesses to get their products established.

Fresh Pickin’s aims to combine great products with competitive prices, giving its customers a new perspective on grocery shopping.

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