Produce world keeps things fresh for customers
Steve Pavlopoulos, owner of Produce World in Morton Grove. | Jon Durr~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Produce World
SPECIALTY: Fresh foods
ADDRESS:7220 Dempster St., Morton Grove
Updated: August 28, 2012 8:24AM
MORTON GROVE — Whether it’s fresh fruit, vegetables, ethnic items or homemade guacamole, customers find what they need and then some at Produce World.
When owner Steve Pavlopoulos was 14, he worked at a produce store in Chicago as a bagger and stock boy. During his college years he started selling produce on the street and going store to store.
“I wasn’t too happy with the hours,” Pavlopoulos said.
So in 1991, Pavlopoulos decided to leave the whole sale business and open Produce World.
The original store was at Waukegan Road and Dempster Street, and recently moved to its current location at 7220 Dempster St. in Morton Grove.
“There’s more space, better parking, better exposure and better accessibility,” Pavlopoulos said.
Pavlopoulos said the new, larger store allows him to provide a wider selection and an easier environment for customers to do their shopping.
The second location in Norridge opened 10 years ago, and five months ago the newest location in Skokie opened up.
The store has an expansive fruit-and-vegetable section, meat department, seafood department, American groceries and an array of ethnic groceries such as Greek, Italian, Polish and Kosher items.
Guacamole and pico de gallo is made daily at the store, which also boasts a broad selection of cheese.
For a special occasion customers can hunt for the perfect wine or liquor, and imported candies and chocolates to go with it. The store has a variety of dried fruits, ethnic seasonings and sauces, as well.
Its deli selection offers myriad prepared items such as moussaka, rotisserie chicken salad, grilled vegetables and several other types of salads.
The store’s catering menu offers several meat-and-cheese trays, sandwich platters and salads for parties and special events.
Pavlopoulos said the store attracts a diversity of people of different ethnicities, reflecting Morton Grove as a community.
“It’s a good neighborhood,” said Pavlopoulos, adding that people in Morton Grove have always been very friendly. “We’ve loved being here for 20 years.”
Pavlopoulos was born and raised in Chicago and lives in the northern suburbs.
About 40 employees work at the Morton Grove location.
“I come here for the meat and produce,” Dorothy Kapchinski, of Niles, said while she was shopping recently at the neighborhood produce store.
Kapchinski said she loves the look and size of the new store, which she noted is in a very convenient location.