Trucking in freshness

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An Island Produce employee rings the triangle to let people know of the fresh fruit truck’s arrival. An Island Produce employee rings the triangle to let people know of the fresh fruit truck’s arrival.

Produce trucks have become a local tradition 

WILDWOOD—Sure, the boardwalk is known for its curly fries and pizza, but just beyond the Wildwoods’ beaches is another culinary tradition.

The pink, teal, and yellow fresh fruit trucks from Island Produce have been bringing fruits and vegetables to beach street-ends and hotels since 1990. Signaling their arrival with a “farm style” triangle, the trucks are uniquely “Wildwood” according to David Mayer, who manages the business.

“People are surprised when they see it for the first time,” Mayer said.

Island Produce Incorporated was established in 1989, and in 1990 one truck made the rounds throughout the Wildwoods selling local fruits and vegetables.

In 2011, the business expanded, and a farm market and grill were added at 4314 Park Blvd.

Mayer said that when the business started, “it was just an idea to make a little extra money” and that trucks peddling fresh fruit and veggies were more common.

“Now I think we’re one of the only ones,” he said.

That one truck in 1990 has now grown to six. Three trucks handle Wildwood Crest, one makes stops in Wildwood, and two cover North Wildwood.

Mayer explained that the Crest has the most trucks because it has the largest number of hotels, where the trucks also make stops.

Besides produce, the farm market also has eggs and other groceries. Smoothies and breakfast sandwiches are also made on site.

Mayer said that spiedies (pronounced ‘speedies’) are a staple of the grill. Spiedies are well-known in upstate New York, and Mayer had come across them in his travels and thought they would be a good fit at the shore.

The sandwiches are made with cubes of chicken that have been marinated for about two days in oil, vinegar, and Italian spices. Then, that chicken is grilled and served on a long hoagie roll.

Island Produce is only open for the summer, but throughout that time they feature local produce, particularly Jersey corn and tomatoes once they become available in the season.

The tucked-away farm market has become a favorite among some seasonal renters that live near it, Mayer said. But, the year-old market had substantial damage from Sandy, and also took a toll on the trucks.

In the market’s office, which sits about a foot higher than the rest of the market, the flood water line can be seen about a foot off the ground. Some of the trucks were also extensively damaged, Mayer said.

Despite the set back, the market was able to open on time for the summer and repairs to the trucks are ongoing.

Mayer said that business normally depends on the economy, but says he has had more people telling him they are happy to have a place to buy local produce while on vacation.

“It’s a nice variation from what you eat when you’re on vacation,” Mayer said.

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story below. 

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