Alex is the epitome of the local boy done good. He traded in his career in finance to follow his true calling, and has quickly become one of South Florida’s most buzzworthy produce providers. I recently visited Alex at his shop Celis Produce, and was blown away by the variety and quality of his produce, which is locally sourced 100% certified organic. What was equally impressive is the aesthetic of the space; polished concrete floors, distressed wood wall panelling, an awesome juice bar (the Sandlot is my favorite), and a nicely curated playlist emanating from speakers in the background. During our sit down I got a chance to pick Alex’s brain about his shop, West Palm Beach’s bourgeoning culinary scene, and his plans for the future.
What was your motivation for opening Celis Produce?
Originally, i started the delivery service so members in Palm Beach County had access to organic produce much easier. That eventually evolved into getting into two of the top green markets focusing primarily on organic produce and we quickly realized how much demand there really is for organic produce in this area.
Celis Produce isn’t just a produce market. What are some of the other things you offer that make you stand apart from other traditional produce providers?
We’ve built some great relationships with local vendors at the Green Market and we wanted to carry their products at the store. Most of the products you find at Celis you can’t find at big box stores and that’s what really separates us from the rest.
Where do you typically source your produce from?
Our main focus is always local! if the product can’t be found locally, we’ll search regionally (the Carolina’s, Georgia, etc) and there are some staple items that unfortunately don’t grow well in this environment (Hass avocados, apples, pears) that we have to source from further regions.
What are your thoughts on the budding food culture in West Palm Beach?
West Palm Beach is a very exciting place to be right now. We have a lot of great spots that have been around for a while and some that just recently opened up . In my opinion, we have a long way to go before we really build a food scene here but we are definitely on the right track.
In addition to your storefront, where can people find your produce?
You can find us at the WPB Green Market on Saturday’s and PBG Green Market on Sunday.
What are your plans for Celis Produce in the long term?
We have a lot of plans for our future. We would love to open another store and we also have plans for a co-op facility.
Photos Courtesy of Celis Produce