Episode 189: Chris Gonzalez and Desiree Morales
Avocados have become household favorites in the United States and throughout the world. The small Hass avocado is the most popular, but to our neighbors in the Caribbean, tropical avocados are the norm. WP Produce has been growing tropical avocados in Florida and the Dominican Republic for nearly 40 years. While people on the East Coast of the United States have historically known and loved tropical avocados more so than the rest of the country, as the avocado craze has grown, WP Produce has expanded distribution of their Desbry branded tropical avocados throughout the US and Canada.
Vice President of WP Produce, Desiree Morales, grew up on tropical avocados. In 1984 her father, Willy Pardo, was working in retail markets for a grocery chain in the United States. When he realized they didn’t sell the tropical fresh produce items he grew up with in Cuba, he founded WP Produce to make his favorite fruits, roots and vegetables accessible to other consumers in the United States.
He began by importing avocados, papayas and other popular Caribbean items from the Dominican Republic so people in his community would have access to the foods they were familiar with. Years later his family continues to run the company, which has expanded to become a leading grower and importer of tropical fresh produce with distribution at major retail grocery chains throughout North America.
Vice President of Sales at WP Produce, Christopher Gonzalez, is not only Desiree’s cousin but a second generation grower as well. To Chris, the versatility of tropical avocados is key as you get more bang for your buck. One tropical avocado can be about the size of a softball and provides the same amount of fruit as approximately four Hass avocados. The sizing is naturally larger and almost all varieties of tropical avocados stay green as they ripen—they don’t turn dark like Hass. To determine when a tropical avocado is ripe, give a gentle squeeze. If it yields to slight pressure, it’s ready to enjoy.
Tropical avocados have a fresh creamy flavor and a sturdier texture, making them perfect for all kinds of recipes, many of which can be found on The Produce Moms website. Try them in salads, sandwiches, wraps, ceviche, guacamole, pico de gallo, smoothies, or just scooped with a spoon and eaten with a simple sprinkle of salt. Tropical avocados are delicious any way you prepare them—even in desserts!
Chris and Desiree are proud to be able to provide tropical avocados year-round and coast-to-coast. No other supplier grows, sources, and ships more tropical avocados than WP Produce.
You can find their Debry brand of tropical avocados at Albertsons/Safeway, IGA, Metro, Publix, Rouse’s, Walmart, Wegmans, and independent markets everywhere. If you can’t find any locally, WP Produce recently launched a direct-to-consumer business called Tropical Fruit Box. Everything in the boxes is packed at the WP Produce headquarters and shipped fresh.
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Previous episodes you may enjoy
- Episode 188: Meg Savage
- Episode 187: Neil Ferguson and Lisa Carrington
- Episode 186: Nichole Towell and Nikki Cossio
- Episode 185: Vince Lopes, Chris Willett, and Cecilia Flores Paez
- Episode 184: Lindsey Occhipinti and Ana Mejia