Riverwards Produce offers Old City residents locally sourced produce like cheeses, vegan products, breads, nuts and grains, along with a made-to-order juice bar. (Photo Credit: Cohere + Alex Cahanap)
More than 30 years after the Old City community of Philadelphia last had a full-scale market, the founder and owner of Riverwards Produce, Vincent Finazzo, has opened a location in the neighborhood.
Riverwards Produce began in 2015 through community outreach, enrichment and support, with successful pop-up shops held out of a friend’s garage. Now the wholesale supplier to restaurants in the Philadelphia area will offer Old City residents locally sourced produce like cheeses, vegan products, breads, nuts and grains, along with a made-to-order juice bar.
“When you walk into Riverwards, you feel the magic of a community market,” said Director of Operations Diane Wild. “It’s not just a market, it’s a neighborhood hub for residents to shop, converse and learn about new items they can incorporate into their lives.”
At just under 3,000 square feet, the new location is double the size of the original location, which is in Philly’s Fishtown community, but instead of building a new establishment from scratch, Finazzo decided to restore a vacant building, with special attention to historical preservation details. The windows, doors, and original color palette have been restored to their original glory in the historically certified building. Most of the fixtures featuring products are also being reused, and the floors are made of terrazzo, which contains recycled materials.
“I am passionate about providing local, fresh produce and products for the community, so that our customers can create good, nourishing, complete meals with the ingredients that they find in our market,” said Finazzo. “When customers come to Riverwards, we encourage them to ‘unplug,’ check out our quality product offerings, talk to our trained staff about how to incorporate new ingredients into their meals, and truly enjoy their shopping experience.”
As a proponent of a livable minimum wage, Riverwards employees receive a starting salary of $16 per hour and all full-time employees are eligible for health insurance.
The second location, at 146 Bread Street, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.