Produce Pete

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Produce Pete
Born
Peter Napolitano

(1945-02-23) February 23, 1945 (age 78)
NationalityAmerican
Other namesProduce Pete
Occupation(s)Grocer, chef, television personality
RelativesToby Napolitano, Bryan Napolitano, David Napolitano

Peter Napolitano (born February 23, 1945[1]) better known by stage name Produce Pete (sometimes referred to as Pete Your Produce Pal), is an American grocer, chef, and celebrity spokesperson who is perhaps best known for his weekly fruit and vegetable segments that appear on WNBC in New York City and WCAU in Philadelphia. Napolitano had appeared in commercials and at special events for the now defunct A&P-owned supermarket chain Pathmark since 2001, although he never appeared in Pathmark's post-2010 bankruptcy ad campaign.[2]

Early life and family business[edit]

Napolitano was born into an Italian-American family in Englewood, New Jersey. In 1953, as a young boy he began selling fruits and vegetables at the neighborhood farmer's market which was owned by his family.

In 1970 Napolitano took ownership of the business and ran it as a seasonal operation, often selling items beyond his line of produce, geared towards upcoming holidays and celebrations. In 1997 he turned the business over to his son, Peter Charles Napolitano. Napolitano Produce closed in 2006 after serving the Bergen County, New Jersey community for 53 years.

Pete met his wife, Bette, when he was 16 years old and she was 14. In 1967 they married. Pete and Bette have 2 children and seven grandchildren. Bette frequently makes appearances on Produce Pete segments.

Career[edit]

Napolitano has hosted numerous produce, food, and nutrition-themed television segments since the late 1980s. The author of Produce Pete's Farmacopeia: From Apples to Zucchini, and Everything in Between (1994, republished in 2001), he has published numerous recipes and tips pertaining to picking, buying, and cooking produce. In 2000, he also worked as a buyer for S. Katzman Produce at the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, New York. He has also taught cooking classes for Macy's and Bloomingdale's, among other chains. Produce Pete's new book They Call Me Produce Pete ( publishes 2023)

He has been a resident of North Haledon, New Jersey.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

Napolitano's television segments have been parodied by actor and comedian Steve Carell on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Profile, producepete.com; accessed August 12, 2016.
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/user/BetterShopping Better Shopping
  3. ^ Bloom, Susan. "Growth Stock: Produce Pete explains why Jersey produce beats all.", New Jersey Monthly, March 14, 2011. Accessed September 12, 2015. "The Jersey born and raised fruit-and-vegetable guru affectionately known as Produce Pete is as authentic as his Bergen County roots and the Garden State produce he proudly promotes.... Though officially retired from the grueling 20-hour workdays of his retail operation, the 75 year-old North Haledon resident still relishes the opportunity to help people navigate their local produce aisle or farmer’s market."
  4. ^ The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Produce Pete with Steve Carell - Cider, thedailyshow.com, February 23, 2004.