Favorite Spot: Sue’s Produce
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square
Address: 114 South 18th Street
I am: A food blogger, cookbook author and canning teacher.
Years in Philly: It will be 11 years in January.
Current home: A two-bedroom apartment in a Rittenhouse Square high-rise.
My Love Note: I moved into the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood in early 2002, before Trader Joe’s arrived, when the giant Chestnut Street Di Bruno Brothers location was still an Express and when Rittenhouse Market was more grungy than glamorous. It was dire times for those of us who lived in Center City and needed to do our grocery shopping on foot.
Back in those early days, the single bright light in the area’s bleak, overpriced grocery scene was Sue’s Produce. Family run since 1978, Sue’s started as an outdoor produce stand at the corner of 18th and Chestnut. A few years later it moved into a tiny storefront on the east side of 18th Street. Soon after I started shopping there, they moved across 18th Street to the larger location that it’s still in today.
Sue’s Produce sells all manner of fruits, vegetables, dairy products (including delicious Pequea Valley yogurt), eggs, pestos, herbs, basic pantry items, dried fruit and nuts. It’s the spot to hit if you want local rhubarb in springtime and can’t make it to the farmers’ market. They get daily deliveries of Sarcone’s chunky Italian loaves, sell really fresh baby salad greens and always have good prices on apples, orange and bananas. I love that you never know what crazy, exotic fruit will be displayed on the front counter and I continue to be grateful that they keep their prices affordable.
In this age of corporate food commerce, Sue’s Produce is a welcome throwback to an earlier time and one of my very favorite places in all of Philadelphia.