Before there was Balducci’s, before there was the Chelsea Market, and even before there was Whole Foods – there was The Orchard and its owner Daniel Spitz, pioneer of the gourmet fruit and vegetable movement in New York City.
Established in 1957, The Orchard and its owners were the first to fly pineapples from Hawaii to New York City. They were even the ones to provide pineapples for the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter.
Daniel Spitz, the owner of The Orchard at 1367 Coney Island Avenue in Midwood, got some recognition on Thursday for his years of work and entrepreneurial spirit. He opened the store with only $500 in his hand, which he had earned previously from working on the streets as a local delivery man. Now at 84 years old and after 55 years in the fruit business, he was honored for his achievement and his rise from rags to riches.