Pandemic gave boost to distributor of local produce | Business

March 2020 was a month of global pivoting.

For Nina Yozell-Epstein, it was the month her Squash Blossom Local Food produce distribution to individual subscribers soared from 25 canvas bags a week to 250 in three weeks. At the same time, the 30 restaurants she provided produce for vanished overnight with state-imposed closures.

“Our business pivoted and grew tenfold in response to the pandemic last year,” she said.

Until the coronavirus pandemic, Squash Blossom was primarily a wholesale supplier for restaurants, providing locally grown produce with a small number of retail customers seeking “Blossom Bags.” Since starting Squash Blossom in 2015, Yozell-Epstein has sought to have retail subscribers as the main source of her income, but restaurants remained the backbone of her business until mid-March 2020.

“I’d been trying to spread the word about Squash Blossom,” Yozell-Epstein said. “It may have taken 12…

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