Our Legacy

What's our story

In 1918, Louis Balducci Sr., from Bari, Italy, rented a produce pushcart for $5.00 a week in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Louis had been in the United States for two years prior, digging ditches and doing piecework construction on the Midtown Tunnel, the 59th St. Bridge, and the elevated subway tracks between Flushing and Long Island City. The produce pushcart was his first foray into retail entrepreneurship. That led to a small fish market, also in Greenpoint, then the purchase of an ice truck for making deliveries of huge ice blocks to homes in the days before refrigeration. Little did Louis Balducci know that he was setting up the foundation for what would become Baldor Specialty Foods.  

In 1946 Louis opened a fruit stand called Balducci’s Produce in Greenwich Village at the intersection of Christopher Street and Greenwich Ave (pictured below). A family business from the start, Louis had help running Balducci’s Produce from his wife and children, Andy and Grace, as well as a young family friend from Italy, Joe Doria. Grace married Joe in the late 1950’s and he became a partner in the original Balducci’s. The family worked around the clock, seven days a week, including holidays, to build Balducci’s into a reputable food service, selling the finest produce in the city. 

Balducdcis produceFood writer James Beard was a regular customer and noted that Balducci’s always sold “the best of the best, at the right price.” Andy’s merchandising instincts helped polish the Balducci brand. He is credited with featuring snowy white silver dollar mushrooms from Pennsylvania farms for 39 cents a pound, which became a major draw for early Balducci’s customers. Joe Doria tracked down the best produce options he could find throughout all of New York City. 

Balducci’s expanded in 1972, and started selling a wider array of specialty foods in addition to fresh produce, and moved to the corner of Sixth Avenue and 9th Street. Chefs from the Village would flock to the new Balducci's store to see what produce was in season and draw inspiration for their seasonal menus. Excited by Balducci’s diverse food options, the restaurant owners asked if Balducci’s would deliver bulk produce to their kitchens. It was then when Andy and Joe created Baldor, a wholesale division that was a combination of both their last names.

Andy Balducci eventually took over ownership of the company, while his son-in-law, Kevin Murphy, headed up the Baldor division, working tirelessly to gain market share in a competitive wholesale market.  In 1991 Kevin established Baldor as an independent company, moving the warehouse to a facility on Borden Ave in Long Island City, taking with him a handful of Balducci employees. The Baldor business continued to grow, gaining a reputation for quality food, excellent service, and as the purveyor of choice for fine dining establishments. 

Today, Baldor is
one of the largest importers and distributors of fresh produce and specialty foods in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. We buy directly from domestic farmers and international growers and provide customers with a consistent supply of fresh foods, prepared however they need it. We supply a full range of foodservice clientele from white tablecloth restaurants, hotels, corporate feeders, upscale food markets, hospitals, school cafeterias, country clubs, in-flight caterers and everything in between. Baldor is now headed by Kevin’s son, T.J. Murphy, C.E.O. and Michael Muzyk, President.

We continue to grow and spread our mission of quality you can trust, and service that delivers. In April, 2006 Baldor Boston opened in Chelsea, Massachusetts.  In April, 2012 we raised our flag in Washington D.C. across from the Jessup, Maryland produce market. Our large geographical reach makes us a reliable supporter in each local community we service by buying directly from local farms.  Whether you are as far north as Portland, Maine, far west as Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, or as far south as Manassas, Virginia, Baldor can fulfill your everyday specialty food needs.