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Produce Depot reopens in Billings

Posted at 3:02 PM, Oct 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 11:09:41-04

Customers returned to the Produce Depot on Saturday.

The store selling mainly locally grown fruits and vegetables celebrated with a grand opening in February and shortly after that, COVID-19 led to stay at home and shutdowns.

"When we first opened, it was kind of crazy," said Casey Anderson, Produce Depot owner. "We were having a bunch of people in. We were having lines down the street and then the COVID situation happened. And so for the safety of our employees and customers, we decided that we would shut down."

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Casey Anderson

Anderson said a big part of Produce Depot's business had been with restaurants.

Those sales decreased so he came up with other ideas.

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"We decided that we would go towards a pre-made bag option where you could either pick it up or have it delivered," he said.

Others business brought their goods to the farmers-market-like store at 2815 2nd Ave North.

Billings Seafood Guys sold salmon and other wild caught seafood.

"I'm a former Alaska fisherman," said Jon Wanderaas, Billlings Seafood Guys owner. "I grew up in Alaska, commercial fished for years and ran seafood factories throughout Alaska. So us being able to connect directly to the factories up there to the fisherman has been really cool."

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John Wanderaas

Charter Beef & Livestock and High Five Meats products are also available at the depot.

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Annika Charter-Williams

"We've known Casey at Produce Depot for a while now," said Annika Charter-Williams of Charter Beef & Livestock. "And we just really like collaborating with him. He's got great ideas. He's a mover and a shaker and so we're excited to see what we can do moving forward."

They say their customers have similar demands for food.

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"Our wild caught seafood, you know the Produce Depot and all the local beef options, I think everyone's kind of conscious about the food they eat," Wanbderaas said.

"We have a common customer base of people who want good food in the area," Charter-Williams said.

"Everybody working really hard to try to bring good healthy fresh food to the community," Anderson said. "So I feel blessed to be a part of what's going on be surrounded by all these great people."

Anderson says the plan for now is to be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.