Perrines offer a variety of products at their new store.
Ormond Beach residents now have another source for fresh fruits and vegetables, since Perrine’s Produce and Deli opened a few weeks ago in the Rivergate Village shopping plaza at 120 S. Nova Road. In addition to produce, they also have an Amish deli, seafood, dairy, wine, old-fashioned soft drinks, chocolate and more.
The Ormond Beach Planning Board gave their approval on April 14 for the Perrines to display produce out on the sidewalk, and the City Commission is tentatively set to consider the matter on May 17. There would be restrictions on how far the display can extend to allow for pedestrian traffic.
No negative comments were heard at the Planning Board meeting.
Lori Tolland said she thinks the display will create a nice atmosphere for the shopping center, and Pat Behnke said she was thrilled they are here.
“I love fresh produce,” Behnke said.
It started with a melon
“You can tell I get excited about it.”
JUNIOR PERRINE, produce store owner
It was 30 years ago this Memorial Day that the owners, Arnold “Junior” and Dianna Perrine, loaded a pickup truck with watermelons in Titusville.
“On a Friday we picked up 119 watermelons and asked if we could sell them in a parking lot,” he said. “We sold every one so went back the next day. We were hooked.”
Junior Perrine was working placing payloads on the Space Shuttles, and the produce business was a sideline until their children got older and they figured they could go fulltime in 1998.
They now own stores in Titusville, New Smyrna Beach, South Daytona and Ormond Beach.
Perrine said he enjoys being in business for himself, and it’s evident he enjoys the produce business in particular as he walks around his new store, pointing out his merchandise.
“You can tell I get excited about it,” he said.
Although indoors, Perrine considers his store a farmer’s market. Produce is available from Florida in the cooler months and as the weather warms, they will get produce from Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc. He said he’s been in business so long that they can call farmers they know and a truck with fresh produce will be on its way.
A lot of work
They have been seeking an Ormond Beach location for a few years, Perrine said. Shoppers from Ormond Beach at their other stores had suggested they open one here.
He said the Ormond store could turn out to be his best location because of the variety of products.
But opening the Ormond Beach store while running the other stores has been “overwhelming,” the Perrines say.
“It’s a lot of work for two people,” Dianna Perrine said. “It’s a big company.”
But they expect things to smooth out as the operation gets going. They’ve hired 25 people for the Ormond Beach location.
“We were lucky,” Junior Perrine said, “We’ve got some great employees.”