On Coney Island Avenue, in between 10th and 13th Streets in the heart of Brooklyn's Midwood, lies a small, hidden fruit shop. Walking past, you might think it's just another family-owned store, like the majority of bakeries, bagel shops, and tailors that call Avenue J and Coney Island Avenue home. However, The Orchard, is very different.

Why? Because they can charge you $30 for a pound of raspberries and 10 grape tomatoes and you won't question it, that's why.

sweet, berry
Alexandra Tringali

I take my fruit buying very seriously: I can spend an upwards of 15 minutes trying to find the best bunch of bananas or the perfect box of strawberries. At The Orchard, though, that's not necessary. There you can find the freshest fruit from the most exotic locations, guaranteeing freshness, and boosting up the price.  Back when the shop first opened in 1957, "locavore" was not yet a term.

Fruits and vegetables from around the world are picked up on pallets from airports, but only after being quality-checked down to the bottom of the box. You won't find an artificial, waxy sheen on an apple from The Orchard; their produce is way better than what you'll find in a grocery store.

pasture, tomato, vegetable
Alexandra Tringali

The shelves were cleaned out by the time I got there around midday on a Saturday. Packages for delivery were being wrapped up, a couple people were snatching up the remaining fruit like it was their last meal. Walking into The Orchard, you feel like you're amongst family—and you are, because it's still family owned. While waiting to pay, a man came out from the back of the store and handed me a cherry and a small orange. "From South America, and Australia," he said. It was almost like he could tell I was scoping the place out (as if my camera didn't give it away,) but was so sure of his fruit, that I just had to try it immediately. And it was the best damn cherry and orange I've ever had.

strawberry, sweet, raspberry, berry
Alexandra Tringali

Is it worth it?

The Orchard's fruit is definitely worth the price! I would happily spend even more money there, because knowing that I'm getting the highest quality produce in the area makes up for the inflated price. My raspberries were gone by the time I stepped off the subway back to Manhattan—they were that good. And the tomatoes didn't last long either—they made it in every dish I made that week, from eggs, to salads, to pasta dishes. Now I just need to find another excuse to go back.