Our Story

We begin our journey with Sebastiano F. Palazzolo. He was the grandfather of S & L PRODUCE, INC. owner, Mark Palazzolo. Sebastiano was born in Terrasini, Sicily in 1896. He was raised farming produce alongside his family. At the tender age of 13 his father accompanied him to America to live with relatives, hoping for a better way of life. His father returned to Sicily. Sebastiano, speaking no English, began making his way by pushing a produce cart through the cobble-stoned streets of downtown St. Louis. Over time, he married and began his own family. Later, he would  purchase a truck, for which he himself built a bed to haul his produce. Explore our web-site for the actual photo of Sebastiano standing next to this very truck. He established a produce route consisting of regular customers. Working along his side every day after school and on the week-ends was one of his sons, Francisco Salvatore Mario Palazzolo, better known as Frank. As the years passed, Sebastiano’s business would thrive. As Sebastiano aged he eventually stopped driving a truck and visiting his customers, but he NEVER completely gave up his art or love of working in the produce industry.

Upon graduating from St. Mary's high school in St.Louis, MO., Frank met and married his wife Ruth, and they had four boys of their own. It was then that Frank would begin his own produce business as he had learned much from his father over the years. After a short time Palazzolo Produce would grow and evolve into a broad line food service distributorship, pfd, inc. Frank’s father, Sebastiano, would remain by his side, working as hard as he always had, until the day of his passing in 1991.

Enter Mark Palazzolo, one son born to Frank and Ruth, who was very much like his father in that he was, at an early age, introduced to the foodservice industry. Fresh produce, being the specialty of his fathers’ business, was the first of products that Mark himself would grow to specialize in. As his fathers’ truck would deliver to Marks grade school, it is said that on more than one occasion, Mark would leave his classroom and hide in the back of the delivery truck until it was well beyond the school.  He would then appear to the driver and accompany him throughout the day!  Mark spent most his nights and many weekends as a young boy volunteering to work in his fathers’ warehouse. As he grew older his presence and experience contributed greatly in his fathers’ business. He was involved in every aspect of the day to day operations, no matter what the product or position. As the product lines increased, so too, did his knowledge! 

In the year 2000, having over 25 years of hands-on experience and education in the food service distribution industry, Mark, along with the confidence and support of his loving wife and the GRACE OF GOD, started his own produce company!  Together they formed S & L PRODUCE, INC.  Like his father before him (and his father before him), Mark has taken a small, husband & wife produce business and turned it into the overwhelmingly successful full broad line food service distributorship it is today!  

S & L Produce, Inc. was awarded a "TRADING MEMBER" in the Bluebook in 2009. Be sure to explore other parts of our web-site for more information on this most prestigious award that is still held by S & L Produce, Inc. today! Comparing our history to that of the growth of a tomato: We HONOR Sebastiano Palazzolo, as he is the seed, we RESPECT Frank Palazzolo, as he is the water that nourishes, and we TRUST in Mark Palazzolo, as he has become the vine that continues the growth! At S & L Produce, Inc. we are committed to bringing our customers the FRESHEST QUALITY products available, at COMPETITIVE pricing, with EXCEPTIONAL customer SERVICE!  We believe that if we are honorable in what we do, work hard to the best of our ability, and trust and hold true to our faith in GOD ABOVE, we will continue to be the success that we are today!  We thank you for your interest in S & L Produce, Inc. and we look forward to the opportunity of proving what S & L Produce, Inc. will do to aid in the SUCCESS of YOUR business!