New York City loves itself some avocados. In the region, the demand for the fruit increased by 25 percent between 2017 and 2018. And as the food remains an Instagram fave, restaurants have kept up. In New York, this has largely been possible because of one man: Miguel González. After noting the increase in demand, the Mexican man decided to start G de P, a provider of avocados for small (and sometimes Michelin-star rated) restaurants in NYC.
Born in Michoacán, González, like many other Latin Americans and Latinos, grew up eating avocados, but never learned how to farm them. Once he moved to the US at 19, he enrolled in ESL classes and later obtained a business degree from New York University. After working in banking for nine years, he found an opportunity to partner with a friend from Mexico to begin importing avocados, according to Eater.
It all began with Queens-based Casa Enrique, G de P’s first official client. González, who first sold to wholesalers, became friends with Cosme Aguilar, Casa Enrique’s owner. He quickly noticed that the business struggled because of the inconsistent quality of avocados in the city. By 2015, his problems were solved.
“I used to buy cases and in every case I’d have, like, 10 bad ones,” Aguilar told Eater. “Sometimes half the case was bad… [But with G de P], the quality was way higher. I’m talking way, way higher. With Miguel, it’s rare to find one bad avocado in the case.”
González has since grown his roster of clients to include more than 120 restaurants, including Michelin-starred venues like NoMad and the Modern, as well as Instagram famous brunch spots such as Butcher’s Daughter.
What makes González different is that he has a true understanding of the ripening process as well as the optimal conditions so that each piece of product retains its quality. His Queens warehouse serves as a nursery of sorts. He also takes into consideration the kind of ripeness each restaurant requires. For example, González delivers semi-ripe avocados for more Instagram-worthy avocados, while ripe ones are delivered for mashed dishes.
While the avocado consumption in the United States has escalated dramatically – by 442 percent in 20 years, to be exact– González’s importing business is a more sustainable way to handle the craze. His friend in Mexico sources from local farms, instead of relying on mass imports from various parts of Latin America.
Even though he’s an avocado fan – he own avocado-themed shirts, socks, and ties – González fell into the business by accident. “It’s not like I was searching for it,” he said. “It just kind of happened, and I understood it, and I liked it. And when you like something, you grow it.”