Owner Mario Manzo to Retire After Decades at Pike Place Market
Mario “Mark” Manzo in front of his produce stand on March 29, 2022.
This week is your last chance to stop by Manzo Brothers Produce. The Highstall is set to close at the end of the month.
Owner Mario “Mark” Manzo is retiring after working at the produce stand for nearly 60 years. He started when he was only 11 years old working weekends and summers with his dad and uncle. Mark said the rest was history “once he started making his own money.”
After finishing school, he started working at the stand full time and became the sole owner in the 2000s.
Mark said the best part about his job and what kept him going all these years is the people. “You get to meet all different kinds of people… you get to make friends out of your customers.”
Mark was also always willing to help out those customers or friends in need.
“Throughout the years there were people that I helped. I’ve always been a helping hand,” said Mark.
That drive to help people is staying with Mark in retirement. He is training to become a medical hypnotist.
Mario “Mark” Manzo behind the counter at Manzo Brothers Produce in the 1970s.
A little history
The Manzo Family has been part of Pike Place Market since nearly the beginning. Starting in 1909, Mark’s grandfather, Sosio Manzo would take his wagon to the Market and sell produce that he grew on his farm in South Park, just south of Georgetown in Seattle.
Forty-eight years later, Mark’s dad and uncle — Dan and Fred Manzo established Manzo Brothers Produce priding themselves on their fresh fruits & vegetables and friendly service. Manzo Brothers Produce is the oldest continuously running produce stand in the Market.
It’s also never changed locations. For the last 65 years, you could find the Highstall in Pike Place Market’s main arcade.
Dan Manzo at his Highstall in the 1970s.
A team of produce junkies
Over the years, Mark, Dan and Fred Manzo created a family of produce junkies. Supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to Seattleites, introducing locals and visitors to new and interesting flavors, and doing everything with a smile.
Mark, Dan and others also passed down their knowledge of displaying produce to their employees. The color, contrast, and texture of each item are carefully considered so the end appearance is showstopping and photo-worthy.
But behind the colorful and artfully displayed produce is a slew of memories. Pictures of those who worked at the stand are tapped to the front of their storage refrigerator.
Over the last 65 years, relationships and friendships both with loyal customers and employees kept this stand thriving.
We are sad to see this chapter end but wish Mark a wonderful and happy retirement. Manzo Brothers Produce will close on March 31, 2022.
Photos taped to a storage refrigerator at Manzo Brothers Produce.