I love fresh produce.
But what gets sold at grocery stores isn't, technically, fresh. It is stuff that is shipped on trucks from across the country. Produce is picked early and "truck-ripened." The varieties available are those that have been selected for appearance and shelf-life, not for their
culinary or nutritional quantities.
Yet the produce section at the grocery stores around here are huge, which is surprising since produce is a low-profit item. The same grocery stores will put up huge temporary greenhouses in their parking lots to sell young plants, including produce plants.
I should think there would be a unique opportunity for a grocer to have a full-time year-round greenhouse. Grow all of the produce in 4' x 4' carts on wheels (the Square Foot Gardening guy showed that only 6" deep soil/humus/whathaveyou is needed for most garden plants). When something is ripe wheel in one cart to the grocery store. When it is picked empty, wheel it out and wheel in a full one.
With a year-round greenhouse, we can have fresh melons in the middle of winter. And charge more for them, of course.
Ever had celery that is truly garden-fresh? It's incredibly powerfully flavorful. Same holds for many foods.
Want to have green tomatos? Ask and ye shall recieve. (Green tomatos are excellent when oven-roasted with olive oil).
If the broccoli flowers out before it's all purchased, sell the flowers as fancy garnish (certainly prettier than parseley).
And all of the wasted produce can be composted, in-house, for later use.
I know, most cities have "farmers markets." But people don't buy from them because they aren't at the grocery store. So this effectively puts the farmer in the store.