(May 30, PACKER WEB EXCLUSIVE) Frieda’s Inc., Los Alamitos, Calif., has launched Shop@Friedas, an online marketplace for fresh produce and gourmet items.

Found at the newly redesigned www.friedas.com, Shop@Friedas offers more than 100 specialty and gourmet items, including mangosteens, which have been very popular, said Karen Caplan, president.

“The New York Times posted a video about mangosteens and their journey a few weeks ago,” Caplan said. “It featured me and an ethnobotanist. It really promoted Frieda’s name. I think what happened is people saw that and then got on our Web site and ordered.”

The Web site, which launched on May 1, saw orders immediately, Caplan said.

“It was unbelievable,” she said. “The response has been amazing.”

In addition to mangosteens, Shop@Friedas also carries items like dragon fruit, certified organic produce like celery root and dandelion greens, Asian specialties such as kim chee and wonton wrappers, gourmet items including dried morel mushrooms and raisins on the vine, Latin items such as various dried chilies, and vegetarian offerings including garlic polenta and Soyrizo.

Frieda’s has offered online sales in the past, but stopped three years ago to re-evaluate the program. The relaunch of the Web site is due to customer interest in products not normally available at most grocery stores, Caplan said.

The Shop@Friedas online marketplace, which launched May 1, came about as a way to meet the needs of customers who were interested in products not normally available at most grocery stores, says Frieda's Inc. president Karen Caplan.