Some Santa Maria-area vegetable shippers say the foodservice market for vegetables is on the rise.

After a “huge decline in sales” a few years ago, specialty produce grower-shipper Babé Farms, Santa Maria, Calif., is enjoying good sales this year, said Ande Manos, saleswoman.

The company, which specializes in baby vegetables, markets much of its produce to foodservice buyers throughout the U.S. and in Canada. Manos said consumers continue patronizing fine-dining establishments, and retailers continue to stock Babé Farms’ products.

Las Vegas and New York, with their large influxes of tourists, are good barometers for restaurant and foodservice sales, Manos said. While sales to those areas declined when the recession hit, sales there now are better than they were before the recession, she said.

Pismo-Oceano Vegetable Exchange, Oceano, Calif., also is seeing signs of economic recovery, said Dan Sutton, general manager.

“We’re starting to see a little upswing (in business),” he said.

Overall, the company has done well during the recession, with foodservice business dropping only slightly, Sutton said.

Pismo-Oceano markets and ships its produce throughout the U.S. and into Mexico and Canada. It also exports to Pacific Rim countries.