The name Peter Rubi comes from two different stories passed down from generation to generation in the Chicago Produce Industry:
Peter and his wife Rubi were immigrants who traveled across the Atlantic to live the “American Dream”. When they arrived to the States they settled in the growing city of Chicago because of the opportunities it presented. Once in Chicago, Peter and Rubi found themselves peddling fresh produce door to door to people in their communities. Their produce was so good that they became very well known in Chicago and everyone wanted to get produce from them.
During the earlier parts of the 1900s when merchants started to gather in one local area to sell their goods in Chicago, produce merchants would have their produce delivered by rail car or by truck. When the product was delivered there would be a box or two missing from the Bill of Laden that the driver would have. When the merchant asked about this the drivers response was, “Peter Rubi stole it from my truck/rail car at the last stop.” Peter Rubi became very infamous for stealing produce from the delivery men. In reality the delivery men would actually take that box or two of product home with them for their own families as an “extra” delivery fee.
Peter Rubi Today:
Nowadays when a salesmen or buyer refer to Peter Rubi, they are not talking about an actual person. Instead, they are in fact asking for a box of mixed produce to take home for their families.