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 The Little Fruitstand That Could

 

 

thumb_100_7399Nearly one week after the fire that damaged Granny’s Fruitstand, Darrell and Kelli Riddle are still in business and going strong.

 

The building on Orchard Rite Road in Gleed caught fire in the middle of the night on Thursday, July 5th.  (No official determination has been made about the cause of the fire.)  As luck would have it, a couple of passers-by, including a Pacific Power truck, were able to call attention to the fire very early, and the power truck cut off power to the building.  The fruitstand is one of the oldest structures in Gleed, and Kelli said that firefighters were concerned that the building could have easily burned to the ground if the fire hadn’t been discovered when it was.   

As trying as this situation has been for the Riddles, the good news is that the damage was minor, and they expect to be back in business and fully operational in the building within the next couple weeks.  Right now, Granny’s Fruit continues to operate out of a tent set up in the parking lot, and though the atmosphere is somewhat different than it was inside, most of the same produce and products are still available.   

Darrell and Kelli barely skipped a beat, setting up for business in the tent on Friday morning, and are trying to provide as many products as possible despite the challenge of extreme heat in the Yakima Valley recently.  As word spread about the fire, the community pulled together to help the Riddles.  (Click here to read the Yakima Herald Republic article about the fire.)  Local farmers pitched in with deliveries of fresh produce, and many people came by just to share encouragement and support.

“We’ve had tons and tons of local people come out and tell us that they were really proud of us,” says Kelli.  About 50 carloads of people came out on Sunday in an amazing show of support.  Many customers have inquired about the antiques in the building, including the famous Kodiak bear; rest assured, they are all ok!

Due to the extreme heat in Yakima this week, a malfunctioning refrigerator truck, and some other extenuating circumstances, Granny’s was closed on Wed. July 11th and will also be closed Thurs. July 12th. 

They will be open again on Friday, and you can look forward to local cherries which are delivered fresh every day, blueberries, apricots, and fresh onions and corn for this weekend.  Garlic, which Kelli says is a favorite of many customers, will also be available, as well as some of the jarred and canned products. 

Coming up in the next couple of weeks will be fresh peaches, and in August, pears and peaches.  The first apples will be available at the end of August.  Additionally, Granny's is still taking phone orders and shipping products. 

Overall, this whole experience has provided positive learning experiences for the Riddle family.  Darrell and Kelli’s children were of course upset by the fire, but are proud of how their parents have followed through despite the difficulty.  “They do love the fruitstand, and it’s been a great bonding experience,” says Kelli. 

Wherever your Yakima Fruitstand adventures take you, be sure not to miss Granny's Fruit in Gleed (click here for a map)!

 

 
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