By Roland Li, Rowan Hart and Sean Gellen,
With the summer sun shining down upon the fields of California, different sorts of fantastic fresh fruits are reaching the end of their seasons. From peaches to cherries, strawberries and more, Ikedas has super sweet stuff you can find in their store.
Ikedas, a family owned fruit stand, was originally located in Auburn, Calif. In the late 1980s, the Ikeda brothers, Glen and Steve, took over the business and made a second location in Davis on Mace Blvd.
The staple of Ikedas is that they get almost all of their fruit locally. Only one mile from their store in Auburn, the Ikedas orchards produce mountain-grown peaches, apples and many other fruit rich in flavor.
If Ikedas is not getting fresh fruit from its own orchards in the foothills, it’s receiving shipments from local farmers in the area. Ikedas employee Kayla Crews says there are a lot of benefits to going local.
“Your fruit has not gone very far; it can be picked riper, instead of having to ripen on the shelf. It can be picked yesterday and be on your shelf today,” she said.
Being a fruit stand in California gives Ikedas the ability to sell some of the tastiest fruits in the country–California produces the most fruit in the nation.
“You go to Maryland, you go to New York, you go anywhere and you’ll be eating a tomato grown in California. We have the best soil here,” Crews said.
An advantage of having fruit farms at their doorstep is fresh fruit everyday. Ikedas orders their fruit everyday in low quantities so the fruit is picked ripe and sent straight to the shelf.
“We have farmers coming throughout the whole day, so we don’t buy huge amounts because we buy so frequently,” Crews said.
According to Crews, bigger grocery stores have to buy their product in bulk, and unripe so they mature in the store.
Depending on what’s popular during certain times of the year Ikedas adapts to its customers’ desires.
“Things like our nectarines right now we have to buy a lot of because we are going through a lot of them, and we are also going through a lot of apricots,” Crews said
Ikedas takes pride in homemade goods, with many of its stone fruits (peaches, plums and nectarines) grown in its orchard in Auburn. Its award-winning pies, cobblers and other baked goods are made from scratch.
With unique homemade items, Ikedas separates itself from other stores.
“Everything we have, we bake, like the cookies, muffins and pies…jams and jellies are fresh and fun to make,” Crews said.
Ikedas iconic fruit freezes are made from just fruit, sugar and water. The sorbet-like dessert is ground up in the store’s original location Auburn.
“High schoolers love fruit freezes in the summer,” worker Kylie Dunn said.
The hot sun and summer season drives many high school students to Ikedas for the delectable treats. The freezes come in mango, strawberry, pineapple, lemon and orange flavors.
Junior Kate Miller goes to Ikedas all the time in search for something to satisfy her taste buds.
“They are delicious and wonderful,” Miller said.
But Ikeda isn’t the only place to get fresh summer fruit–the Davis Farmer’s Market is another viable option.
And if you don’t want to buy fruit, you can follow these instructions to make your own brown sugar peach crisp.