by Richard Uhlhorn
There are fruit stands and then there are FRUIT STANDS!
Lone Pine Fruit & Espresso is a great example of what happens when dedicated owners and employess take their fruit stand to the next level of serving their customers.
If you are looking for fresh fruit and vegetables, Lone Pine has its own orchards and also brings in fresh vegetables from North Central Washington farms like Quincy sweet corn from the famous Kallstrom Farms (coming soon).
Currently, Lone Pine has fresh, and absolutely delicious, peaches, apricots, raspberries, blueberries, jumbo onions, celery and carrots, not to mention fresh rhubarb, California grown lemons and limes. They also have 2021 crop apples.
Over the years, Lone Pine morphed into a general store and restaurant after battling Chelan County all the way to the State Capital for highway access to the business. “The game was on at that point,” says Jenny Robelia, Lone Pines general manger. “It was push, push, push until we got access.”
Today, Lone Pine caters to travelers on Hwy 97 from Okanogan County who are traveling to and from Wenatchee, but would love to see more customers from the Chelan area. “We have struggled to pull Chelan customers down. Travelers from Okanogan and the Methow are more regular, stopping in on their trips to Wenatchee to shop or go to the doctor.”
“A lot of customers call in for coffee or our lunch specials on their trips,” said Jenny. “We have a new lunch special everyday.”
In addition to the menu, Lone Pine offers up the best milkshakes in the region, all made from hard ice cream. They also offer blended coffee drinks, espresso, smoothies and Italian sodas.
Lone Pine also carries local wines ranging in price from $10 to $50 per bottle depending on the winery. They have hard ciders and beer on tap and regularly fill growlers for customers.
They now carry flash frozen meat from Ephrata and Jenny says the pricing is lower than Costco’s meat products. “This meat is perfect for travel,” said Jenny. They also carry fresh farm eggs and milk.
“We also represent a lot local artists.” The art and crafts ranges from cards to handcrafted art and books.
Lone Pine Fruit and Espresso had its first beginings when Jim Walker, whose parents were migrant workers following the fruit harvests, purchased the orchard property in 1998 which also had a building that housed workers. “Tiny’s Fruit Stand was one of his biggest memories,” said Robelia. He wanted to build a fruit stand like Tiny’s.
Jenny joined the company one month after Walker purchased the orchard and that’s when the building was turned into a fruit stand. After solving their battles with the county, they planted peaches, apples, and apricot trees.
Over the years, there have been a lot of changes. Lone Pine hosted the first ever Lake Chelan Wine Festival and sells seasonal fruits and vegetables. “We follow the harvest and look forward to harvesting season.”
Lone Pine is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and orders can be made over the telephone at 509-682-1514.