On Main Street | Couple continues Estes Fruit Stand legacy

Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen
Autumn and Victor Garibay pose with Joan Estes, center. Estes managed the fruit stand for 40 years.

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Empire Press photos/ Karen Larsen
Autumn Garibay adjusts foliage in one of the flower baskets for sale at Estes Fruit stand.

Estes Fruit Stand has been a part of the Orondo community for over 40 years now. Started by Jim and Joan Estes in the 1970’s, it was run by Joan after Jim passed away 25 years ago.

Several years ago, Joan Estes was ready to retire, and Eliceo Solorio, who managed the Estes orchard for 25 years, looked into the possibility of leasing the orchard. Solorio’s nephew, Victor Garibay, and his wife Autumn had an interest in managing the fruit stand. Victor Garibay worked to negotiate a plan in which Solorio and the Garibays would lease the orchard and stand and divide the management duties.

The fruit stand is made especially attractive by the many colorful baskets that hang out front and stand along the parking lot and near the entryway. Flower basket sales get the stand going each spring before fruit is ready. The Garibays planted 1,500 baskets this year, and have already sold most of them.

Designing the baskets is the special job of Autumn Garibay, who previously planted five flower baskets for her family each year.

“I would get so upset because I had to water five pots. Now I have to water 1,500,” Victor Garibay joked.

In May and early June, the stand’s fruit and produce comes from farther south, but as soon as locally grown fruits and vegetables begin to be harvested, the Garibays will have these for sale. They sell the peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries and apples grown in the orchard.

Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen
Victor and Autumn Garibay pose near the counter at the Estes Fruit Stand.

“We have amazing fruit,” Autumn Garibay said.

They also sell heirloom tomatoes, corn, peppers and cucumbers from a garden tended by Solorio on the property. Melons and other produce are sourced from the Quincy area as they become available.

The stand is also known for its large selection of specialty canned goods, including pickles, syrups, salad dressings and sauces. These are purchased from the same supplier as they were when Estes ran the stand.

In fact, the Garibays have sought to maintain the stability of the stand despite the change of management. The biggest changes they have made are to paint the stand inside and out, to add a chalk board wall, to change the cash register for a card machine, and to remodel the bathrooms.

In the process of renovating the stand, they have enjoyed using older items that they found around the stand and the orchard. For example, they have hung an old, tin Estes Fruit Stand sign above the fruit cases. They have given the remodeled bathrooms an antique flair by using some items found in the orchard as well as other repurposed items.

Autumn Garibay said she values the history of the orchard and stand and enjoys finding ways to showcase this history.

Estes still lives in the home next to the fruit stand. Though she did not need to help the Garibays in running the business, Victor and Autumn said that she has gone out of her way to ensure a smooth transition the past three years. Now that the Garibays are familiar with how things work, she is able to relax more. Estes said that it makes her happy to see the stand running well.

The stand is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in the spring and fall, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during the summer, beginning in the middle of June. It closes for the season on Oct. 31.

The Blue Rooster is open from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Specialties include baked goods, smoothies, ice cream sundaes, French Press coffees and a wide assortment of teas, both hot and iced. For orders of a dozen or more items, please call 293-6070 at least four days in advance.

The Waterville Historic Hotel has reopened for the season and will be renting rooms until the end of October. The hotel offers a variety of rooms and suites in a smoke-free environment. Wi-Fi and complementary continental breakfast are provided to guests. The hotel lobby is open until midnight. For additional information go to watervillehotel.com or call 745-8695.

Naoko Hinderer of Field Moon Handmade Soap will be selling soap at Waterville Days July 7. Soaps can be ordered online at fieldmoonsoap.com. Hinderer delivers in the Waterville area.

Knemeyers Eatery & Spirits offers a great place for family dining. The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads and pizza. For a full menu, see the website at knemeyers.com.

The banquet room, with its historic “Bull Durham Tobacco” advertisement, seats up to 30 people. Owners Candy Jones and Casey Smith are happy to work with anyone to provide a great banquet experience.

Knemeyers hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Waterville Parts Supply will hold a tool sale and customer appreciation days during Waterville Days (July 6 and 7).

Umpqua Bank has some great CD specials. Manager Katie Shafer invites anyone to come in to get more information.

Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen
The Waterville Chamber of Commerce visitor’s booth offers brochures at Pioneer Park Deli.

The Douglas County Historical Society Thrift Shop has lots of summer clothes in stock. They also have a good selection of glassware. They are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Thrift Shop is always in need of more volunteers. Contact 745-8800 for more information.

Jack’s Resort on Jameson Lake is open the fourth Saturday in April through the Fourth of July and Oct. 1 through 31. They have a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and homemade pies. They will be serving prime rib on Father’s Day (June 17). In addition to the restaurant, there is a store, full RV hookups, cabins, camping, and boat rentals, Jack’s can make accommodations for private parties and does catering. Contact 683-1095 for more information.

Pioneer Park Deli has had a great first two months. Owners Debbie Angilley and Juanita Malone want to express special appreciation to all of their regulars who have helped get the deli off to a great start. Angilley and Malone are continuing to experiment with new recipes and ideas. They have held their first weekend barbecue and are planning more over the summer months. They are also gearing up for Waterville Days. The deli has added three new ice cream flavors for a total of six. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The Waterville Chamber of Commerce has placed a visitors’ booth supplied by Certified Folder Display Service inside the Pioneer Park Deli. The booth features brochures from places of interest around the area. Stop by and have a look.