Saturday, October 12, 2013

Little Bake Shop

Pear Tart
Little Bake Shop, Johnson Orchards 

Alfred Johnson emigrated from Sweden in 1889 and was eventually lured to central Washington by a railroad initiative offering free transportation to prospective buyers of rail-owned land in the Yakima Valley.  In 1904 Johnson and his brothers founded their orchard on 60 acres of irrigated valley floor.  In the early years, much of the orchard's produce was packed into barrels and shipped to Sweden via Seattle, but as the area's population grew, more and more of the fruit was consumed locally.    

Now surrounded by sprawling subdivisions, Johnson Orchards continues to operate under a banner of continuity ("Same Family, Same Location - Quality Fruit since 1904") but a few things have certainly changed.  The orchard now offers cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, apples, and pluots, some available through a u-pick program, others sold by the pound, box, or bin in a refurbished 1916 fruit packing warehouse.  In 2011, the family added a commercial kitchen, where they bake cakes, bars, and pies during the growing season, selling them from "Little Bake Shop" cases inside the warehouse--on Fridays and Saturdays only.   

4906 Summitview Avenue
Yakima WA


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To a person accustomed to cold, monotonous "tarts" filled with gelatinous custard *shudders*, those pear tarts and caramel apple pies hold such a lovely rustic charm.