By Hairuo Yi |Staff Writer|
The reasonably priced local market, Staffords Orchards, offers a friendly atmosphere and fresh produce from local farmers.
The owner, Charlie Debra Zimmerman, goes to the LA market at 2 a.m., twice a week, to get the produce in the market.
“That is usually the avocado, pumpkins that type of things, but the rest majority comes from the LA market,” said, Lisa Crowder, the manager of Staffords Orchards
Staffords Orchards is located on the way to the mountains, many customers can go pick up produce on their way home.
“There are a lot of customers every day and the weekends are obviously busier than the weekdays,” said Tyrel Castro, a staffords Orchards employee.
Many customers return over and over again, enviable following a family tradition type of concept.
“I come here all the time and this is where I get most of my produce. This market has been here a long time, I know they got good produce and good prices,” said customer Robert Simms.
Staffords Orchards has been opened for almost 50 years in Mentone.
“This market opened in 1969, and it had three owners at that time in the same location,” said Crowder.
Keeping the produce fresh and cheap is the main goal of this market.
“Our customers are looking for good value for their fruits and vegetables. We do bring organic food when we get a good price on it,” said Crowder.
This market also sells nuts, candies, oils and other goods, which include dried food sets, popcorn and canned good. Many people drive by this market to pick up some candy for their children.
“There are a lot of people who come in and it has been a family tradition to come in and pick up treats for the children,” said Castro.
This local market is also attracting some new customers to come and buy food.
“I don’t often come, because we live further from this area. But if we come through this way, we do try to stop by places like this because it is fresher and the prices are a little bit better and we know we are going to get good food,” said customer Anna Serna.
Crowder thinks many students are trying to have a healthy lifestyle and are more aware of having proper health.
“I think a lot of students have been much more aware of eating properly and eating fresh produce and fruits,” said Crowder.
The good prices of this market are also attracting students’ attention and help them save their money.
“We have a lot of students come and shop here because they don’t lose money. A lot of students will come in this market to do their shopping for the whole house every weekend,” said Crowder.
Staffords Orchards also has a refund policy for customers to make sure everyone leaves satisfied.
“I think most people are satisfied with what they get here; we have a refund policy if anyone isn’t satisfied. But we don’t get that very often because they find out our produce is pretty fresh and prices are reasonable,” said Castro.
Staffords Orchards is located at 1991 Mentone Blvd, Mentone, California and they are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, except Wednesdays.