Facebook makes demand clear: Frei’s to stay open till Christmas

Frei's Fruit Market in Santa Clara is featuring fresh Christmas trees and other holiday goodies during their extended holiday season, Santa Clara, Utah, Oct. 25, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

SANTA CLARA – Local favorite Frei’s Fruit Market got more than it expected when Facebook followers were asked if the fruit stand should stay open for the holidays.

Bryce Frei shows off boxes of fresh peaches at Frei's Fruit Market, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
Bryce Frei shows off boxes of fresh peaches at Frei’s Fruit Market, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

In a message posted on Facebook Oct. 16, Frei’s asked for 200 ‘likes’ to show an interest in the fruit stand staying open past the originally scheduled closing date of Nov. 5.

Frei’s Fruit Market will be officially Closing Nov 5 we have plenty of Pumpkins left HOWEVER …. We are thinking of doing Christmas this year. Think Fresh from Beaver Utah Christmas trees, wreaths, build your own gift baskets, apples, oranges, winter squash, jams, honey, Hot Chocolate, Campfire fun & much more. We need 200 likes if you would like to see the season continue.

By Oct. 17 at 5 p.m., the post had 860 likes, 120 shares and several dozen people answering “Yes, please,” to the question about extending Frei’s season. As this report publishes Saturday morning, the post has generated more than 1,300 likes.

“I was not expecting everything that happened and the (good) reception,” general manager J.D. Lasswell said. He is the son of Vicky Lasswell, sister of Bryce Frei, and recently joined the family business after working as a school teacher.

“I figured we’d probably get 100 or 200 likes,” J.D. Laswell said. “It was pretty shocking, to be honest with you.”

Bryce Frei's truck and the warehouse at Frei's Fruit Market, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
Bryce Frei’s truck and the warehouse at Frei’s Fruit Market, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

Frei’s Fruit Market is located at 2895 Santa Clara Drive; it was started in 1956 by Wanda and Landon Frei.

Landon and Wanda Frei ran the fruit stand until they were 90 years old and then handed it over to their children; J.D. Lasswell is their grandson.


Read more: ‘Fruit Stand Lady’ turns 98, mother great-great-grand


J.D. Laswell remembers cutting Christmas trees in the Motoqua area at age 5 with his grandparents and then selling trees and apples to deer hunters.

“I just thought, you know, what a great thing to do, to bring back a tradition that our grandparents had once started here at the fruit market,” he said.

Christmas trees including Douglas fir, pinyon pine, white spruce and blue spruce will be cut on Beaver Mountain Nov. 19-20 and will be available for sale Nov. 21.

“We wanted to stay local, we wanted to stay in Utah,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize that the Oregon trees are usually cut in October and they don’t last as long, versus a fresh tree. So we’re very excited about that.”

Winter wonderland

Early season apples at Frei's Fruit Market, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
Early season apples at Frei’s Fruit Market, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 1, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

A “family winter wonderland experience” will be created for the holiday season, J.D. Laswell said.

During the extended holiday season, Frei’s will be offering  fresh-cut Christmas trees among other holiday goodies including poinsettias, homemade baked goods, premade and custom gift baskets, jams, jellies, honey, syrups and salsa along with an assortment of winter produce such as apples, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and more.

“Out on our lawn, we’re going to have some old tractors and buggies and hay bales and things like that, where families can come in for free, with their iPhones, and take pictures,” he said.

Saturdays will feature wreath and bow making lessons; visits from Santa with photo opportunities are also planned. Apple cider and hot chocolate will be offered free of charge.

Frei’s donates its “gently used” produce to the Utah Food Bank. J.D. Lasswell estimates that so far this season, 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of produce have been donated.

Very little goes to waste, Bryce Frei said in an earlier interview, even with the high volume of produce that the market goes through. Most of it is quickly sold, but if he can see he’s overstocked, the excess is donated before it can rot.


Read more: What’s in a job: Farmer at heart keeps the fruit rolling in


Uncle and Aunties Gift Shop, which is owned by J.D. Lasswell’s mother and is located next door to the fruit stand, will also stay open until 7 p.m. for the holiday season. The shop will feature holiday-themed decor and unique gifts, J.D. Lasswell said.

Resources

  • Frei’s Fruit Market | 2895 Santa Clara Drive | telephone 435-673-3835 | Facebook page
  • Winter hours – Nov. 1-19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Holiday hours – Nov. 21 through Dec. 19, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. – closed Thanksgiving Day.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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