Families in Business: Julia’s Fruit Stand

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Julia’s Fruit Stand began when Kathy and James Brandt planted a big garden in 2001, and sold the excess produce on the side of the road in order to start a college fund for their daughter, Julia. They now employ 21 part-time high school and college-age students, and supply produce to local Farmers Markets throughout the region.

Open daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Memorial Day weekend through Halloween each year, Julia’s Fruit Stand offers a wide selection of fruits and vegetables. Specializing in heirloom tomatoes and peaches, they also grow watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, squash, onions, eggplant, okra, plums, nectarines, apricots, and additionally offer strawberries, blackberries and corn! Their produce is picked fresh daily to insure the highest quality when you buy it. 

art-0814-julia2The whole Brandt family is involved. James is in charge of produce production, with help from five students who do general farm labor. Kathy runs the stand, organizes their employees, and manages the accounting. Sixteen students help her run the stand. 

Daughters Julia, Jayne and Jordan work in the stand as well as at the Red Bluff Farmers Market on Wednesday nights. Nephew Clint Brandt helps out as well. “The best part about working as a family is teaching our children that hard work pays off, and that a good work ethic will help you succeed in anything you do in life,” says Kathy. The Brandts hope the students who work for them also learn these lessons, along with skills needed to interact with the public.

Much of their excess produce is donated to local food banks and homeless shelters. Julia’s Fruit Stand also sponsors youth sports programs, such as the Sun Oaks Aquatic Racing Team, Central Tehama Little League, and Red Bluff Youth Soccer.

The first Sunday in October Julia’s hosts their annual Pumpkin Festival, featuring pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. The festival is held 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and features a special lunch, face-painting, live music, and vendors offering a variety of items for sale. It’s a fun community event for the whole family!

Stop by to visit Julia’s Fruit Stand or find them at farmers markets to share in the abundant harvest of this family business. 

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About Ami Linden

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