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New orchard owners to reopen fruit stand and more


Dave and Alma Draper are the new owners at Shaw's Fruit and Produce. Here they are in front of one of the more popular features of the business - the "pumpkin patch." The couple plan to raise pumpkins again near the fruit stand. In fact, the Drapers have seeded pumpkins in two places on the 63-acre orchard and fruit stand complex. - Roger S. Lucas photo

The new owners of the former Shaw's Fruit and Produce in Delano, Dave and Alma Draper, plan a Grand Opening June 1.

The name of the business will be Alma and Dave's Fruit and Produce.

The couple bought the property from long-time owner and operator Roy Hamilton earlier this year.

And kids, the Drapers wanted you to know that the "Pumpkin Patch" will return. The space is all ready to be planted.

Plans for the future call for the addition of an espresso stand layout with pastries, sandwiches and soups inside the fruit stand.

Dave has a demolition business in the Seattle area and plans to retain that. He specializes in razing houses and small projects.

Alma works at SeaTac Airport, in an espresso stand. The two live in the city of SeaTac.

The Drapers purchased the full 63.25-acre site, with 15 of the acres devoted to the orchard and the remaining acres, minus the fruit stand site, in undeveloped land.

Dave Draper said that eventually he would like to allow a few houses to be built on two-acre parcels down by the river.

He said the couple would like to enclose part of the outdoor porch to create extra seating space for people.

"We may try to keep the fruit stand open longer in the winter with the changes we plan to make," Dave stated.

The orchard is made up of three acres of cherries, four acres of peaches and eight acres of apples.

"I plan someday to put in about 10 acres of grapes," Dave stated.

The purchase of the Shaw property was somewhat accidental, the two said.

They were in the area last fall looking at a 300-acre piece of property. When they left, they drove by the Shaw property.

"Well, we didn't get by it," Dave said. "We were traveling with a fifth-wheel trailer attached, and when I saw the property was for sale I swerved into the driveway."

The rest is history.

It was the Draper's hope to find a place where they could do a little farming.

The two had been in the area, camping at Sun Lakes State Park at an earlier date, so had an inkling of what the area was like.

The Drapers hope to build a home on the property, overlooking the Columbia River.

And don't forget their dog - Ro Ro, who will likely greet visitors to the fruit stand.

The June 1 opening is a work in progress, both acknowledge. But they will be as ready as possible, Alma pointed out.

Neither has orchard experience. "That's why we hired Roy Hamilton to stay with us the first year," Dave said.

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