Serving you since 1986

The History of Pedro's Farm Market

Pedros 2004 3


Ruth Orchards

When Father Percy Ruth acquired ten acres of property for Don Ruth using cash that Don had been sending home from overseas during the war, he began his newest adventure and Ruth Orchards was born. Don was overjoyed to have an orchard since he had grown up working with his Grandpa MacDiarmid as an orchardist. When Don returned home from the war in October 1945, he took his wife Lilian to their new property. Don and Lilian began cultivating apple, cherry, pear, and prune plum trees. They collaborated to produce high-quality fruit at a reasonable market price. Word of their delicious apples rapidly swept across town and gained popularity amongst the locals.


The Root House

Located on a farm not far from Don and Lilian’s home and maintained the ideal temperature to keep the apples fresh from fall until spring. Their fruit was kept and sold out of the root house which was an underground building built specifically for that purpose. People would drive miles to the root house and then purchase the farm-fresh goods they adored at the end of Ruth’s long driveway. As the community expanded, the Ruth’s purchased the acreage that surrounded their home. They continued planting additional fruit trees since they were thoroughly enjoying the lifestyle that came along with owning an orchard. In 1951, Don and Lilian built the very first fruit stand in Salmon Arm, BC to retail their farm-fresh fruit.

Don and Lilian’s orchard (Ruth’s Orchards) is now home to Jungle Mania, Salmon Arm Recreation Center, and the Okanagan College in Salmon Arm, British Columbia.


The Raising Of The Totem Pole

The day the totem pole was raised into the sky was quite the event for Salmon Arm. BC Hydro used one of their trucks to assist in the raising of the totem pole as approximately 300 locals gathered to witness the historic event. Located on the front of the farm with highway access, the totem pole was their identifying marker for the business.


The Totem Fruit Stand

The Totem Fruit Stand opened in 1958. On the front of the farm, the Totem Fruit Stand featured a majestic totem pole that served as an identifying landmark for the company that could be seen from the highway. The Totem Fruit Stand was open during the summer months and closed around the Thanksgiving holiday. Together, Robin and Derek cultivated the area, producing high-quality fruit, including the famous non-irrigated McIntosh apple. As the Ruth family grew, their interest in cultivating various fruit types rose as well. Don and Lilian decided to step back in the late 1970s and let their sons manage the business. In the early 1980s, the boys added a garden centre to the Totem Fruit Stand.

Today, the Shaw Centre is located where the Totem Fruit Stand had operated in 1958.


Pedro Gonzales Fruit and Garden

By 1985, following the closure of the Totem Fruit Stand, land for Pedro Gonzales Fruit and Garden Ltd had been bought, and a second site was under development. In 1986, Pedro Gonzales Fruit and Garden Ltd had its grand opening.


North Broadview Expansion

Don and Lilian expanded into the North Broadview region with their orchards. They planted additional apples, cherries, prune plums, and apricots with the assistance of their two boys, Robin and Derek. As the sons grew older, they opted to continue in their parents’ footsteps, purchasing adjacent properties and leasing and planting other orchards across the Salmon Arm region.

Pedro's became a staple within Salmon Arm, proudly serving the public from 1986 to 2013.

On April 1st, 2014, Pedro Gonzales hosted their grand opening for their new and improved building.


The 2013 Pedro’s Fire

Pedros experienced a fire in September 2013 that destroyed the whole main structure. Pedros rapidly recovered from the significant fire damage and rebuilt, since fruit does not wait. Pedro Gonzales celebrated the formal launch of their new and renovated building on April 1, 2014. Pedros did not disappoint their loyal customers throughout the hectic harvest season, continuing to sell their famous apples from one of the surviving buildings on the site.


The New Chapter of Pedro’s Begins

The next generation of Ruth’s has now taken the family business to the next level. Six generations later, Ruth Orchards now grows over 55 types of apples, as well as apricots, cherries, prune plums, and raspberries. Dale and Greg Ruth, Robin and Joyce’s sons, were the Ruth family’s next generation to carry on the Ruth family company. The business expanded into baking and other garden needs while maintaining its commitment to provide the finest fruit available in the Okanagan Shuswap. Robin and Joyce are enjoying a bit more freedom, now that Dale and his wife have retained ownership and operation of Pedros. Together, they will continue to serve their community and carry on the Ruth family tradition of providing the best local farm-fresh goods.