Serving you since 1986

The History of Pedro's Farm Market

Pedros 2004 3

Don and Lilian Ruth stand proudly amidst their flourishing orchard, the fruit of their labor and dedication.


Cultivating a Dream: A Homecoming Journey

The story of Pedro Gonzales Fruit & Garden Market begins in the 1940s with the Ruth family orchards. The head of the family, Percy Ruth, was overseas serving in the war, diligently sending funds back home. His dream was for his son, Don Ruth, to acquire 10 acres of land and plant the very first Ruth orchard.

As the war came to an end in the fall of 1945, Don, now a veteran, returned home to his wife, Lilian. Together, they embarked on a new chapter of their lives in Salmon Arm, B.C., transforming their property into a flourishing orchard. Don and Lilian worked hand in hand, cultivating a variety of fruits including apples, cherries, pears, and prune plums.

Determined to offer only the best, they dedicated themselves to producing high-quality fruit while maintaining fair market prices. It wasn’t long before word spread throughout the town about their exceptional apples, marking the beginning of a legacy that would continue to thrive for generations to come.


The Root House

Just a stone's throw away from Don and Lilian's residence, the Root House was built underground, serving as a unique storage and sales point for their harvested fruits. This innovative space maintained the ideal temperature for preserving apples, ensuring their freshness from autumn to spring. To accommodate the growing community, the Ruths expanded their operations, acquiring more land near their first property and planting a wide array of fruit trees, solidifying their presence in the local agriculture scene.

Don and Lilian’s orchard is now home to Salmon Arm’s Jungle Mania, the Recreation Center and the Okanagan College campus.

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


Totem Pole Fruit Stand

In 1958, the Ruth family transformed their Root House into the Totem Fruit Stand, situated conveniently along the highway. This significant change coincided with the community’s totem pole raising ceremony, an event that drew around 300 locals and had assistance from B.C. Hydro, making the Ruths both proud and honored to be a part of it.

Around this time, Don and Lilian’s sons, Robin and Derek, began stepping into their parents' shoes, learning the intricacies of the family business. By the late 1970s, Don and Lilian decided to step back, allowing their sons to take over the management. The Ruth boys seized the opportunity, expanding the business in the early '80s by adding a garden center to the Totem Fruit Stand and further developing the family business by purchasing adjacent properties and planting more orchards in Salmon Arm, introducing a greater variety of fruits.


Pedro Gonzales Fruit and Garden Market

In 1985, the Ruth family embarked on a major expansion, closing the Totem Fruit Stand and acquiring land for what is now Pedro's Fruit and Garden Market Ltd., strategically positioned alongside Highway 1, west of Salmon Arm. Robin Ruth, together with his wife Joyce, carried forward the Ruth family legacy, ensuring the business's continued growth and success. In 2008, the next generation stepped up, with Dale and Greg Ruth, along with their wives, taking on ownership roles. Pedro's soon established itself as a local staple, proudly serving the Salmon Arm community from 1986 to 2013.

Pedro's has cemented its status as a community staple, consistently serving the people of Salmon Arm for nearly three decades, from 1986 to 2013.


The Fire

In early September 2013, a devastating structural fire engulfed Pedro’s main storefront, leaving it in ruins. Despite this unfortunate setback, the resilient Ruth family and their dedicated staff swiftly adapted, continuing to sell apples and Christmas trees directly from Pedro’s parking lot. They were determined not to let the fire halt their operations. With a spirit of perseverance, they embarked on the journey to rebuild, aiming to create a storefront that was not just restored, but bigger and better than before. Their hard work and dedication culminated in a triumphant moment as Pedro Gonzales Fruit and Garden Ltd. celebrated its rebirth with a grand opening on April 1st, 2014, marking a new chapter in their storied history.


The Ruth Legacy Lives On

Robin and Joyce continue to hold ownership of Pedro’s, reveling in the additional freedom that comes with their retirement years. Meanwhile, their son Dale and his wife maintain ownership and management of the operations, ensuring the continuation of the Ruth family’s orchard legacy. The family remains dedicated to serving their community, upholding their commitment to offering top-notch products at fair prices. The Ruths take great pride in supporting local endeavors, and they are determined to continue backing B.C. farmers for many more generations, solidifying their role as steadfast champions of local agriculture.