Jim’s Fruit Stand Closing

Jim’s Fruit Stand has stood beside Highway 34, just over two miles outside Corvallis, for many years. It’s been open in almost all kinds of weather, except for flooding and sometimes the parking area has been a trifle damp. Nearly a year of restricted business due to COVID-19 has cut into almost every retail business in the Valley, though, and now it’s caught up with Jim’s 

Soon, the brightly-colored sign with its gigantic images of ripe fruit will no longer be seen by drivers passing between Corvallis and the Interstate. Soon, the fan-powered tubeman will dance no longer to draw the attention of drivers who have recently crossed the Willamette River heading east or Owl Creek heading west. We asked local residents how they felt about the loss of Jim’s Fruit Stand, and quite a few of you answered. Here is what just some of you had to say about it: 

Taylor Wood: “I have fond memories of going there with my Mom and getting honey sticks and feeding the geese, I think it’s sad but I understand.” 

 Van Melick: “Unfortunate...it seems to have struggled by not really marketing its niche effectively.” 

 Ben McReynolds: “Damn this suck…. I was born in 1989 and my grandma and mom would take me out there to get fresh veggies and I thought it was the coolest place to me because at that time they had a…really fun petting zoo.” 

 Penelope Lou Martinez: “I live DIRECTLY across the street. I’m going to miss running across the Hwy in the summer for my fresh needs. I wish they still took food stamps and the prices got kinda high. I still hate they won’t be there. 

Tausha Inara Cushman: “I enjoy the sign driving by.” 

Lexie Miller: “Went there all the time growing up. Loved all their different honey sticks. That was always my cousins and my favorite part of going❤❤” 

 Molly Hannon: “After we moved to Yakima, WA, we always took the route off the freeway to be sure to go by Jim’s Fruit Stand.” 

 Cheryl Graham Leonard: “I hope they find a buyer and wish them a blessed retirement.” 

 Rich Washburn: “My sister Laurie and I worked for Jim back in the day when he started it! I also helped Jim with his other entrepreneurial gigs… that guy was definitely a visionary! My dad was a good friend to him and always got us odd jobs helping him…. Yes I have many good stories about Jim and that stand……Cheers!” 

Jerry Wilken: “[I’ll miss] being able to use them as a reference point giving directions.” 

 Karen Britton: “One of my first jobs [was] when the stand was on Kings Blvd.” 

Terry Miller: “Will sure miss them! Good produce and good kraut cabbages! Hope all goes well with the sale of the place and they can enjoy a wonderful retirement! The best to them!!!” 

Don Herbert: “We went to Ray and Lisa Flerchinger’s wedding there when they owned it. Jack Joyce officiated. Now that was a wild time. King crab and seal bombs.” 

Lennie Moeller: “I worked for Jim and Pam when they were on Kings. And they had Sea Boys. It was fun to pick the cucumbers in the morning for the special order from Papagayo’s. The fresh air work environment was great. Friendly customers. It was a fun first job when I moved to Corvallis in ‘77.” 

Nancy Kennell Miller: “Lennie Moeller Papagayo’s! A favorite place for lunch!” 

 Rhonda Lairson: “How sad another one of Corvallis landmarks is going away.” 

Susan Leach: “I’m sorry to learn they are closing. A bit of a drive for me, but I was out that way I stopped in.” 

Amanda Potters: “I remembered when we first moved here 12 years ago. It gave the appeal that it was a local venue. We were so disappointed when we got home with peaches, and it had the same store produce stickers. We went back a separate time, saw boxes of apples from Chile, and onions from Mexico. 

“Not to mention, there used to be a large garden next to the store, reminded us of all the farmers markets down on Baton Rouge years ago, the farm sold their own produce… apparently not at Jim’s fruit stand, it’s just like visiting the produce at Fred Meyers, only more expensive. 

“It was more of a loss to Benton County when the meat market closed across the street.” 

Michelle Flamez: “My dad knew Jim & did a lot of work for him. Sad, I enjoyed shopping there when I could.” 

Deloris Doli Cooper: “Very sad.” 

 Kenzie Wong: “Fun little place to buy local food and fun unique honey products.” 

Joseph Pekinson: “Hasn’t it closed like three times already?” 

Aubiendavid Russell: “It’s been my family tradition to go there before heading to the lake. Best deals, and delicious fruit. It’s ☹sad, to know we will have to get our fruits somewhere else. Also, in the wet and cold☔ season, we buy a variety of honey.” 

 Charlie Jean Harris: “Boo! This is terrible news!” 

Cindy Johnson: “Why!? It is a great place to stop. We would our fruits there before heading out of town.” 

Don Jones: “I live less than a mile away. The flood hurt them bad. I’m sorry to see them go.” 

Jackie Lewis Penner: “Found the most incredible local cherries there last summer. I’m heartbroken.” 

Melissa Lambert: “Heard they got over the horrible flood event but they simply want to retire. First place I visited moving here in 1996.” 

Cheryl Graham Leonard: “I hope they find a buyer and wish them a blessed retirement.”  

By John M. Burt