Important Stuff to Know About Us

Owners Bob and Justin White stir apple butter during the Heirloom Apple Butter Festival

  Our Family

After 25 years we're still a family run business!  On any given day you're likely to run into Bob working in the garden or Justin smoking pork for the BBQ or even granddaughter McKenzie stirring apple butter at the Heirloom Apple Butter Festival. Over the years we've come to know many of you by name, your kids have been raised on Huckleberry milkshakes and new generations are coming to share this place we call home. 
We cannot say thank you enough for making us a part of your family too.


Our History

The site where Apple Valley Country Store now sits was once known as Tucker, Oregon.  Barton and Mary Tucker and their eleven children moved here in 1887 from North Carolina where Barton fought in the Civil War. Upon arriving in Oregon, Barton purchased a mill and some of the finished product can still be seen inside the Cloud Cap Inn, built in 1889.  When the Tucker Mill was destroyed by fire in 1900, he rebuilt, enlarged and added a box factory to service the growing orchard industry.

Apple orchards had been introduced in 1854 by Nathiel Coe and the first commercial orchard was planted in 1876.  While apples were the dominant crop, a disastrous freeze in 1919 convinced many growers to replace their trees with pears.  Today, the Hood River Valley is the largest pear growing district in the State of Oregon and one of the largest in the nation.

Now, over a century later, the Tucker legacy continues to be reflected in the names of local traveling over the Hood River on Tucker Bridge, driving down Tucker Road climbing Tucker Hill leading up to Odell or camping at Tucker Park.

And while the original Tucker homestead was destroyed by fire but rebuilt in 1892, the new home was considered so palatial that it soon became the focal point of Sunday afternoon buggy rides in the valley.  It can still be seen directly across the street from Apple Valley. 

Although Apple Valley Country Store is not one of the original buildings, it was built with some of the lumber salvaged from old buildings that sat on this historic property.

Our Innovation

The empty, run down building  was purchased in 1989 by Bob and Kaye White to be used as an outlet for the organic apples and produce they were growing on their farm. Business was so slow that they started making jam out of the fruit that was not selling. It didn’t take long to realize that visitors to the store were much more interested in buying the jams
than the fresh produce.

In order to increase business,  the Whites started talking to other farms about joining together to create a non-profit direct marketing group. Working with the Hood River Grower Shipper Association, they received a grant that enabled them to produce a map of all the farms in Hood River that were selling direct to the public.

The first Hood River County Fruit Loop map was printed in 1993 and two years later, it  produced its first agriculture oriented event called Gravenstein Apple Days as a fundraiser for the Hood River Senior Center.  At the time many orchardists were pulling up their Gravenstein apple trees due to a lack of market. Since then, many farms have replanted their trees and are once again benefiting from the demand created by the event. Due to the immediate success of the first Gravenstein Apple Days, the Fruit Loop added three additional events throughout the season.

Our Future

Both the store and Fruit Loop grew in popularity over the years. In 2006, the White’s son Justin joined the business after a 15 year culinary career taking him from Boston and Key West to the San Juan Islands. Justin added new energy to the business as he expanded the kitchen, updated equipment and looked for new opportunities to streamline.

Using his expertise, Apple Valley now wholesales its jams to many other farms in Hood River along with stores in nearby Portland and Bend. The product line has grown to include over 50 varieties of fruit jams, pepper jellies, syrups and pie fillings. We also produce a unique line of pepper jellies as well as sugar free jams and syrups.

Justin also introduced an old fashioned Country BBQ which is served at the store on special event weekends. Justin smokes the meat with local cherry wood. His menu includes pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, St. Louis style ribs and Polish sausages. All are served with his unique pear coleslaw and cider baked beans, made with local apple cider.

In 2011 Apple Valley BBQ Restaurant opened in Parkdale, just 12 miles up the road from the store and has been an immediate hit!

Come visit us at Apple Valley
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