Wall Brothers Orchards has been in the fruit growing business for more than 50 years, growing apples, peaches, and cherries in Payson, Utah. The highest quality fruit is selected to sell to distributors and consumers in Orchard Brothers Farmer’s Market.
Every growing season a portion of Wall Brothers crop is marked as lower tier due to cosmetic imperfections and other conditions. Creating other products from their fruit gives them the opportunity to keep more of the profits from the fruit they grow.
Business owner Chris Wall said, “We used to ship our lower-tiered fruit to Washington state to turn into juice and a variety of other products. However, it was costing our business a lot of money to ship out of state. We decided to find ways to keep our products local and avoid shipping costs, gaining a better share of our profits.”
Wall Brothers began drying some of their fruit several years ago and more recently decided to freeze dry the lower tier goods. However, they needed additional funds to market their new line. Freeze drying their fruit made sense because it extends the shelf-life, retains flavor, color, shape, and nutritional value. Doing so locally also eliminates shipping costs to send fruit out of state or lost profits wasting it.
In Fall 2020, Wall Brothers Orchards received a Value-Added Producer Grant for $250,000 from USDA Rural Development to use in combination with their own funds. The grant has made it possible to establish freeze-dried fruit products and market them with the existing fruit operation.
Today, Wall Brother’s Orchards sells its freeze-dried fruit throughout the year to the public at the Wall Brothers Farmer’s Market in Spanish Fork and Orem, Utah.