When Newcastle Fruit & Produce opens its doors, spring is in the air
April 3, 2014
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Newcastle Fruit & Produce owner Dave Franklin didn’t have much time to talk March 22 as he navigated a forklift while earnestly preparing his popular stand for a target opening of April 5-6.
It will be Franklin’s 22nd year of operating the seasonal stand at the corner of Coal Creek Parkway and Newcastle Way, but that doesn’t make each grand opening any easier, he said.
“I’m excited, a little nervous, though,” he said. “It’s always like opening a brand new business every year.”
Franklin was hard at work unloading pallets of shrubs just two weeks before he expected the business to open for the season.
The stand sells fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, it sells plants and trees for landscaping, as well as Christmas trees and wreaths during the holiday season through the end of December.
It isn’t really spring in Newcastle until the business’ red-and-white tent is standing at the center of town, Newcastle Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Imelda Dulcich said.
“People do drive-bys to see if the gates are open,” she said. “That’s how eager our community is for Newcastle Fruit & Produce to open for the season.”
The stand is more than just fresh produce, though; it’s also an integral part of the community, Dulcich said.
Franklin is known for his generosity. He donated the floral arrangements for the Newcastle Diamond Awards and also planned and hosted the well-attended Newcastle tree lighting ceremony and celebration last year.
While Franklin said he hopes to have the produce stand up and running for the first weekend of April, the business’ nursery will likely already be open to the public, though he didn’t have a specific date at the time.
The nursery is staffed by a group of gardening experts, ready to assist customers with their landscaping needs, from diagnosing a sick plant to helping visitors craft the perfect container garden.
Whether its fruit or flowers she’s looking for, Dulcich said she’s just excited to see the tent there for another season.
“The red-and-white tent beckons with a promise of the freshest fruits and vegetables, and the prettiest flowers and plants,” she said.
The stand is at 13013 Newcastle Way. Learn more about the Newcastle Fruit & Produce stand on the company’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/newcastlefruitandproduce.