Long Haul: Allred Orchards

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2109 North University Avenue, Provo • (801) 377-0748 • allredorchards.com

   The Allred family’s farming roots start in the 1860s, and then in 1898 the iconic barn on University Avenue in Provo — just west of LaVell Edwards Stadium — was purchased along with surrounding land. The Allreds maintained orchards for decades on what is now the west parking lot and started selling fruit to the public in 1926.

   Since the 1800s, customers have been slicing into same-day freshness by stopping to buy a bag of the area’s best peaches and apples.

   Now managed by the fifth generation of Allreds, the orchards really started to grow when Rey and Mary Carol Allred (with Rey’s father, Bliss) purchased a farm near Payson in 1957 and began to plant peaches, apples and cherries.

   “Our father taught us to love growing things,” says Becky Ellsworth, who now runs the business with her sister Debbie Cloward. “Our father learned from his father and grandfather. We love the hard work and challenge that brings the great reward.”
   While Rey passed away nearly five years ago, his influence on the family business is felt every day.

   “He taught us that you get out of the orchard what you put into it,” Becky says. “And we pass that effort on to our customers. They get the best we have — every time.”

   This “best” comes from hand-picking the fruit and expertly sorting it for each customer as quickly as possible.

   “We sell fresh,” Debbie says. “We pick it ripe and ready to eat. It tastes better and the customer gets the most out of the fruit.”

   Besides fresh peaches and apples — including specialty varieties hard to find in stores — Allred Orchards grows some of the nation’s best tart cherries, which are dried and sold as a snack or an addition to trail mix and granola.

   “Our elevation gives the tart cherries a sweeter flavor,” Becky says. “We send our cherries all around the country.”

   While there are easier things to do than meticulously manage fruit trees all day, Rey’s posterity chooses to deliver the best to customers.

   “There are four members of the fifth generation who work for us full time, but everyone joins in when needed,” Becky says. “You’ll see everybody here on the weekends. We still enjoy working alongside each other.”

Success Grows on Trees
Rey Allred taught each of his children and grandchildren to take stewardship for the land — even if it isn’t theirs. “Hard work produces quality,” says Becky Ellsworth, daughter of Rey and Mary Carol Allred. “It is our stewardship to make the land the best it can be and to grow the best fruit we can. There’s no substitute for hard work.”

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Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett is an editor and writer with Bennett Communications. His primary responsibilities are with Utah Valley Magazine and the company's custom publications division. He's the father of four children and has been married to his wife, Adria, for 19 years. Contact Greg at greg.utahvalley360@gmail.com.

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