Sicamous’ Fruit World has further expanded its seasonal offerings to include smoothies, Greek food, fries and other freshly made food served right on the premises.
The Mighty Melon is the latest offering by Fruit World proprietor Ryan Airey. The Melon is a now static mobile food wagon parked adjacent to the fruit stand, complete with a covered seating area that includes picnic tables painted like watermelons. Fruit juices and smoothies will be a standard at the Melon, as will baking, French fries and other savoury eats. The menu itself has been put together by Airey’s partner, Fiona Vandergucht. The Greek food is being provided by Vasso Rowbottom, who will also be working the wagon.
“We’ve got quite a wide variety of recipes we’ve submitted to try a lot of different things,” says Airey. “Of course, with the size of the facility, we’re only going to have a few of them available at any one time. People will always be able to depend on coming here and getting a hot sandwich, wrap or something else with something deep fried on the side, a salad, or some naan bread with tzatziki.”
There are a couple of things you won’t find at the Mighty Melon, or Fruit World for that matter. One thing Airey steers clear of is genetically modified crops/foods. He even went out of his way to source an oil for the fryer that is GMO free. Another is anything derived from animals. Airey says he became vegan last winter, and now proudly walks the walk.
“It’s a great fit and it gave me another reason to be passionate about what we do here,” says Airey.
Though healthy eating is also important to Airey, he’s excited about putting the Melon’s deep fryer to use on all kinds of vegetables, including the potato.
“We want to be able to please and not deny people their French fries – I don’t have any moral quandary with French fries,” laughs Airey.
This is Airey’s eighth year running the fruit stand. In a 2007 interview, Airey – then 21, described his foray into fruit stand ownership as a way of getting a business education without being stuck in a classroom – and one that pays for itself.
“That’s a very good description because, for the first handful of years, I didn’t really know what I was doing,” says Airey. “Business was OK just for a couple simple reasons, a matter of good produce and good prices… but the atmosphere was poor, the selection of everything was poor – we had the basics, and the basics were good and they were at a really fair price.”
Initially this was good enough, Airey continued. But as he began to expand his product line, he learned more about what people were looking for and how to better accommodate them.
“In the last few years, I’ve gotten to take what we do a lot more seriously and understand what exactly the service we provide to people is…,” says Airey. “So we’re focusing a lot more on local products, displaying products directly, picking the winners and putting them out in a way that people can see they’re a winner and not hiding them in a small spot on the shelf. That’s really an ongoing thing.
“There’s so much we can add to the store and so much I wish we had done up to this point. But I’m also very happy with what we’ve accomplished.”
Fruit World and the Mighty Melon are at 1330 Maier Road, across from D Dutchmen Dairy. For more, visit https://www.facebook.com/Shopfruitworld.