Thursday, May 23, 2024

Prey’s Fruit Barn to expand offerings with coffee bar and fiber arts space

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LEAVENWORTH – For over 40 years, Prey’s Fruit Barn has done what it was zoned to do: grow and sell fruit. Yet, the year-round fruit stand has much more to offer in terms of goods, with plans to add a coffee bar and fiber arts space in the late spring.

“I feel like people don't realize what all we have in here, and the ones that do, know they can come in here and they know what to find. But I know there's still a lot of people that come in and will say, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn't even know this was here,’” said Karin Jorgensen, Prey’s Fruit Barn Manager. 

Prey’s d’anjou pears grown just behind the barn are still for sale, as well as a variety of apples grown across the valley. However, fruit isn’t the only locally sourced offering in the stand. The shop sells honey made from beehives just across the river, salmon smoked by a family business in Cashmere, ice cream from Leavenworth, and landjaegers from Winthrop. Soon, the shop will also offer local lamb, beef, and fish.

The shop inventory looks slightly different than it did a few years ago, pivoting from Prey’s branded items to showcasing local businesses. Almost every item, from handmade pasta to peanut butter, comes from Washington state. Items sourced elsewhere haven’t traveled far either, typically coming from Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The fruit stand also features a variety of local artisanry, such as jewelry and pottery, but other items, such as refillable dog spray and laundry soap, may be more surprising.

While Jorgensen has spearheaded the shop’s new inventory, her focus has been on creating a community gathering space.

“I want the whole farm to feel like a community space, just some place to come where you can meet people and get off your cell phone. I mean, you could bring your laptop if you have to do some work,” said Jorgensen.

Jorgensen has plans to revive the picnic area and add outside seating out front this spring, but her biggest project is remodeling the barn’s vacant interior space. Jorgensen hopes to reopen the space as a coffee shop that will have a full espresso machine and light bites, with spacious seating for meeting friends or getting some work done. 

Yet unlike other coffee shops, it will also be a space where fiber arts hobbyists can buy locally dyed yarn and other supplies, spin their yarn, and gather for activities and workshops. 

Since the yarn shop that previously occupied the space closed a couple of years ago, Jorgensen has continued to stock yarn in the main shop, but yearned to bring back a space for Stitch Circles, where people of all ages and abilities can socialize with each other while they knit, crochet, or embroider.

“There's not a lot of places or opportunities where you could have a seven year-old and a 90 year-old totally hanging out together,” said Jorgensen.

Jorgensen hopes to restart the Stitch Circles later this spring, when she opens the coffee and fiber arts shop. A date has yet to be set for the opening. However, Prey’s Fruit Barn will continue to sell fruit, yarn, and other goods every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 11007 Highway 2.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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