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Van de Laar Orchards Fruit Market
"My mother is really the face behind our fruit market as she's been serving customers here for more than 40 years and is known by all of our regular customers. In fact, they always ask for her when she's not there....my mother truly loves the market and I don't think she'll ever give it up."
Third generation fruit farmer Chris Van de Laar purchased the 70 acre family farm from his parents in 2005. He decided to trade in his suit, leaving a senior management position at a major bank, to carry on the family tradition. His wife, Laura, a teacher, also works at the fruit market in the summer along with their children, Nathan 4 and Erica who is 15.
Chris says, "My father Peter (Jr.), who was the 1985 Grape King, and my mother Cathy are still very involved. Dad is primarily active in the fields and mom continues to help out at the market several days a week. We also have 5 offshore workers from Jamaica that work with us. Howard Mardio and George Page have been with us for over 20 years. We also hire several students (and even some teachers) to help out." .
Established in 1952, the Van de Laar family has a long tradition of growing and supplying Niagaras freshest and highest quality fruit. Built on the philosophy that customers deserve the very best, the Van de Laars tree ripen their fruit and only harvest when all fruit has achieved their optimal flavour profile, giving their customers a taste sensation rarely found.
All fruit is individually sorted and inspected and only the produce which meets their highest standards are retailed at the market. Sweet cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, corn, apples, pears and grapes are just some of the succulent treats available in season.
Now in its third generation of family ownership, the Van de Laars have always been strong believers in the BUY LOCAL philosophy and continue to sell only local premium produce, just as they have for more than 50 years. They invite you to take a drive down the beautiful Niagara Parkway and experience the difference that fresh tree ripened fruit can make, just as their long list of regular customers have done for years.
A good portion of the farm is planted in wine grapes which are contracted to Vincor Canada and used primarily in their higher-end, award winning Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin wines. The Van De Laar family also grows icewine grapes which is supplied to Inniskillin Wines.