Petersburg Pilot -

Chelan closes after 44 years of selling fresh produce


Pilot Photo

Dave Kensinger and Mona Christian the husband and wife owners of Chelan Produce welcomed visitors for a farewell open house last Saturday at the now empty greenhouse behind the Joan Mei building.

It all began after Dave Kensinger's buddy started an organic apple orchard in Eastern Washington and was having a hard time selling his produce. It was 1975 and still about two decades too early for organic apples, according to Kensinger, but he stepped in and helped.

Commercial sheds weren't able to pack or store them and about the only solid option for unloading stock was a few small neighborhood co-ops. Though after a few years, larger natural food stores gained momentum and markets in California opened.

By 1978, Kensinger was shipping a load of apples once a week to a wholesaler in Se...

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