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Avocado Corner brings fresh produce to Carson Valley

by Amy Roby

If you’ve driven past Highway 88 and Centerville Lane recently, you’ve no doubt noticed the signs advertising all sorts of great deals on produce. And if you’ve happened to pass by on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you’ve no doubt noticed the rows of cars lined along the dirt lot at that corner.

Owner Chris Headrick started a fruit stand there several years ago as a way to bring affordable, ripe, fresh produce to our local area.

Headrick grew up in the San Joaquin valley amongst a variety of farms and orchards, and many of his friends’ families made their living as growers. As an enterprising 21-year-old, he opened his first fruit stand along Highway 120 which he owned and operated for 20 years.

He bought Fireside Firewood (previously located in Moundhouse) after moving to Nevada in the 1990s. He transferred the operation to his lot at the corner of 88 and Centerville and has continued to run the business successfully from there. Over the past several years he reestablished connections with former suppliers and began to stock a few fresh fruits and vegetables to sell during the summer months.

What started as a small operation has quickly taken off. The secret to the fruit stand’s popularity is the luscious quality and taste of its produce.

“Most of my items have a 5-day shelf life, tops,” says Headrick. “It’s fresh-picked right from the tree.”

Since he does all the weekly driving and pick up himself, the fruit reaches customers at the “critical, important time,” meaning that it is ripe and ready to be consumed within a couple of days. The produce is allowed to ripen on the tree or vine until the very last minute, ensuring maximum flavor.

Headrick says fruit stand selections change weekly, depending upon what’s ready and available. He typically purchases 5-10 boxes from each grower and runs specials each weekend. Recent deals have included 10 ears of corn for $1 and 8 avocados for $1.

The fruit stand is truly a labor of love. Headrick’s passion for the food he sells is apparent. I was there recently with my two sons and he was eager to share generous samples of his produce and excited to introduce my boys to some vibrant, new tastes. Even though he travels 16 hours round-trip each week to pick up the fruits and vegetables, he has somehow found time to start growing his own tomatoes to sell.

Although not an official name, Headrick refers to the fruit stand as “Avocado Corner.” He continues to sell firewood from the same location. Smoking woods, which lend a special flavor to barbecued meats, are also available. San Joaquin valley cherry, apple, aalmond and red oak smoking woods can be purchased, as well as traditional fire woods.

Avocado Corner/Fireside Firewood is open Friday-Sunday from 10 to 5-ish. Headrick encourages people to find him on Facebook (search Chris Headrick), where he often posts specials and information about the stand. He can be reached at (775) 882-4666 or (775)846-1666.

Amy Roby can be reached at ranchosroundup@hotmail.com