A Prize for the Pies…

…and the fruits and vegetables, the coffee, the sandwiches and the cookies and scones and turnovers. And the pies!

Ralph and his 'Luke"

The Pacific Italian Alliance awarded their 22nd Luke Award to Ralph and Denene Lucchetti, the owners (very hands-on owners) of The Fruit Bowl, our local favorite fruit stand and bake shop. PIA presents an award each year to individuals or organizations or businesses that  contribute to the Italian Culture.  According to the award dinner program: “From continuing to foster and nurture the Italian language to keeping the family run Farm Stand (The Fruit Bowl) tradition alive and growing, The Lucchetti’s exemplify for a younger generation what it means to be Italian.”

Rest Stop Asparagus: From Jersey Pockets to the Grill

I’ve known Ralph for a long time. When I started farming with my dad I used to see him at grower meetings and when I delivered cherries to Blue Anchor.  My nonna and nonno knew Ralph’s parents Ina and Frank. They even sold some peaches to Ina for her to sell at their fruit stand on Waterloo Road.  The Fruit Bowl opened in 1947, and in those days it was just a small kiosk in an unpaved yard. Today it is a much larger shop, with many wonderful products grown or produced locally. There is a bake shop where you can get all kinds of goodies (coffee too), or gelato, or order a sandwich for a light lunch.

Small Statue for a Big Honor!

The Fruit Bowl pies are famous and delicious. Last year the Stockton Bicycle Club hosted a “pie ride”. We did a 30 mile flat ride starting at The Fruit Bowl, and afterwards the club provided free pie and coffee to the riders. The ride was really popular and we had a turn out of around 35, far more than an average Sunday club ride. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving there is a steady stream of cars arriving to pick up pies for the holiday the next day. Order in advance!

Diane and I went to the awards dinner, which was very well attended. The Pacific Italian Alliance could not have picked a more deserving couple to receive the honor of a Luke Award. The Lucchettis are keeping a family business with a long history going strong. And for hungry cyclists seeking delicious mid-ride treats, The Fruit Bowl is an oasis. Grazie mille Ralph and Denene!


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