Hadley Fruit Orchards has been a roadside staple for Morongo members and desert travelers for decades. The stand is renowned for its delicious date shakes, nuts and dried fruit.
Finally, the institution has opened a flagship store. The grand ceremony Thursday drew tribal, elected and community leaders.
Built beside the original Hadley’s along Interstate 10 at Morongo, the larger store will enable the popular destination to expand its product offerings in a more environmentally friendly building that makes more efficient use of water and energy — but that preserves the rustic atmosphere and heritage of its predecessor.
Ribbon cutting at the new Hadley Fruit Orchards' flagship store
Hadley’s has operated in Cabazon since 1953. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians purchased Hadley’s retail and mail-order operations in 1999.
“Generations of customers have made Hadley’s a family tradition and a must-stop as they travel through the San Gorgonio Pass,” said Chairman Robert Martin of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. “The ambiance of our new flagship store preserves the Hadley’s legacy and tradition, and reflects the character of the wholesome and natural foods we offer.”
The new store is located just north of Ruby’s Diner in Cabazon, just a stone’s throw from the old Hadley’s building on Seminole Drive.
In addition to Hadley’s longstanding lineup of premium dried fruits, nuts, wine, craft beer, honey, vitamins, trail mix and gift items, the new store will offer fresh fruit, non-GMO and gluten-free products, home-baked bread, made-to-order deli sandwiches and healthy pizzas.
“Our new store has everything customers love about Hadley’s -- generous free samples, friendly customer service and our one-of-a-kind delicious date shakes,” said Jay Baczkowski, enterprise director for Morongo. “Along with our healthy and organic foods, we will also be bringing back some Hadley products of the past, like fresh produce and bread.”
Chariman Robert Martin at the grand opening ceremony
During Thursday’s event, tribal council members joined with Riverside County 5th District Supervisor Marion AshIey, members of the Banning and Beaumont city councils and local chamber officials to celebrate the grand opening and cut a ribbon officially opening the store.
“Morongo continues to help drive our economy here in the San Gorgonio Pass by providing local jobs and billions in economic activity,” Ashley said. “With this new Hadley’s, Morongo really hit one out of the park. Like its predecessor, I’m sure this new building will serve families and travelers in the Pass for another 60 years or more, keeping the Hadley’s legacy alive.”
It’s been 85 years since Paul Hadley Sr. and his older brother, Ernest, started the original Hadley Brothers Fruit Company in Pasadena before Paul Hadley decided to head east to open Hadley Fruit Orchards in 1951 as a dried-fruit packinghouse and small retail shop in Banning.
After a fire gutted the building in 1953, Paul Hadley converted a pair of World War II-era Army barracks and reopened in Cabazon. A decade later, when Interstate 10 rolled through town, he bought land along the freeway and built his roadside store where he sold five pounds of dates for a dollar, and all-you-could-drink lemonade for a quarter.
Paul Hadley Jr., whose founder father shepherded the business before selling it in 1978, expressed support for the new plans, saying “I appreciate Morongo carrying on the Hadley family name. I wish them all the best.”
The new Hadley Fruit Orchards building is nearly 12,500 square feet of space, including a large patio.
The revitalized Hadley Fruit Orchards is another step in Morongo’s master-planned development blueprint for several miles along Interstate 10 in Cabazon.
Tribal councilman James_siva, Vice Chair Mary Ann Andreas and Chairman Robert Martin.