STOCKTON — Ever hear of a pumpkin walnut pie?
Credit Ralph and Denene Lucchetti for that confectionary idea. They’ve the owners of The Fruit Bowl, 8767 E. Waterloo Road in Stockton.
“Since we make pumpkin pie, we thought of putting walnuts on top,” said Ralph Lucchetti on Thursday.
He also came up with the “Adopt-A-Pie” message posted on his business signage in full view for passing motorists, drawing inspiration from a customer.
“I was sitting here sipping a cup of coffee when I heard, ‘Can I adopt a pie?’” recalled Lucchetti.
The Fruit Bowl is open Thursday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and the three days – Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 25-27 – leading up to Thanksgiving Day (pre-orders are encouraged).
The pies are made fresh and from scratch every day for the past 15 years. Early on, Ralph and Denene made the pies, but they’ve since passed those chores on to other folks.
“We got into that part of the business in 1998. My mother didn’t make pies and I liked pie and ice cream,” Ralph said.
His mother was Ina Lucchetti. She and her husband, Frank, purchased the Ben Sanguinetti Ranch in 1945, calling the large 100-year-old two-story house home until it fell into disrepair. Their second home was lost to a fire so, by early 1947, the Luccettis rented in a small house surrounded by nine acres of walnuts, peaches and plums.
Business became fruitful, to say the least, and they soon began selling peaches by the boxful. But it wasn’t until Ina put a bowl full of fruit as samples for customers that she came up with the name “The Fruit Bowl.”
The current fresh produce store opened in 1992. By then, Ralph, who is the youngest of Ina and Frank’s three boys, took over the business along with his wife, Denene.
Business continued to thrive as an eatery featuring assortment of Panini sandwiches, salads, and pies and ice cream / gelato was added on.
Like the days of yore, the Fruit Bowl’s fresh pies can often be seen sitting atop of a sill. Included are apple, boysenberry, peach, apple cranberry, fruit, pecan, and, of course, pumpkin and pumpkin walnut.
For more information or directions, call the Fruit Bowl at 209-931-1196 or log on to www.fruitbowl.com