FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — You do not typically have to go too far to find a produce stand in the Central Valley but there is one place people will travel out of their way for.
Simonian Farms is just southeast of Fresno and this produce market offers more than just fresh fruit and vegetables.
“We attract people really not only around the country, but we have visitors from all over the world. Year-round they come specifically to see our place to shop here, to experience something really unique and different,” said co-owner, Bonnie Simonian.
People come for the produce but stay for the antiques and history. Outside the produce, the market is nearly thirty tractors on display representing Central Valley agriculture for the past 50 years.
You will find some new friends at the petting zoo when you make your way aboard a 1946 caboose from Santa Fe Railway.
Collectables made by locals will welcome you before you walk into the fruit stand. Once inside be sure to look up you will see dozens of pedal cars and balloon tire bicycles.
“We have a lot of people come in and reminisce that, that might have been their first bike, or their grandmother had a bike like that,” said Simonian.
That charm of yesteryear has attracted customers since 1901. Simonian Farms has over 180 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
But it was not the selection that caught the attention of former President Bill Clinton during a visit in 1995.
“He wanted to come to a generation farm. A third or fourth-generation family farm. That meant something to him in his choice. Somewhere it was farm to direct produce,” Simonian said.
A big red barn outback will take you back in time to several different eras. A real-life saloon sits in the middle of a Gold Rush display.
Betty Boop will greet you when going back to the 1930s. While Bob’s Big Boy takes you back to the fifties. Back outside Simonian Farms pays tribute to Japanese Americans held in internment camps.
The Simonian Family created a memorial tower to honor Japanese farmers who taught them about farming five generations ago
“We pretty much think that is one of our big things that we are very proud of. The fact that the property has been in the family for over 120 years and still rolling,” said Simonian.