Ask an expert - business profile - The Fruit Store

While businesses everywhere scramble to reinvent themselves in light of the COVID-19 lockdown, John Yurchak said it's pretty much business as usual at The Fruit Store in Hinsdale - and busier than ever.

"We've always run a clean, tight ship," said Yurchak, co-owner of the family-owned business that has kept the people of Hinsdale supplied with fresh fruits and vegetables since 1982. He said delivering the best products with personal service has always been key. The result is a loyal customer base that knows they can trust The Fruit Store to provide quality food and safe delivery, even through the current pandemic.

Yurchak said that faithful customer base has grown since the lockdown began in March. As more people are cooking more at home, they're turning to the experts at the Fruit Store to choose the best ingredients for their culinary creations.

"People are being more conscious about what they're eating," he said.

Of course, there have been tweaks to the system. What The Fruit Store lacks in foot traffic is made up for in parking lot pickups. Customers call in their orders and the staff gets busy choosing the very best items from their produce supply.

Depending on the number of calls, customers can usually pick up their orders within 30 to 120 minutes. Many pull into the store parking lot at First and Lincoln for a quick, easy and safe handoff of their freshly chosen fruits and vegetables, Yurchak said. Staff is making home deliveries for customers with compromised immune systems or other situations that prohibit a trip into town.

Once produce has reached the customer's kitchen and just before it is to be consumed, Yurchak suggests a quick but thorough wash with water and a drop of Dawn soap.

"We always advise to wash your produce," he said.

Along with the usual assortment of produce, the Fruit Store offers homemade soups and sauces from Dede Saracco of La Grange, also known as "The Gravy Lady." Baked goods from Kirsten's Bakery in Burr Ridge are available, including breads, pies and cookie kits to keep the kids entertained. Premade salads have replaced the store's popular salad bar.

Yurchak said keeping the store shelves stocked hasn't been a problem. Even with a higher demand for certain items, like vitamin C-packed oranges, they've experienced no shortages.

If anything, Yurchak said, the current crisis has further solidified the relationship that his family business has with the community. Customers have always known they can count on The Fruit Store. Now, they're repaying the favor by keeping their staff busy and their doors open.

Yurchak said he, along with everyone at The Fruit Stores in Hinsdale and Western Springs, hopes for a quick and safe end to the current shutdown. But he also hopes that a few things will last after life returns to normal, including what he sees as a renewed commitment to shopping local.

"Shop small, support your community," Yurchak said.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean