My grandfather, Sam Ikeda, began his humble beginnings as an orchard farmer in Auburn, California. Sam was a spectacular farmer with a green thumb and would only pick the largest, sweetest, and juiciest fruit to sell. Although Sam was a hardworking farmer, he was also a smart business man and sought after a way to remove the middle man in his sales. Sam began envisioning a fruit-stand where his fresh produce went directly from the trees of the farm to the shelves of the market. The idea of Ikeda’s had been created.
Sam used his connections he made selling fruit and contacted a man named Everett Gibson. Eventually, the two made agreements and formed temporary partnership. Gibson had a strong customer clientele from the Bay Area and Sam supplied the best quality fruit.
“Everything was raised ourselves, everything was 100% quality, and everything had to be tree ripe,” says Sam Ikeda. Sam and Gibson continued in their business together as partners until eventually, Gibson retired and left Sam and his wife Sally Ikeda (My Grandmother) with the fruit-stand. With a newfound motivation to create purely family driven business, Sam and Sally titled their company, "Ikeda's."
Continously growing and expanding Ikeda's was a legendary task and could only be achieved with legendary work. Sally Ikeda recalls waking up in pitch black darkness at 5AM and working as late as 1AM each night. Sam and Sally repeated this routine for thirteen years in a row with no days off.
Sam and Sally took no shortcuts and forged their honest business through incredible work ethic and guiding principles. Through Sam and Sally's dedication to outstanding produce quality and impeccable customer service, the market steadily grew in popularity.
All throughout the effortful construction of their business, Sam and Sally were loving and caring parents to their two sons Glen (My Dad) and Steve (My Uncle). Little did Sam and Sally know that their children's ideas would be the driving innovative factor that led to the flourishing business today.
Thirteen years after the opening of Ikeda's, oldest son Glen Ikeda graduated college and joins the family business. Five years later, Glen’s younger brother Steve Ikeda also enters the business and finally Sam and Sally could sit back and take a breath of air. However, the two sons did not just maintain the store; instead, they revolutionized and expanded Ikeda’s further than Sam and Sally had ever dreamed.
Over the years, the two hardworking brothers worked in perfect tandem and added novel ideas such as fruit pies, fresh sauces, prime-grade beef, Pacific wild caught fish, and fine wines. The Ikeda’s in Auburn had become such a huge success that they chose to create another Ikeda’s market in Davis, California.
To this day, the business is owned solely by the Ikeda's family. Glen and Steve both manage the two stores in Auburn and Davis. Sam and Sally are both retired, enjoying the leisures of retirement after their tolling years of hard work. However, every now and then you may still catch Sally dropping in to check on the quality of the store and to ensure that the customers are still receiving top notch service.
“Quality is our middle name.” –The Ikeda’s Family