White House Fruit Farm is a locally owned farm that’s been operating in the Mahoning Valley since the early 1800’s. Although they are world-renowned for their blueberry donuts, providing fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to the community is their true passion.

We spoke to Debbie Pifer, co-owner of White House Fruit Farm, about their history and what drives them:

“We’ve been here as a family business since about 1815. We’ve been here as a fruit and vegetable farm since 1924. Our primary crops are strawberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines and apples for all the fruits, and then we grow a very wide range of vegetables.”

“Our object is to have most fruits and vegetables in season here from Ohio during the growing season. Locally grown produce has its own flavor, has its own distinction, and what we’re all about is providing locally grown fruits and vegetables. We want folks to taste the difference.”

“If you’re just coming for donuts you’re so missing out”

“Customers have changed over the years, people have changed over the years, our Valley has changed over the years and so now we offer what we hope is a fully rounded experience. One of the ways we thought to do that was to add some baked goods. So we started with donuts and we added pies a year or two later. And from those humble beginnings of just a cinnamon, a powdered and a plain donut we grew into the donut phenomenon that we seemed to be today.”

“Therein lies our conundrum. What we say is, ‘we are fruit and vegetable growers who also sell donuts. We are not a donut shop that also sells fruits and vegetables.’ So our primary focus is always going to be growing fruits and vegetables and providing those to our customers. And if you’re just coming for donuts you’re so missing out on one of the most wonderful aspects of our farm, and of our valley, and of the state of Ohio.”

[Originally posted in 2018]

To find more locally grown fruits and vegetables, visit Berry’s Natural Food Market or Cultivate Cafe.