Stubbs Fruit & Storage Company was founded in 1920 and enjoyed, perhaps, the most phenomenal growth of any fruit business in the Pacific Northwest. A commercial packing establishment, which only packed fruit grown by others, was the first part of the company to open, but demand quickly grew for the addition of cold storage facilities, and these were ready for use in 1923. Less than a year later, in the spring of 1924, these cold storage facilities were expanded by the construction of a building with a capacity of 150 more carloads of fruit (each carload would comprise roughly 840 boxes). Further expansions provided the company with the ability to store a total of over 500 carloads of fruit in common and cold storage.

Immediate success

The Stubbs Company was immediately successful, therefore, in the general packing and storage business, buying fruit from growers on a strictly cash basis and selling, also strictly for cash, to wholesalers in eastern United States markets. High-class packaging became a Stubbs specialty, and the apple and pear brand Stubbs Select rapidly became known in almost every state and in many foreign countries as well. They also created the advertising slogan “So Good You Can Eat Them In The Dark”—meaning that the consumer never had to worry about biting into a rotten spot or a worm!

Stubbs Fruit is also important in the fruit industry for its 1925 compilation and publication of the 44-page pamphlet Fruit Production and Shipping Facts. Over 80 years later, the pamphlet’s words about the Yakima Valley continue to ring true:

The Yakima Valley has provided itself with splendid cold storage facilities in the amount of 6,000 cars and over, and it is well known that all fruits must go directly to cold storage and then be distributed to points of consumption throughout the country. We are safe in saying that there is no point in the entire United States where production is as heavy as in the Yakima Valley, where growers and shippers are so ably fitted to take care of a vast tonnage of fruits. Also, Yakima as a shipping center perhaps has the largest number of large shippers, strictly reliable, shipping good fruits and grades of fruits to all markets of the United States and foreign ports.