The most delicious pies, the freshest fruit, a large variety of the best sauces, seasonings, and staples are locally made and grown. The most popular place to stop for a juicy hamburger, delectable crab cake sandwich, fresh crab, salmon, and crunchy fries. The highest standards for cleanliness, service, and reliability. These are bedrock truths said of Ikeda's of Auburn for over 50 years. What started as a family-owned and run fruit stand in 1970, Ikeda's is now known as the ultimate example of everything that's great. Ask anyone who has ever stopped at this wonderful market; Ikeda's is a place that you never visit just once. It not only goes on your list for someplace to shop, but it's also a place where you treat yourself to what can only be described as "gourmet roadside meals." This isn't just an Auburn favorite but a stop for regulars who make regular trips to the Reno and Tahoe region. Ikeda's is a household name and has every right to be called the ultimate produce market and roadside restaurant. If you haven't read enough to immediately get in your car and head for Ikeda's, read on to learn about the integrity and love behind this remarkable place.
From the Heart
Ikeda's is so much more than a place you find when searching for "a fruit stand near me," it's a place where you feel the heart and soul of one family's journey come to fruition (okay, that pun was irresistible). I was fortunate enough to hear the Ideda’s family story from someone who knows it well, Derek Ikeda. As a member of the third generation of his family to be a part of Ikeda's, he's as passionate about his family business as his grandparents, Sam and Sally Ikeda. While I've been a loyal customer of Ikeda's my entire adult life, it's only now that I have had the pleasure of meeting one of its owners. True to the graciousness that's part of the family's DNA, Derek took the time to talk with me and conveyed his gratitude for my patronage and interest in Ikeda's. Wow, talk about gracious! Once you visit Ikeda's yourself, you'll know that's like a thirsty person being thanked for accepting a drink of water.
Derek said Ikeda's was started because of his grandparent's commitment to working the land and sharing what they grew with others. This commitment remains a large part of why Ikeda's is so popular; while time has moved on, the Ikeda's family heart has remained at the core of their business.
Picked, Prepared, and Packaged Close to Home
One thing that makes Ikeda's a cut above the rest is that they source as much produce as possible from their own land, which is not far from the store itself. What they don't grow, they buy from other local farmers. This means that produce stays on the trees and in the land, only being picked ripe when ready to sell. You'll get a sense of how fresh Ikeda's goods are because you'll only be able to buy what's in season. The proof begins as you pull into the parking lot and see fruit bins on the sidewalk being sold in bulk. But that's nothing compared to what you'll see once you enter the store. Nothing I can write will prepare you for the amount of produce, sauces, salsas, bread, pies, dried goods, baked goods, pickled vegetables, seasonings, and condiments sold at Ikeda's. What's even more stunning is that most of what is sold proudly displays the Ikeda's label! The only way to scratch the surface of what you'll find is to take an imaginary tour through the store.
To set expectations, Ikeda's is not housed in a large building. In fact, its smaller size is one of the reasons why it's such a unique experience to shop here. Everything is meticulously organized to maximize space usage and still allow for browsing. I just love the old-fashioned vibe of this place. A substantial collection of freshly packaged salmon, beef, chicken, and pork is as you walk in and to your left. Like all Ikeda's collections, you'll find only the best in class here. Close by, there are chips, crackers, freshly made spreads and salsas, rubs, marinades, and sauces. In the same area, you can shop for more fruit and vegetables. But then there's what's baked at Ikeda's. Ikeda's has always been the place to buy a pie when you want to impress people. Most of us are conditioned to react favorably to a pink box because we assume donuts are involved. Or we know a flat, square box is usually associated with pizza? For those familiar with Ikeda's pies, seeing a white box with green writing on it sends us into a frenzy of happy anticipation. An Ikeda's fruit pie is made from fresh fruit and is so tasty that one bit hooks you for life. It's not just their delicious fruit pies; the same is true for their meat pies and pasties. Whether you buy a slice to eat on the spot or take one home to bake yourself, please make sampling an Ikeda's pie mandatory for your visit.
To the right of the front door are the pies, so I guess I already jumped the gun by talking about them above. But beyond the pies are cookies, confections, roasted nuts of all sorts, freshly baked bread, rolls, muffins, bagels, brownies, and more pies. The back wall holds a collection of condiments and pickled goods that is ever-changing and always great. Somehow, Ikeda's manages to have enough room to also sell freshly roasted coffee beans and a large selection of wine. And at the front of the store is now a fun collection of apparel merch that Derek says in an area Ikeda's wants to expand.
The Future is in the Past
My visit with Derek, the third of his family’s generation to proudly run a one-of-a-kind market, was heartwarming and encouraging. Over the years, the family has expanded its offerings to include a roadside, casual dining experience located in the same building as the primary market. Everything is freshly prepared, and there's something to delight all ages. From kids' combo meals to gourmet burgers that include a freshly designed garden burger, mushroom burger, and a tofu burger, everyone in the family will be happy eating here. There are sandwiches, including the famous crab sandwich. Of course, what's a roadside dining experience without a side of fries? At Ikeda's, you get your choice of several kinds, including the Truffle Parmesan Cheese Fries that leave you spoiled for life. No matter what you order, the same loving care and commitment that motivated the Ikeda family generations ago remain evident in the restaurant side of the business. I think it's safe to say that the success that's sure to be part of Ikeda's future lies in its past. So on your next trip "up the hill," as we say around here, make the very short detour off I-80 to visit Ikeda's. You'll be returning soon, whether you walk away loaded down with treats for the road, staples for your pantry, or a belly full of great food. And fortunately for us all, Ikeda's will always be there for us.
Stanford Ranch Self Storage
As your neighborhood self-storage facility, Stanford Ranch Self Storage is committed to helping our customers make their moving day experience positive. In addition to providing a state-of-the-art self-storage facility for our customer's needs, we strive to offer the best in customer service. Places like Ikeda's make a community unique and provide the perfect moving day treat. We make it a point to learn about special places like Ikeda's and encourage our customers to treat themselves to a great meal on moving day or to stock their new home with some gourmet staples and baked goods. We often learn about these places from others, so please come by Stanford Ranch Self Storage to share what you love about your community. We look forward to hearing from you.
13500 Lincoln Way,
Auburn, CA 95603 (look for the large white Ikeda’s sign off the Bowman exit)
Market Hours Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Restaurant Hours Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.