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   About Casa de Fruta - HISTORY
Old Windmill100 years later, all grown up - Hollister Freelance

The family that established Casa de Fruta came from a humble existence in the southern Italian countryside. Dreaming of a better life, the four Bisceglia brothers emigrated to the United States in 1885. During their uncomfortable voyage by ship, they used their time to study an Italian-English dictionary to learn the language of their new home.

On arriving in the United States, the brothers worked very hard to earn enough money to send to Italy for the rest of the family. They worked for the Canadian Pacific railroad laying tracks through Western Canada and eventually, Northern California. When they reached Morgan Hill they knew they had found their permanent home. The area reminded them of the area they had left in Italy.

In 1900 they were finally able to send for their family. Part of the family that arrived was 2 year-old Clara Cribari, future matriarch of the family that founded Casa de Fruta. The new arrivals to the United States worked hard to succeed. They made charcoal out of the burned remains of fallen oaks. After a disastrous start to their canning career (imagine every square foot of your barn covered with exploded canned tomatoes), by 1913 they had developed the largest cannery in the world, Bisceglia Brothers Cannery in San Jose. Young Clara Cribari began running the cannery in 1919, supervising 1000 workers.

Casa de Fruta Fruitstand Through the encouragement and financial backing of A.P. Giannini, the brothers purchased a piece of land along Pacheco Pass. Mr. Giannini was impressed with the property because it was rich with mustard, a sign of fertility, and he enjoyed stopping by the bubbling artesian spring. The first orchards were planted in 1908.

Clara married Dr. Henry George Zanger and they had 6 children. Three of the children, Henry (George) Jr., Joseph A. and Eugene A. Zanger had worked summers on the Pacheco Pass property. After their mother inherited a small part of this property, the three Zanger brothers established the first of seven fruit stands along Pacheco Pass. In 1967 they started construction on a 24-hour Restaurant adjacent to the now capped artesian spring. As was tradition in the hard working family, everyone helped in the construction. Clara's grandchildren even helped lay the brick surrounding the restaurant. The restaurant proved so successful that more businesses were added until we had the wide range of agricultural and retail businesses you see today. Clara Bisceglia Zanger's grandchildren now run the day-to-day operations at Casa de Fruta and the hardworking traditions of the Bisceglia family continue.

Significant Dates in Casa de Fruta History:


1908 Our Great Uncle Joseph Bisceglia, on a trip to purchase draft horses, is impressed with the towering mustard growing wild near the old Pacheco Bridge. Plants first Orchard in Pacheco Valley.
1938 Clara Bisceglia Cribari Zanger inherited twenty (20) acres of cherry trees in the Pacheco Valley.
1943 Clara's three teenaged sons open up a cherry stand on Pacheco Pass Highway.
1940's -50's The orchard operation develops and expands to include prunes, walnuts, apricots, pears and cherries. Meanwhile, they expand to seven (7) seasonal cherry stands in Southern Santa Clara Valley.
July 18, 1967   A one-hundred and four (104) seat, 24-hour Restaurant opens near the busiest Cherry stand.
1968 Gift Shop and Chevron Station open; White deer/Buffalo area added. Children's playground a treat for children and their parents.
1970 Casa de Burger (Hamburger Stand) and ninety-nine (99) space R.V. Park open.
1971 Shell Service Station opens.
1977 Fourteen (14) room Inn at Casa de Fruta opens.
1980 Country Store opens.
1982 Country Park opens for picnics, family reunions and corporate events.
1990 First Casa de Fruta Orchard Outlet opens at Valley Fair Shopping Center in San Jose.

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Casa de Fruta - Food Baskets and Gifts - From Our California Orchards to You Since 1908
From Our California Orchards to You Since 1908.
10021 Pacheco Pass Highway, Hollister CA 95023 USA
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