The original Darby brothers families operated this fruit stand-plus-bakery for nearly 100 years. They have retired and the stand was closed for a long while. In May 2009, the Bunch family took over operations and are now managing in the same spirit, and with the same recipes, as the original.
They grow over 22 varieties of apples, most of which are seldom found in a typical grocery store. Many of these varieties are considered heirloom and date back to the mid 1800s. Some of the most popular varieties are the Gravenstein, Arkansas Black, Stamen Winesap, King David, and North Western Greening.
In addition to the wide variety of apples, they have an assortment of homegrown fruits and vegetables. In season, they offer an abundance of stone fruits, such as cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, and nectarines, and truly vine-ripened tomatoes, freshly picked vegetables, and sweet melons. They have been California farmers for three generations and take pride in growing fresh wholesome produce.
The Red Apple Bakery makes all of its baked goods from scratch using seasonal fruits, berries, and nuts. The quality found in the bakery is a result of generations of baking tradition; dating back to Chris’ great-grandmothers, grandmother, and mother who have taught her all she knows. You will recognize the signature crust Chris makes with a flavor that is all her own. The California Nut pie recipe is a spin-off of a Southern Nut pie made by Annie Mae, Chris’ great-grandmother and was a favorite of her grandfather, “Doc“. The fruit pies are just like ‘grandma’ used to make, with just a touch of vanilla. Lloyd is in charge of the apple pie filling, using his own special recipe, which fills not only our apple pies, but our strudels, turnovers, and crisps as well. Some say it’s the best they’ve ever had!
The Red Apple located half way between Murphys and Arnold is locally famous for its Apple Donuts, Fruit Pies, and Apple Cider. The bakery offers many delicious pastry delights and their store offers nuts, dried fruits, jams, jellies, and syrups. The fruit stand has a nice selection of fresh locally-grown fruits and vegetables at good prices.
While you can't beat the yummy treats and drinks, I think the best thing about The Red Apple is the people. You gotta be crazy to drive by The Red Apple on Highway 4 in Calaveras County, and not stop to get something fresh and delicious to take with you!