Second, third, and fourth generation Friske Family of Friske Orchard & Friske Farm Market. From left, Kenny, Heidi, Clara, Evelyn, Jon, Wendy, Richard Jr, Richard III, Tessa, Kasey
friske orchards & farm market
The friske family story
The First Generation - 1952
In 1952, newlyweds, Richard and Olga Friske, left war-torn Germany in search of a new beginning and brighter future in the land of opportunity – America!
During their first 10 years in America they worked very hard at a variety of occupations and businesses, and their three children- Judy, Richard Jr. and Neil were born. But soon, their agrarian roots pulled them back to farming…
THE SECOND GENERATION - 1983
In 1983 Richard and Olga officially handed the reins over to Richard Jr. and Neil, but still enjoyed being involved in a less demanding capacity for many years!
As the years went on, the second generation started their families and expanded the farm by growing many new fruit crops. In 1993 Neil left the business to pursue other interests, while Richard and his wife Wendy continued to run Friske Orchards.
FRISKE FARM MARKET - 2000
Big, exciting changes! The retail farm stand moved from an old building at the farm on Doctor Road to an extensively renovated farm market on Highway 31 in Atwood (formerly Elzinga’s). Judy came back to the family business as general manager of the new retail operation for the first 7 years and continues to have an important role to this day!
The expansion allowed Friske’s to go from small-scale selling of our fruit, homemade jams and baked goods to drawing thousands of new visitors and tourists! The new market included not only a Fruit Stand and Bakery, but a Cafe, Gift Shop, Marketplace of specialty foods, and the addition of annual events, festivals and school and group tours.
In 2019, Heidi, Richard III and Jonathan became third-generation owners in both family businesses, Friske Orchard and Friske Farm Market! God’s hand has blessed the family’s business throughout the years, in good times and in hard times, and we strive to keep our faith at the forefront of all we do. The rich legacy we have been given is not something we take for granted, but hope to preserve for generations to come- especially as our families grow.
The GOOD NEWS of the saving grace found in Jesus Christ is our one certain HOPE. We believe that, above everything, our life’s mission is to spread the message of His profound love for us (and you!). If you’re interested in learning more about what God has done for you, we invite you to check this out!