About Us

Beginning in 1939, Winton Etchen was sixteen years old when he started
his legacy of growing premium apples.  He started by planting fifty trees in northern Iowa.  Winton moved to Des Moines in 1960 and started Iowa Orchard in 1975.  He then passed his knowledge of growing premium
fruit to his five children: Denise, Mark, Kyla, Michelle, and Bryan.  All of the children had integral parts in running the orchard.

Bryan graduated college with a degree in Hotel / Restaurant / Club Management.  He put his knowledge to good use by taking over managing and part ownership of the orchard in 1991.  Winton’s semi-retirement in 1997 prompted Bryan to take the reigns completely, but with Winton’s watchful eye.

In the 1990’s, Iowa Orchard took home blue ribbons from the Iowa State Fair.  The orchard won blue ribbons for ninety-five percent of the
categories it entered, hence the blue ribbon on the logo.  Iowa Orchard is famous for its freshly-pressed sweet apple cider and hot apple pies.  The orchard makes a homemade flakey pie crust developed by Bryan’s mom, Dorothy, and sister, Denise.  Seasonally, we offer: apples, raspberries, cherries, pears, strawberries, plums, apricots, blackberries, tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, asparagus, peppers, cabbage, radishes, squash, sweet corn, and pumpkins.  If we don’t grow it, we vow to get the best of seasonal fruits, such as the southern Missouri peaches and Palisades (Colorado) peaches.  Iowa Orchard is very active in the Des Moines Farmer’s Market scene, attending seven markets per week throughout summer and fall.  Our school tours begin September first and are run by life-long friend, JoAnn Craig.  She is also co-author of the Iowa Orchard Favorites cookbook and loves to help the Etchen family every fall.

The winter holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas have created a new focus for our orchard.  We have found many businesses want to order holiday gift baskets and pies for their clients and employees.  Their clients include investment firms, banks, casinos, insurance agencies, and even hospitals.

Bryan’s wife, Lori, has also become an integral part of the orchard.  Married on April 19, 2008, she works side by side with
Bryan in the ever growing business.  Lori takes care of the orchard’s online business as well as marketing and creative
designs for the gift baskets.  You will find her working on the orchard, inside the buildings and out.  She also assisted in expanding our product line, such as caramel apples, fudge, cookies, and quick breads.  Lori shares in management responsibilities and works with the students on training and development.

 

 

         Etchen Family-left to right-Bryan, Winton, Michelle,
                        Dorothy, Mark, Denise, and Kyla

              Bryan Etchen and former Governor
                                  Tom Vilsack

 

 

 

JoAnn Craig

Winton and Michelle Etchen

Winton Etchen

 

 

Bryan and Lori Etchen

Winton and Dorothy Etchen