Years in Business: 24 years
Family: Wife Helen, sons Dan, Mitchell and Carl and daughters Kate, Grace and Laura
Memberships and Organizations: US Apple Association Board, Michigan Apple Committee previous board member, previous Chairman of MACMA
History: Dietrich Orchards was started by Al Dietrich’s great-great grandfather Joseph Dietrich five generations ago and the family business has remained intact ever since. However, Al, his brother Joe and his cousins Mike and Jim, have split the business into two operations. Al and his brother run Ridgeview Orchards and his cousins run Leo Dietrich and Sons. The two operations still operate through Dietrich Orchards, the packing, storing and shipping portion of the business.
Ridgeview Orchards continues to expand since Al joined in 1984 and now consists of 630 acres. Between the two farms there is more than 1,100 acres, 580 of which are apples. Both farms pack, store and ship all of their own apples, cherries and asparagus. They also do custom packing for other local growers. In 2007, they boxed more than 730,000 bushels of apples and packed 2.8 million pounds of fresh asparagus. Most of their fresh apples are sold through Ridgeview Produce.
Al hopes that the push for healthy living and healthy eating will continue to influence consumers to eat fresh apples and other apple products.