Opening up multiple more stores in the area, the Heetlands acquired Southwest Fruits and Nut Distributors from San Jose, Ca and relocated the main operation to Scottsdale. Sphinx Date Ranch began wholesaling to Harry and David and offered screening packages specially labeled for their 10 best customers.
We love working with local producers, hearing the story behind their products, and passing that on to our customers. The Heetlands continued to expand the brick and mortar aspect of the business, also releasing the Date Recipes cookbook in and investing in their own Medjool date farms.
Eventually, the Sphinx team experimented with date candy, bread, citrus rind candy and finally the date shop and a luncheon patio business was opened in the early s.
Jason expanded the selection of items to include Arizona made wine and craft beers a new industry growing in the statereinforcing our tradition of offering "a gift in good taste since ". We have amazing customers, some of whom have been gifting with us for over 50 years!
Mother-daughter team Sharyn and Rebecca Seitz became proprietors in We are excited to continue the tradition of a longstanding family business and support our personal philosophy of shopping local. We are proud to offer Black Sphinx dates from the original Arcadia grove as well as other unique specialty varieties from Valley growers. : info sphinxdateranch.
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Ellen died inand her son Frank Cullen Brophy and Ed Peterson took over date operation with Roy Franklin in an effort to grow dates commercially. Follow Us. All rights reserved. The Luckeys found themselves needing more space than the current farm stand and moved the store to a larger location in Scottsdale in the late s.
After growing the business for over 20 years, Rick became ill with ALS passing in His son Jason, who had been running the store during his illness, continued the family business along with his wife Emily.
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An attempt to can the dates at a Mormon co-op canning factory in Tempe was unsuccessful; however, batches did sell because of the novelty. Indate gift packs were sent to President Ike Eisenhower and members of the U. In the late s the cost to maintain the date groves had brought the business into considerable debt, owners made the decision to divide the property into residential lots, named Montgrove Arcadia.
Sphinx Date Co. Date palms from seedlings, common in Mexico or Baja California, do not produce good quality dates. Franklin interested Ellen Amelia Goodbody Brophy, a prominent Old West landowner and philanthropist, in the idea; multiple acres were planted on her property in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix to become the original Sphinx Date Ranch.
Frank Cullen Brophy thought up the name "Sphinx" because of its mystery origins. The packing plant and store were demolished to make way for condominiums, moving the store to merge with a neighboring date farm on Camelback Road across from the Royal Palms Resort in the late s.
With our predecessors' entrepreneurial spirit in mind, we have continued to promote locally made delicacies, adding a large selection of locally made items in addition to continuing the legacy of fresh date gifting. Sugar rationing had begun in during World War II and dates were growing in popularity as a deliciously sweet alternative to candy, boosting Arizona's date industry. The Luckeys now brought in Medjool dates from the Yuma area and still offered Black Sphinx dates from the original property.
Log In Up. Blog Visit Us Business Gifts. As longtime Scottsdale residents, we ed the business charged with sharing the Sphinx Date Ranch heritage and history of date farming in Scottsdale. The majority of the business at this time was mail order with operations closing during the summer. Farming operations began moving away from the city towards Yuma and California where there were better growing conditions.
Further, too much rain in the Valley was causing spoilage. To this day, we still hand sort all of the Medjools we receive from our independent family farmers in Yuma, Arizona.
Our goal is to educate our neighborhood and America about their benefits, with a guiding mission to increase awareness of all Arizona made and native-grown foods. Date trees were initially imported into Arizona from the Middle East in the early s. Around the same time, a new variety imported from Morocco was quickly becoming the farmer and fan favorite.
With the opening of the shop on the Ranch, the business thrived as a unique Arizona experience for high society serving many famous celebrities and families. Sphinx Date Ranch continued sending date gifts all over the country via mail order and a catalog brochure. New Sphinx business owners, the Luckeys, continued on as an exclusive vendor at various local resorts. Throughout the s various tactics were employed to bring awareness to the new date variety. The Medjool date is of large size, attractive appearance and ripens so that a relatively few pickings would be necessary to obtain high quality.
We've created a new Date Jam and a line of Date Salsas on a mission to show the world all you can do with dates! Visit Us. Home History. At this time, many of the date farms in Arizona were dividing groves to make way for residential properties.