Rodin Farms has been a family affair since the 1940s, when Antoinette Rodin’s grandparents obtained the local ranch. They continued to farm, and Antoinette’s father took over the land to farm and followed in their footsteps. At age 18, Antoinette Rodin opened the renowned Rodin Farms Fruit Stand, located on the border area between Modesto and Riverbank.
However, though the fruit stand is surrounded by Rodin farm lands, that’s not where their locations stop.
“My sister has a store in downtown Modesto; it’s called Rodin Ranch and it’s really cute,” Antoinette Rodin shared. “And we do various farmers markets in the Bay Area – San Francisco, Pleasanton, Saratoga, Mountain View... ”
While they may be located in more populous cities, they are also sure to have a spot at the Oakdale Farmers Market on Wednesday nights. Usually, employees from Rodin Farms help manage the stand, such as last week when Shayann Trent, Devin Odom, and Lorin Odom worked the market.
“A lot of our fruit is from our farms,” Trent shared, “our peaches and nectarines and plums are all picked at our farms that are right in front or right behind the stand.”
The market features fruits, almond butter, dried chips, and various nuts for customers. Trent shared that she uses the strawberries from Rodin Farms every morning in her smoothies and the employees sometimes even indulge in some of the samples in between customers.
Devin and Lorin Odom helped pass around free nectarine samples to market goers in Oakdale recently, to let them see for themselves just how sweet the fruits tasted.
“Right now, we’re in the heart of the season, everything’s sweet,” Rodin reported. “July is peak season and right now yellow nectarines are so sweet that they taste like candy.”
Summertime is the best for the fresh fruits that Rodin Farms is so famous for, and as fall comes around, the farm will start to transition into selling pumpkins. In the winter season, they feature Christmas trees. Altogether, they prove to be a year-round establishment, featuring almond butter, licorice, honeys, and candies throughout the year.
This wide variety of produce is a big step from what Antoinette Rodin initially sold when she first started the fruit stand some 26 years ago. Then, she mainly featured the peaches from her family’s orchards. Since, they’ve planted plenty more trees to feature a mass assortment of fruits and nuts while also selling other local farmers’ produce.
“I guess the fruit stand is kind of a part of me now,” Rodin expressed. “I can’t imagine doing anything else: I love putting the fruit on display, I love sampling it, I love selling it, I love farming, I love being outside.”
She confirmed that she always knew that she wanted to farm since she was young, and her sons share her dreams. Her oldest, Anthony, goes to farmers markets for Rodin Farms, and her other sons, Vito and Junior, are involved in farming while Antoinette holds out the hope that maybe her youngest, Sonny, will want to have a stand.
Rodin hopes to influence not just her sons but also future farmers and has even presented Ag Business Seminars for high schoolers.
The Rodin Farms Fruit Stand is on the corner of Claribel and Oakdale roads, across the intersection from Crossroads Shopping Center in Riverbank. Products are also available for purchase at www.rodinfarms.com and local farmers markets.