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Jerilu Produce making fruit baskets

 

Inside Jerilu Produce Company, Diane Chaplain makes a fruit basket.

"It depends on the size. A smaller one I can probably whip up in five minutes. A bigger one probably takes me 15 to 20 minutes. It depends on how large a basket, and what I'm putting in it," said Chaplain.

Jerilu Produce was created more than 60 years ago. The name comes from the founders.

"It was started by Lou, who's the current owner's great uncle, and their grandfather, Jerry. So that's how they got the name from Lou and Jerry," said Chaplain.

It wasn't always in this massive warehouse on Ore Dock Road.

"It just started in a little market and then grew from there. As things developed over the years, it's always been a family thing," said Chaplain.

From its modest roots, to now, Jerilu distributes fruits and veggies to hundreds of other businesses in the area. One of their biggest customers is the Erie School District.

But you don't have to run a school district, or any business for that matter, to buy their products.

"They can come in and buy a cucumber if they want. We don't have a store you can walk through but you can surely come in and buy anything you want, we can sell it," said Chaplain.

They also offer salsas, jellies, gift items, and of course, fruit baskets. Just like the one Diane Chaplain just finished.

"The fruit baskets I feel take a little bit of art form, yeah," laughed Chaplain.

 

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