It's a Team's Life

We went to the Date Store

By Linda Caffee
Posted Oct 1st 2021 9:46AM

If you have traveled on highway 78 to highway 86 in California from Imperial to Coachella you have driven by Date Shake in Westmorland.  Our travels have taken us over this highway by the Salton Sea many times over the years.  Finally, we took the time to walk from the truck stop down to the Date Shake Store and it was worth the walk.

The outside of the store is not impressive but once you walk inside it is a different story.  The selection of dates, honey, vinegar, oils, and dust catchers is pretty impressive.  While I perused the date selections Bob shopped the honey and on the way to pay for our items we stopped by the vinegar and oil selections.  Knowing we had to walk back to the truck made us think about our purchases.  

After going to the store I read up a little about its history.  The owner Ahmad Fejlah came to the United States in 1977 from Syria to attend college and stayed.  He bought 88 acres west of the Salton Sea and started growing his own date’s and then started the store to sell his certified organic dates. 

We watched a video that was playing over one of the date displays and we quickly figured out growing dates is a labor-intensive project.  What was interesting is that the dates are harvested; they are put on a plate, cleaned, and packaged.  There is no curing process.  I purchased more dates than I could eat in a reasonable time and asked about freezing the dates.  The lady behind the counter said the dates could be frozen and if all the air is removed they will last up to five years.  Yep, I almost went back for more. 

My first encounter with eating a date came in grade school.  A student with a mother who had a healthy outlook on life had packed their child's lunch and my mom had packed the typical lunch.  I do not remember what I had but I am sure it was not healthy and this student wanted to exchange their dates for something I  had.  I had one taste of that date and I was hooked for life.  I gladly traded what I had for their dates.  

The drive from Imperial to Coachella is one I look forward to as I enjoy seeing all of the different types of palm trees and then seeing the Salton Sea.  It is interesting to see the bags that are covering the dates and I have always assumed it is to protect them from birds but I do not know that for a fact.  I have never witnessed anyone working in the fields of trees and I wonder if they climb the palm trees or if they have some type of machine that travels up and down the rows. 

If you like dates the Date Store is awesome and I am really glad we finally took the time to stop. 

What kind of date store did you think I was talking about?

Westmorland California Date Shake Store 

Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
[email protected]

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