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Staple produce market in Mandan to close after 70 years

October 9, 2018

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A business that grew from a mom and pop watermelon stand in the 1940s into a staple produce market in the Bismarck-Mandan area is shutting down after 70 years.

Royse’s Twin City Produce is closing its doors on Oct. 15, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Delores Royse Castle took over the produce stand operations from her parents 25 years ago.

“It’s hard because many of our customers have been with us for many years . It wasn’t just selling produce; it’s my parents’ legacy,” said Royse Castle. “You just know in life when it’s time to close a chapter.”

Mandan Business Development Director Ellen Huber called Royse’s Produce one of the community’s pioneering businesses and a destination for fresh fruit and vegetables.

City officials would’ve loved to see a succession plan to keep the business in operation, but join in wishing Royse Castle “many years of relaxation and joy in retirement,” Huber said.

Royse Castle’s parents, Homer and Gladys Royse, first started selling watermelons at their roadside stand, Royse’s Watermelon Kingdom, in 1948. The business expanded to sell other produce by the mid-1970s. Homer Royse also grew his truck fleet, driving all over the country to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to North Dakota.

Royse Castle’s brother, Byron Royse, took over the trucking fleet around the same time that she started managing the produce stand.

“And together we have continued to buy from the same farmers and growers that our parents did,” she said. “Many of these wonderful suppliers are also children of their parents’ orchards and farms.”

Castle Royce said it was an honor to work alongside her family.

“I can’t think of anything better,” she said.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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