Let's celebrate!|Berlin Fruit Box Company marks 150 years

BERLIN HEIGHTS - The Berlin Fruit Box Company is saving its best not for last, but first. The Berlin Heights basket manufacturer will kick off its 150th anniversary celebration this month by showcasing three baskets. One of them is "simply the most beautiful basket we've ever made in our 150-year history," company president Matt Adelman said.
Aaron Krause
Jul 25, 2010

BERLIN HEIGHTS - The Berlin Fruit Box Company is saving its best not for last, but first.

The Berlin Heights basket manufacturer will kick off its 150th anniversary celebration this month by showcasing three baskets. One of them is "simply the most beautiful basket we've ever made in our 150-year history," company president Matt Adelman said.

It is the Berlin Fruit Box Company's interpretation of the Nantucket Lightship Purse Basket. It represented a basket art form originated by the keepers of lightships anchored off the coast of Nantucket Island, Mass., in the mid-1800s. The lids are frequently decorated with scrimshaw artwork originally carved from whale bone.

During an open house later this month and early December, the Berlin Heights company will showcase its version of the basket. The company's versions of the American Indian Storage basket and the Carolina Low Country Sweetgrass Bread basket also will be displayed. All will be for sale.

In addition to baskets, the event will feature factory tours, lathe demonstrations, weave (and keep) your own basket sessions and free basket decorating for children. There is a fee for the weave your own basket session.

Future anniversary-related activities might include a re-enactment by 16-year employee Don Lautzenheizer, who resembles company founder Samuel Patterson. Lautzenheizer, a pattern maker and maintenance worker, is no relation to Patterson.

Adelman said company officials have been planning the 150th anniversary for a couple years.

"We're thrilled," he said. "If there was ever a time in our history that someone would come out and say hello and pay a visit and see what we do, we think it's now."

Adelman said some area residents may not realize the business exists.

"We say that we are the area's best kept secret," he said.

The business, the oldest basket making operation in Ohio, has been in the family for six generations; Adelman's great, great, great grandfather, Samuel Patterson, founded the business in 1858. His goal was to supply area farms and orchards with baskets for fruit and vegetables.

The company does not grow or sell fruit, but has been called The Berlin Fruit Box Company since its founding.

So, if you're looking to buy a box of fruit, don't call the Berlin Fruit Box Company with that request, as others have done.

You can, however, request any number of Samuel Patterson Baskets; the company's business is 100 percent retail, so you can buy them directly. Your chance to do so is coming up. The open house is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23, 24 and 25 as well as 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2.

"We'd just love to share our history with (the public)," Adelman said. "It's an open invitation for them to see what we do."

Comments

Wonderful baske...

These are great baskets. A little pricey though. I wanted to buy a nice little basket, but the one I wanted was was $130. I can't afford to pay that much for a basket.

DID THEY SAY RE...

These are a true investment. This company has a very good reputation. I will buy some for my family for Christmas. They make wonderful gifts. I sometimes put fruit, or candy when I give them away. Does anyone else have any ideas of what else I can put inside them?

i like (Anonymous)

Hot cocco mix and cups

fill (Anonymous)

You can fill mine with money anytime.!!

Jen (Anonymous)

I also fill baskets with hard cany. Like peppermint, butterscotch, and candy canes on the outside.

basket guzzler ...

depending on their size, you can use them for magazines, dentures, old socks, keys, beavers, check stubs, lighters, coins, candy canes, trash bags, the list goes forever!

Re: basket guzz...

Check stubs, dentures, old socks, beavers, and trashbags? I will say your creative.

basket guzzler ...

Yes! I have good ideas. use baskets for lighters, smokes, pictures, tile, doorknobs, shoe laces, your stash, Barbie accessories, Three Stooges memorabilia, rugs, toothbrushes, buttons, rope, Fritos, pin cushions, pet treats, paper airplanes, toenail clippers, grandpa munster, crabcakes, eye make-up, cotton-balls, ouija boards, neon signs, sleeping pills, no doze, and last but not least, eyeglasses. I'm tired now.

swiss family......

they are nice baskets, but Big Lots has some nice baskets too, and so do the dollar stores around town, and they are alot cheaper than the ones made in Berlin Heights !!!but if you have the money, have at it!! and have fun

basket guzzler ...

...pictures, matches, railroad ties, thread, swiss family, tools, skulls, blueprints, broth, casino coins, matchbox cars, gas guzzler, carpet samples, keyboards, T$Robinson, hair nets, measuring tape, boxing gloves, beer caps, coal, milk, hep-cats, nail polish, vikings, grapes, feta cheese, bills, razors, Stewie, shotglasses, powder, napkins, mice, cigg butts, craftsman, hearts, coffee, coins, headlights, paint, salsa, golfballs and finally, Paul.

re: Basket Guzz...

you have a lot of "great" ideas, but I think you foregot about the kitchen sink.

Dont forget (An...

your newspaper

basket guzzler ...

Thanks! Here's some more...eggs, (not all in one basket, of course) toilet paper, pictures of your sister, toe nails, soap on a rope, kool-aid, dead people's ashes, clothes for your cat, your p.c., staples, ivory tusks, junior mints, tires, liquor, shoe horns, cucumbers, poems, dust, cream rinse, bears, hammers, wallpaper paste, very small dogs, stamps, hand lotion, roads in Milan and finally, steak sauce.

re basket guzzl...

how about swiss family's ashes????

re: basket guzz...

What kind of steak sauce?

basket guzzler ...

A-1...everything else is crap. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I will be a 'turkey guzzler' next time I come on here. Or a mashed potato guzzler...gravy guzzler, cranberry relish guzzler, green bean casserole guzzler, roll guzzler, pumpkin pie guzzler, whipped cream guzzler, corn casserole guzzler, butter guzzler, water guzzler, wishbone guzzler and cornicopia guzzler! LET'S EAT!

Basket Case (An...

While shopping for some cheap baskets at the local Big Lots I happened upon a Norwalk Reflector in the bathroom. After I was through using it I happened to notice an article on part of the unused portion about The Berlin Fruit Box Co. So I thought to myself, self, Berlin Hts. in on the way to Lorain where the cheap gas is. So since I'm saving all that money on the cheap gas in Lorain I can stop at the Berlin Fruit Box co. on my way home and get some quality baskets for my friends and cats. I love cats, especially with the steak sauce I keep in my baskets.

emily (Anonymous)

Use 4 basket - dead feral kat.

swiss family......

it is interesting to watch craftsmen, making these baskets, ... but they are way, way overpriced

The Swiss Famil...

tool. craftsman...lololol tool!