Who We Are

As a family foundation, our mission is to “Serve, Encourage, and Educate Children and the Under-Served in their Spiritual, Community, and Human Development.”

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We Are a Multi-Generational Family

Building on the mission of Ralph and Cheryl Broetje to found an apple orchard and use the profits to serve those in need

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We Are Place-Based

Accompanying children, youth and parents in their own journeys to identify and pursue their dreams for the future

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We Are Strategic Partners

Investing in a select group of faith-based, community-led initiatives pursuing holistic wellbeing and an empowered worldview

Our Founding Story

For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; they will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants.”

Isaiah 65:22-23

 

 

Ralph Cheryl Chapel

Ralph and Cheryl Broetje established Broetje Orchards in 1968, when they first settled onto a small cherry orchard in Benton City, Washington.  As a teenager, Ralph had dreamed of one day owning an orchard and using profits to help children in need.  While the work of starting a business was slow in the beginning, and they endured many challenges and tests along the way, people came around them in those early years to help make the dream a reality.

 

In 1982, the Broetje family moved to our current location in Prescott, Washington.  The work remained focused solely on the growing of apples and cherries until 1987, when the decision was made to build our own packing line and shipping warehouse.  This made 100 new jobs immediately available — many of which were filled by women.  As we came to know these women, we began to hear more stories about their families.

 

As first generation immigrants from Mexico, they were strangers in a new land. Many were lonely and afraid, but they were also eager to find work. They had come with little more than the hope for a better life, for themselves and for their children. Upon arrival, they faced huge challenges — housing located in overcrowded and violent neighborhoods; lack of extended family to provide safe childcare; and high school drop-out rates hindering the potential of youth.

 

Reflecting on these needs, we established an on-site childcare center so that children would have a safe place to stay while their parents worked.  Next we built a housing community, including over 120 single-family homes and apartments surrounding a gym, chapel, laundry, and convenience store.  In 1991 the first families moved in.  Residents held a contest that first year and named the community Vista Hermosa — ”beautiful view” — acknowledging the spirit of the place, grounded in a feeling of safety, peace, and tranquility.

 

Over the years, Vista Hermosa has become a place for thousands of people in a strange land to call home for a time, while they go about the work of healing, discovering new or latent gifts, and incubating dreams for the future. In turn, many of our residents have gone on to become stabilizers and leaders in other communities.

 

Our community has also become a model and host for ongoing dialogue around how to build resilient, flourishing communities.  We have become part of a larger network of communities grounded in a spirit of compassion, acceptance, inclusion, and servant leadership.

Our Five
Core Values

LOVE.

God has destined us in love (Eph 1:4-5).
Live life as God’s beloved son or daughter.

RESPECT.

All people are created in God’s image (Gen 1:27).  Look for the good in all people, especially those now marginalized.

PURPOSE.

God has a purpose for the world and for every person in it (1 Cor: 12).
Help others discover and practice their purpose.

COMMUNITY.

Everything in the cosmos is connected (Col 1:15-20).
Teach, model and reward teamwork.

COMPASSION.

God rules with compassion (Lk 12:41-48).  Empower one another in service to the common good.

Our Team

Board of Directors

Cheryl Broetje, President

Ralph Broetje, Vice President

Sandra Gamble, Secretary/Treasurer

Suzanne Broetje, chair

 

Programs

Darilyn Hackett, NELA School Director

Guadalupe Broetje, Scholars Coordinator

Melanie Lopez-Grewal, Grants Coordinator

 

Shelly Broetje, Bookkeeper/Administrator

Suzanne Broetje, Executive Director

Tyler Broetje, Communications Coordinator

A Timeline of Progress

The Dream

1960

Ralph's dream is born...
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A Rough Beginning

1963

Ralph and Cheryl Broetje bought their first cherry orchard in Benton City, Washington. The first three years were disastrous, but a dream team formed.
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Early Success

1973

With each successful harvest, debts were paid off and orchards were expanded in Benton City and Yakima, Washington.
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The Move

1982

Rough times return. Ralph and Cheryl Broetje were forced to sell the Benton City and Yakima properties and moved to Prescott, Washington.
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Remembering The Dream

1983

In the midst of crisis, faith and business came together to rekindle the original vision.
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The Center For Sharing

1986

Through the experiences in Mexico and working with the Marginalized here locally, Cheryl felt a call...
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First Packing Line

1987

Broetje Orchards becomes a vertically integrated company as grower, packer and shipper all on one site.
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Investing In Families

1988

The company opens New Horizon Early Childhood Education Center on site.
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Building Community

1990

The company builds the Vista Hermosa community, a place for families to find safety and belonging near the workplace.
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Vista Hermosa Foundation

1991

A private foundation was established to carry out the mission of “Bearing Fruit that will Last, “both at home and around the world.
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Building on Success

1995

Broetje Orchards invested heavily into expanding orchards and infrastructure.
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Investing in Organics

2001

Broetje Orchards purchased an organic farm in Wallula, growing a variety of apples and cherries.
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Second Packing Line

2003

Balancing Economic Demand & Family Friendly Practices...
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Creation of the Tierra Vida Community

2005

Furthering Community Development...
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First Fruits Marketing

2009

Broetje Orchards creates First Fruits Marketing to re-emphasize it's cause-related Purpose.
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Opal® Apple

2010

Broetje Orchard’s exclusive and unique variety.
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Seeking Immigration Reform

2011

Standing with the “strangers among us,” Broetje Orchards devoted time and resources to partner and advocate for just immigration reform in the United States.
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Advancing Wellness in the Workplace

2015

The Vista Hermosa Health Clinic is born...
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Moving Forward

2016

Continuing to live out the mission and vision.
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