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Nirvana Grille helps local save crop at Apple Starr Orchard by selling it through co-op


Apple Starr Orchard in Julian, which is owned by a Laguna Beach resident, was about to lose its entire crop until Lindsay Smith-Rosales, co-owner and chef of Nirvana Grille, stepped in to help sell the 3,500 lbs of pears and apples in Nirvana Grille’s co-op. 

Apple Starr Orchard is a U-Pick farm with approximately 1,000 trees with their numbers balanced between apples and pears. They only use certified organic products and are the only organic apple and pear farm in Julian. 

Nirvana Grille Lindsay and Arnie

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Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales and Arnie Starr, owner of Apple Starr Orchard

Smith-Rosales says, “I’m working exclusively to salvage an entire organic farm, Apple Starr Orchard in Julian, owned by local Arnie Starr, from losing the harvest this year due to COVID-19. They are not able to do their U-Pick of apples and pears this year, which they have been doing since 1982. We will begin pre-selling by this weekend for pick up next week through October for their entire crop harvest!” 

Nirvana Grille apple

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One variety of apple at Apple Starr Orchard

“Arnie has lived in Laguna for 30 years, and he and his assistant Sandy have been regular customers at Nirvana for ten years. They come twice a week, and I’ve also delivered food to him. I asked him when I could bring the boys up to pick again, and he said because of COVID-19 they were closed, and the fruit for the whole season would be lost, so I went up there last Wednesday.” 

There are four kinds of pears – Bosc, Anjou, Comice, and Bartlett, red and green – and four kinds of apples – Granny Smith, Gala, Jonathan Gold, and Fuji – which will all ripen at different times.

Smith-Rosales was able to select the beneficiaries of the proceeds from the bumper crop: Alzheimer’s Foundation (Arnie was a Professor of Neurology at University of California, Irvine), Sally’s Fund, and Laguna Food Pantry – which have both been so important during COVID-19. And she’s hoping to cover the cost of the labor for picking. 

Nirvana Grille pears

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Pear tree 

“It is a highly perishable product, and we have a short selling window! We will begin to get product picked two times a week and brought to Nirvana directly from the Julian farm with four varieties of organic pears and four varieties of organic apples,” Smith-Rosales says.

A separate page on the Nirvana Grille website, with a code for the apples and pears, will go live today (Friday). 

The apples and pears will be available through the Nirvana Market on Tuesday, and Thursday through Sunday, from 2:30 - 6:30 p.m., and can be combined with any grocery or to-go orders.

To pre-order/order, go to For more information, call (949) 497-0027.

Nirvana Grille is located at 303 Broadway St.


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