History of Sakura Ridge

In 2000, John and Deanna Joyer were finishing college at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. John worked on a degree in agriculture and managed an exotic fruit orchard. Deanna studied art and worked in a local restaurant.

Deidra Wager, Deanna’s childhood friend in Ely, Minnesota lived in Tokyo at the time, running Starbucks Coffee Japan She flew into Hilo for a visit, hungry for the faces of old friends and familiar food. In the tiny living room of John and Deanna’s plantation style home, perched over a brook in the middle of Ho Ho Wai Wai, the three friends had an animated conversation after dinner–the idea of a farm and bed and breakfast took shape.

John’s background included work in orchards in the Sacramento delta and on his grandparent’s farm in Minnesota. Deanna and Deidra grew up working in restaurants and resorts in northern Minnesota.

Equipped with education, experience, and enthusiasm, the three partners slowly realized their vision of a working organic farm with a welcoming bed and breakfast serving foods drawn from the land.

It has been a long, fruitful and tasty journey!

Apple trees made up the first orchards, in the 1880s. Pear and cherry trees followed a century later. The cherry trees were removed in 2014 and new acreage was planted with pear trees.

Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. The farm’s name honors the Japanese Americans who settled in Hood River Valley in the 1880’a They planted acres of beautiful orchards on previously logged land. The sakura blossom epitomizes the fleeting quality of life and the intense beauty of nature.