UNION CREEK, Ore. – For as long as anyone can remember, the end of summer has been the time for families to venture into the Southern Oregon Cascades to pick huckleberries. Labor Day weekend has become a traditional time for many families to camp and pick berries. It also means big business for Beckie’s Cafe and Restaurant at Union Creek.
Theresa Linson has been a breakfast cook for more than 25 years. Now, she’s the pastry chef at historic Beckie’s Cafe. On Monday morning, she was making huckleberry pies.
“Trying to be ready for this weekend. But it hasn’t been as busy, because they’ve been advertising all the smoke up here. So people just haven’t been coming up. But today should be the day,” said Linson.
There was no smoke on Labor Day for Union Creek, so Theresa was busy taking pies out of the oven and putting more in. She has several bins of huckleberries ready to put into pies, as fast as she can prepare more pans and dough.
This year, all the berries are local, bought from local berry pickers. Linson said this is a good berry season. Beckie’s pays $6 a pound, which works out to about $30 a gallon for the tiny, tasty berries. Theresa said, so far, she’s used about 40 gallons of huckleberries for making pies, which amounts to about 120 pies so far. She said towards the end of the season, they’ll start making huckleberry jam to sell, instead of pies.
Whole pies at Beckie’s sell for $38 each. Pie by the slice is $5. Theresa Linson says families come up from the Rogue Valley just to buy whole huckleberry and other pies from Beckie’s.