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Aleksander's Story

Donations go towards purchasing equipment for Aleksander's business equipment needs.

Aleksander Romadin spent his twenties immersed in drugs and criminal activity, which ultimately resulted in a three-year prison sentence. Upon release, he worked hard to become a contributing member of society and a good father figure.

At 34, Alex was working in granite and tile and was the proud father of a ten-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son. Then a motorcycle accident on his way to work changed everything. While traveling at high speed, Alex hit some unexpected gavel on the road. This caused him to lose control, and he was thrown from the bike into a fence pole. Tragically, this resulted in a severe spinal cord injury that paralyzed Alex from the waist down.

During recovery at home, Alex fell into a serious depression. For six months he didn't leave his bed. Thoughts of suicide began to haunt him. Out of desperation, he began to pray. He hoped to find an activity he would enjoy that would also allow him to provide for his family. 

Soon after, he happened upon a video of a woman making dried fruit. Alex went and got a small dehydrator and a couple pounds of different fruits and started drying them. Checking on the progress of the dehydrating fruit got Alex out of bed! He began experimenting with different dehydrating methods and using more varieties of fruit.  Examining the dried fruit available in grocery stores, Alex discovered they often contained harmful chemicals as preservatives, and most didn’t have an appealing look. His mission was to make dried fruit that didn’t use any preservatives and that both looked and tasted great.

His sister-in-law stopped by and tasted Alex’s dried pineapple and bananas. She was immediately hooked and asked him to make some for her. Alex realized this could be the answer to his prayer. What started in the kitchen moved into a workroom in the back of the garage. One dehydrator became multiple machines.

Alex invested all he had in this new venture. In the early days, most of the dried fruit he produced was given to people in the community. Alex knew he was on to something and was excited to be making a great product people enjoyed. He kept praying he would meet the right people to help make his dream a reality.

While Alex was passionate about making fruit, he was not particularly interested in selling it. His friend, Emily, though, had the genius idea to introduce Alex to Amy Dietrich at Frog Hollow Farm. They connected right away. Later, Alex realized this meeting was a miracle that would start a chain reaction.

Amy connected Alex with Sundown Hazen of Chesed Farms, a local mushroom grower in Walla Walla. Alex started drying mushrooms. Together Alex and Sundown started planning and gathering materials for a commercial kitchen and dehydrator at the Chesed Farms facility.

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