Chemist by day, carver by night: The delicious double life of a Madison fruit artist

By Salina Heller

October 17, 2023

Eder Valle starts his day in a white lab coat, working as a pharmaceutical drug-testing scientist. At night, he changes into a white apron for a night job all his own.

Chemist by day, carver by night: The delicious double life of a Madison fruit artist

Photo courtesy Artesan Fruit

Valle, 38, is the proud owner of Artesan Fruit, a local “fruit art” company (a la Edible Arrangements.)

“With both chemistry and fruit, it’s the same approach,” Valle explained. “Take your time, be patient, think of the big picture, and be as detailed as possible.”

We caught up with Valle for this Small Business Spotlight.

Salina Heller, UpNorthNews: How do you describe Artesan Fruit to a stranger?

Eder Valle, Owner: We create unique, edible artwork using watermelons and chocolate-covered strawberries in both small and large fruit bouquets. The small comes with 12 strawberries, and the large comes with 18. We can also create faces, custom names, and business logos.

How?!
What really helps us stand out is our 3-D leaf patterns. They make any image pop and the petals look so fragile.

What inspired you to start your business?
I wanted to create a niche market and become the best at it. As far as we know, we are the only local fruit bouquet designers in the state.

What’s been the hardest part?
Covid—it really slowed our momentum, but I have been trying to build back our following and I’ve also improved our packaging for easier transport.

What’s the best part of owning your own business?
Wearing multiple hats—from web designer and artist to customer service. It’s allowed me to develop into a well-rounded, professional individual.

What are you most proud of?
Creating a business model and executing it effectively. It makes me wonder how far I can take this in the future.

What’s next?
We’re starting to carve faces into the watermelons. We think this will gain traction and produce even higher sales.

What’s it like seeing people react to your creations?
Everyone’s jaws drop when they see our fruit bouquets. We always get that ‘wow’ factor! It brings me tremendous joy.


Artesan Fruits, located on Sherman Ave. in Madison, is open from 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Sunday, but the company delivers within a 50-mile radius. Click here to browse and/or order online!

Chemist by day, carver by night: The delicious double life of a Madison fruit artist

Photo courtesy Artesan Fruit

Author

  • Salina Heller

    A former 15-year veteran of reporting local news for western Wisconsin TV and radio stations, Salina Heller also volunteers in community theater, helps organize the Chippewa Valley Air Show, and is kept busy by her daughter’s elementary school PTA meetings. She is a UW-Eau Claire alum.

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