Kaitlyn Thornton

Thornton Farm's Established 1986
Tonasket, WA
440 acres
Meet Kaitlyn Thornton, a 4th generational farmer, born and raised on her family’s ranch in Tonasket, Washington. The family farm started with 100 acres in the Tonasket area by her Great Grandfather, Roy. The farm eventually went to the wayside until Kaitlyn’s father shared the same passion as Roy and picked up where he left off. Buying back the family’s land piece by piece, the farm grew from just 27 acres to over 440 operational acres.
“As a farmer, you have to have the perseverance and passion if you’re going to make it.”

Thornton has had a passion for farming for as long as she can remember. What started as picking rocks, grew to thinning trees, irrigation management, and now driving truck, farm operations, and marketing the family’s fruit. Kaitlyn has grown a large following on her personal TikTok, educating consumers on farming and apples. She also manages the TikTok account for SugarBee apples, a proprietary variety that the family happens to farm as well. She has a passion for connecting consumers to their food source and helping consumers understand what it really takes to run a farm and how to choose a great eating apple. 

Along with her farming efforts, Kaitlyn has also started a business of her own. What started as a challenge in High School to see if she could sell 20 boxes of apricots on Facebook, has now grown to a full-blown business she calls, Kait’s Crates. The first year she sold over 400 boxes of fruit, 500 the following year, and over 1,000 the year after. With the power of social media, everywhere Kait brings her fruit, she is either pre-sold or selling out with increased quantity each trip. She has now earned the name “Apple Queen” in the Tonasket area and on TikTok as well. 

When Thornton isn’t working the farm or running her own business, she is attending Washington State University. After college, Kait plans to go into marketing/sales and continue operating the family farm. She will continue to grow her TikTok and social media following and connect people to the farm, she hopes people can think of her and her dad when they bite into a piece of fruit.

What is a club variety?

Some Washington apples are known as "club" or "proprietary" varieties. Club varieties are patented and trademarked, and sold exclusively by specific companies.