Make Your Easter Egg-ceptional This Year

What does spring mean to you? To many of us, spring means orchards beginning to blossom, Easter celebrations, warm days that allow for time outside and most importantly, time spent with the ones we love.  

Here are a few of our favorite recipes, hands on activities and crafts to boost your spirits and help remind us that blessings abound even in times of uncertainty. From our extended Chelan Fresh family to yours – Happy Easter!  ???

Tim’s Corner

From the Sales Floor

As we move into week 3 of the “new normal” here in Washington state, we are all keenly aware that while our state is flattening the curve, other states are still struggling with mounting cases of COVID-19. Our hearts go out to the families and industries most affected by this crisis.

At Chelan Fresh we realized long ago that in addition to providing high levels of communication to our retail customers, we also had to focus on our internal communications. The Chelan Fresh IT team has worked tirelessly over the last 10 years to ensure that our shipper inventories, load scheduling, and production teams communicate seamlessly with our sales desk on a daily, often hourly basis. And over the last month, this IT team has added capability so that our sales staff can continue high levels of communication as they Work from Home. Our customers can reach all of our staff on direct dial lines or cell phones and our sales staff has direct access to inventories at all warehouse operations. Our warehouse operations continue to practice social distancing and high levels of food safety protocols while shipping large volumes of apples and pears each week. We appreciate the long hours that have been put forward by everyone to transition to this new normal.

Chelan Fresh will continue to do our part to “flatten the curve”, but we are still available to meet the demands of retail customers and ultimately the consumer during the new normal. We know that there will continue to be challenges over the course of the next few months, and retailers can have confidence we are here to help our customers through these uncertain times. Contact any Chelan Fresh sales team member for continued support to meet your sales goals. 509-682-4252

A portion of the Chelan Fresh staff on a recent sales call.

Early Season Cherry Outlook

It is beginning to look a lot like spring as noted by some recent photos from orchards down in the Yakima and Mattawa regions of Washington.  The trees are fragrant with blossoms and the sound of bees working hard in the orchard is music to a farmer’s ears. These diligent workers pollinate the blossoms allowing us to bring you the sensational cherries you have come to expect from Chelan Fresh.

Mac Riggan, Marketing Director for Chelan Fresh concurs. “We plant both our conventional and organic cherries at various elevations from the Yakima Valley to the Canadian border to expand the season. We have early varieties that will start harvesting the first part of June and the perfect late varieties planted at elevation to take us through August”.

In addition to Dark Sweet cherries and Rainier Cherries, Chelan Fresh also has proprietary varieties like the Orondo Ruby® and Wild Sweet Cherry.  The Orondo Ruby® cherry offers a point of differentiation with its beautiful blush-color and sweet with a wave of tart flavor, that is often referred to as the “Cherry-lovers” cherry.  The Wild Sweet cherry offers retailers another option to carry a large, firm cherry that delivers explosive cherry flavor with an incredible bite.

Cherries are a high impulse buy category (52% of purchases are not planned) and most consumers are unsure of when the season starts until they see them in store.  If consumers continue to shop online this Summer, how can we ensure they know its cherry season?  Chelan Fresh is excited to partner with retailers to drive consumer awareness of fresh cherry season by investing in both their online grocery shopping platform and by leveraging our consumer targeted Digital and Social Media campaigns.

Our Euro footprint merchandisers with pop top headers offer retailers a chance to put cherries front and center to capture impulse buys.

The Chelan Fresh sales team is ready to begin talking cherries to help our Retail Partners plan for the upcoming season.  Call your Chelan Fresh sales rep today directly or asked to be connected when you dial 509-682-4252.

Savor the Flavor

The dish on Chelan Fresh employees and their favorite recipes

Janette Meneses

Each month we feature one of our Chelan Fresh employees and get the scoop on their favorite recipe from our Chelan Fresh website.

This month we sat down with Janette Menses from our Chelan Fresh Export department.

Janette grew up in the small town of Chelan, Washington and was determined to get herself onto bigger and better things. She earned a Finance degree from Eastern Washington University with a minor in Economics so watch out world, she will be on point to help right the ship after this COVID-19 period is over. Following graduation, she came back to Chelan and found her new home in the Export department at Chelan Fresh. She currently helps assist with all of the Mexico, South and Central America accounts and vaults into some Chinese Export markets during cherry season. She is super sharp when it comes to the varying requirements for each country which is invaluable to her fellow export team members. Janette recently learned what it meant to be an “essential worker” in times of crisis. She is proud to be on the front lines answering the phones, taking orders, coordinating with shippers and truck drivers so that consumers can continue to have access to a steady and safe food supply.    

When Janette is not at work, she loves to be at the gym working off the occasional stress that comes from spending time too much time with her co-workers Gustavo and Mario. Gym time during COVID-19 has changed, so her gym membership is on hold while she logs some hours at the local track. She also loves bonfires with friends and family; and learning more about the wine industry in the Chelan Valley (that is Gen X speak for “wine tasting”.) And if you need help finding the best baked goods east of the Cascades, Janette keeps a mental list of all of her favorite spots for baked goods, especially cinnamon rolls. Her all-time favorite cinnamon rolls can be found at Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery and Sweet River Bakery.

Janette continues to hone her cooking skills, but one of her favorite recipes is the KORU® Apple Pecan Chicken Salad because it is so easy and a healthy option that can be ready in a few short minutes. Click here to access this easy and delicious recipe.

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