Recently several families in the Washington fruit industry decided to join together with one common thread – the idea that by joining families that have been farming for generations – we at Chelan Fresh could be “Better Together”.
Beginning September 1st, Borton Fruit and Columbia Valley Fruit will officially join under the Chelan Fresh and Cascade Crest Organic label. It only makes sense that when you combine orchards from the fertile valleys of Yakima with orchards on the gentle mountain slopes of North Central Washington that you will continue to produce some of Washington’s finest fruit.
This merger combines families with a passion for growing quality, in-demand varieties of apples, pears, cherries and other stone fruits. Other benefits include earlier harvest windows in Yakima that allow for fruit available to ship 10-14 days earlier in the season. Increased acreage of high color Honeycrisp along with new strains of Gala and Fuji. Proprietary varieties such as SugarBee™, Rockit™, KORU®, and Orondo Ruby® are now available under one roof. And a larger manifest of organic fruit including nectarines, plums, cherries, apples and pears allows for more opportunities to meet consumer demands.
Better Together means that families with long histories of growing have come together because they still believe in producing some of Washington’s finest fruit.
Chelan Fresh welcomes the family farms of Borton Fruit and Columbia Valley Fruit. Our fall harvests are now in full swing and we look forward to working with all of our retail customers to share the exciting new offerings at Chelan Fresh. Contact your Chelan Fresh Sales Representative for more information about how Better Together can benefit you.
Chelan Fresh Pears
Washington’s new crop pears are hitting markets across the country much to the delight of consumers.
At Chelan Fresh we love pear season and produce some of the finest Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc and Red Pears around in both conventional and organic varieties. Warm days and cooler nights combine to produce sweet fruit that melts in your mouth.
Our 2lb and 3lb variety specific pouches give consumers the opportunity to choose a size and variety that works for them. The packaging also gives consumers tips to ripen pears and uses the “Check the neck” graphic to help consumers find pears that are ripe.
Our Category Management team is also out in full force surveying consumers on their pear buying habits and are happy to help retailers use those results to sell more pears at store level. See our Category Opportunity piece in this newsletter.
Add to that the expertise of Chef Meg Raines to create great tips for using pears in all types of recipes and pears will fly off your shelf. Click here to see Chef Meg’s tips for heading back to school with pears. For your next game day crowd, try our Grilled Cheese with Pear Sandwich or serve up our Black Rice and Pear Salad to please the whole family!
Chelan Fresh Sales reps are always available to discuss pears with our customers. Contact us today at 509-682-4252.
Meet the Grower
Chelan Fresh is proud to represent the growers of Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties in Washington State. Each month we will introduce them to you in our “Meet the Grower” series. Check in regularly with our blog – To the Core – to find out what’s happening in the orchards that produce some of Washington’s Finest Mountain Grown Fruit.
This month we are talking with Allen Godwin of Godwin Organic Orchards in Tonasket, Washington. Visit our blog post to read more.
This month we are featuring one employee who has worked for Borton Fruit and one employee who works for Chelan Fresh.
Name: Lindsay Ehlis
Position: Yakima Office Manager/Administrative-Marketing Assistant
Favorite Apple: Pink Lady and Koru®
Favorite Cherry: Rainier
Favorite part of working at Borton and now Chelan Fresh: I started working for Borton Fruit on St. Patrick’s Day in 2003, marking 14 years this past March (3/17/03)!
I started out invoicing for the sales department and then moved up the ranks to Sales Assistant and then my most recent position as Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing. Now I manage A/R, customer requests and presentations, and also coordinate all of the outside meetings and food shows along with the related travel.
Borton Fruit has been an amazing company to work for and I’m very thankful for how good they have been to me over the past 14 years. I have learned so much and met so many amazing people who will remain in my life forever from my time spent there.
Making this transition to becoming a Chelan Fresh employee is very exciting. Over the last three months I’ve been working very closely with the new team from Chelan Fresh and couldn’t be happier to be joining a very reputable company in the industry. When two industry leaders come together in an effort to provide outstanding quality and service to our industry year round, you just have to feel blessed to be a part of it.
Favorite thing to do outside of work, something that is near and dear to your heart: I love spending time with my friends family, significant other David and our two boxer kiddo’s Layla and Titan. We really enjoy anything outdoors, especially going to the beach, hiking and playing on the water. We have some inflatable paddle boards that we can’t get enough of and love to take out on the lake any opportunity we have. We are also big Seahawks fans and try to make it to as many games as possible each year. We have a huge, amazing family and some awesome friends so we are constantly on the go and feel very blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives.
Name: Trudy Soost
Position: Assistant Financial Controller
Favorite Apple: My favorite apple is SugarBee™. I love the crisp texture and it has that sweet flavor too!
Favorite Cherry: The Sonnet is my favorite cherry! They have a beautiful light red color and the complex taste is amazing.
Favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh: My favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh is the people I work with. Numbers are serious, so we always incorporate a few jokes and laughter.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: I enjoy spending time with my family hiking and camping. My husband and I are both avid runners and enjoy attending race events.
This summer, we embarked on a journey to find out why U.S. consumers don’t buy more fresh pears. Who better to ask than the true experts – the shoppers themselves.
Our Category Management team partnered with two of the industry’s leading research companies, Beacon Research & Category Partners, to tailor their “Produce Barriers to Purchase” study specifically to the Fresh Pear Category.
Instead of taking the standard approach of having shoppers tell us why they DO buy pears, we asked them to tell us why they DON’T buy (or buy more). This approach gave us a unique view of the fresh pear category and retail shopping experience through their eyes. If we can identify what prevents them from buying more pears, we then can make changes to overcome those barriers and sell more.
Great news, 71% of consumers said there was something we could do to get them to buy more pears… and it’s not all about lowering the price!
Our team would love to share our learnings with you. If you are interested – let your Chelan Fresh Sales Team contact know and we will schedule time to take you through the study results and work together to develop a plan to increase your pear category performance.