Friday, March 2, 2012

Two Guys Named Harry & David

Raise your hand if:
#1  You know where Medford, Oregon is
#2  You know who Harry and David are 
#3  You love the deliciousness of all things Harry & David 

Medford, is just just a tad over 10 miles north of Ashland and imagine our surprise when we first discovered that the corporate headquarters for Harry & David are just up the road from us!  Who knew?  I used to shop at Harry & David in the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, California, all the time, but never gave thought to where the products came from.  They just came from the store in the mall, right?!  The fact that the corporate headquarters are in Medford, is just another example of the treasures waiting to be discovered in the Rogue Valley.

Samuel Rosenberg, father of Harry and David, was a successful hotel owner in Seattle, Washington, but his true love was agriculture. In 1910 he traded the luxurious Hotel Sorrento for 240 prime acres of pears in Southern Oregon's Rogue River Valley and named them Bear Creek Orchards after the nearby waterway.
Comice Pears
Following Sam's death in 1914, his two sons, Harry and David, took over the family orchard business. The brothers were schooled in agriculture at Cornell University and they put their agricultural training to good use. Harry and David decided early on to specialize in the Comice pear for which there was a good export market to the grand hotels and restaurants of Europe. The Rogue Valley proved even better suited to the Comice pear than its birthplace in France. Harry and David named their luxurious pears "Royal Riviera" to set them apart from varieties grown elsewhere. Throughout the Roaring 20's, the fame of Royal Riviera pears spread, and business boomed.
Harry & David
The most visible landmark is the 1937 art deco packing house, a local attraction prominently located along the main highway. The campus consists of administrative offices, an information technology building, packing houses, storage facilities, a candy kitchen and bakery complex, an employment and education center, customer service call center, marketing offices, an in-house advertising agency and much more. Additionally there are 2,700 acres of orchards located around the Rogue Valley. Here, the normal workforce of 1,700 swells to over 6,700 at the peak of the holiday season, with as many as 100,000 calls received in a single day. (
Harry & David Country Village Store in Medford, Oregon
Moose Munch!
 This shuttle leaves four times daily for factory tours, just up the road

U.S. Cellular Community Park is a $30 million, 132-acre state-of-the-art sports park owned by the City of Medford and operated by the Medford Parks and Recreation Department located between U.S. Highway 99 and Interstate 5 on the southern end of Medford.

When complete, USCCP will feature 15 ball fields, including a five-field softball/baseball complex, a five-field multi-sport complex, two full-size baseball fields and two youth baseball and fastpitch fields. Harry & David Field, a natural- grass baseball stadium, is also part of USCCP. Additional park amenities will include an 8,000-square-foot activities pavilion, concession stands, picnic shelters and playgrounds.  (

Comice pear orchard
In related news: In 2011 Harry & David underwent a corporate reorganization and filed bankruptcy. The company, however, is holding strong and moving forward. 

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