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.
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|
|Harry & David Country Village Store in Medford, Oregon|
|This shuttle leaves four times daily for factory tours, just up the road|
|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.