H arry and David
Harry and David’s
Squares (at costco.com).
Gift baskets and more at Costco
Pat Volchok gives
look at Costco
products and services.
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THE HARRY AND DAVID folks do food gift baskets
right. They grow their own premium, luxurious Royal
Riviera® Pears and Oregold® Peaches; make their
secret-recipe namesake gourmet cakes, cookies, popcorn treats and chocolates; and design all packaging.
This year these gifted geniuses are also meticulously hand-packing and wrapping exclusively
designed Harry and David gift baskets for Costco
warehouses, plus gift baskets, gift towers and signature Fruit of the Month Club collections for
costco.com. Here’s a look at this committed-to-excellence company, as well as descriptions of Harry
and David products available this season in Costco
warehouses and at costco.com.
The Harry and David dream
Harry and David personifies the American
dream. The company was founded by two tenacious
Oregon farm boys whose family was on the brink of
bankruptcy. They traveled to New York
and San Francisco during the Great
Depression to peddle their prized
pears in an unheard-of manner—
as Christmas gifts of fruit by mail.
The brothers’ perseverance
and ingenuity and the extraordinary quality of their
fruit secured lasting customers. Eleanor Roosevelt
became a fan, as did my grandmother and my mom.
In fact, the first kiwi I ever ate came from a Harry and
David gift package.
I recently visited the company’s 50-acre campus,
still situated on the family’s original pear orchard
in Oregon’s verdant southern Rogue Valley. My
first impression is a company exuding employee
pride, commitment to land stewardship, permanence and tradition.
Bill Williams, the company’s president and
CEO, is part of my welcome wagon. I quickly discover his 18 years with Harry and David are small
potatoes compared to many others who count their
years of employment at three or four decades. It is
not uncommon to find two or three generations of
family members working side by side. (I am
reminded of Old World artisan families who pass
their skills from generation to generation.)
How did this new partnership with Costco
come about? “Reputation is everything,” Williams
explains. “Harry and David was the first national gift
basket company and continues as an industry leader.
We looked at Costco’s ethics, commitment to its
employees and demand for quality and saw a perfect
match, value for value.”
I take a tour and find that no detail is too
insignificant. I observe basket assemblers hand-trimming errant strands of nesting material while
others whirl hair dryers to smooth out shrink-wrapped corners. In the candy kitchen, irresistible
Pat Volchok, left, gives Patricia
Colley, a longtime Harry and David
employee, a hand at the company’s