October 15, 2018

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Oct 12, 2018 11:10:50 AM


New Apple Varieties

SugarBee® PLU's

SugarBee® 2lb Pouch


Chelan Fresh is your home for the best selection of new apple varieties, grown in the heart of Central Washington where warm days and cool nights make for the best growing conditions.

Visit us at PMA Orlando booth #1789 to learn more about all of our new varieties, our comprehensive availability of Cascade Crest Organic apples, pears, stonefruit, and our Category Management programs that are available.

SugarBee® is the new apple in town and is sure to steal your heart with her "Sweet as can Bee" flavor! SugarBee® was born from a bee who pollenated a Honeycrisp blossom and an unknown variety and created the crisp, juicy SugarBee® we love today. With her honeycomb PLU sticker and consumer friendly 2lb pouch, SugarBee® apples are available for a short time this each year with more available in the years to come.

Need a healthy snack? Grab a Rockit™ apple! Rockit™ is a miniature size apple that is deliciously sweet and crisp. Rockit™ apples are available October-May with a variety of packaging options to meet consumer demand. The new 3lb Shuttle Pack has been dubbed the "Millenial Mom's Cookie Jar" as it finds its way onto household countertops across the country. The Rockit™ is the "Small Apple with Big Flavor", the perfect snack size for kids.

Rockit™ shuttle pack

KORU®Escape Ordinary!™ with the KORU® apple. This crisp, juicy apple has complex aromatic honey flavors and is perfect for snacking and baking. The KORU® is available in a handy 2lb pouch and is known to store well. The KORU® is now grown in the US and New Zealand, availability is October-August.

KORU® Apple

Lucy™ LogoLucy™Rose and Lucy™Glo apples are stepping out this year as part of the family of apples a the unique, pinkish-red interior. Lucy™Rose is very sweet with hints of berry flavor and a beautiful red exterior. Lucy™Glo is the not-so-shy sister who is tart with big hints of sweetness and a glowing yellow exterior that screams "look at me!". Lucy™Rose and Lucy™Glo are in very limited supply for the 2018 season but promise to be a consumer favorite.



FUTP60 Breakfast Cart Donation to Manson Schools

Manson Schools Breakfast Cart

Manson High School is part of the Lake Chelan Valley where our Chelan Fresh growers and employees live and produce some of the best apples, cherries, and pears in Washington state. Chelan Fresh was thrilled that Manson chose to participate in Fuel Up To Play 60 and they are one of the 15 FUTP60 schools in 11 states across the country to receive a new portable breakfast/salad bar cart donation. The portable breakfast/salad bar carts are being provided to recipient schools in Arizona, California, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington for the 2018-2019 school year and will help increase student access to more nutrition food choices in schools.

Chelan Fresh apples and pearsFinding new ways to serve nutritious options in schools (like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains) can make a difference in helping provide all students with the nutrition they need to fuel their full potential. The rolling carts from Chelan Fresh will provide easy solutions to school nutrition and meal service teams, allowing them the opportunity to position the cart in areas that provide students easy access to nutritious foods.

The effort marks Chelan Fresh’s support of Fuel Up to Play 60 for the seventh consecutive year, reinforcing the companies’ ongoing commitment to help K-12 schools improve or expand their nutrition and physical activity programs through Fuel Up to Play 60. Chelan Fresh is proud to support schools in our community and across the nation who strive to provide access to more nutritious foods in school meal programs.
Breakfast Cart

Meet the Intern: Bo Charleton

Meet the Intern
Every summer Chelan Fresh employs up to 5 interns in our Sales office. Our summer internships help students gain invaluable experience in an office environment while also gaining skills to thrive in the fast-paced sales world. Bo Charleton is a second-year intern at Chelan Fresh and we are excited to see all the exciting places he will go in the future.

Meet Bo Charleton, a 2nd year Chelan Fresh intern.

Bo, where are you from?
I am from Manson, WA.
What school are you attending?
I am starting my second year at Washington State University and I am an Accounting Major.
What skills do you want to gain from this experience?
I want to go into school finance. This is a career which combines business along with working in the field of education, and I feel like these two areas can be something I will enjoy very much.
What extracurriculars are you involved in and why?
At WSU I am involved in an accounting and business organization called Beta Alpha PSI which is designed to help and give extra help and resources within the business college and assist with internship and employment opportunities. I am also involved in multiple intramural sports teams which is a great way to meet people while at school.
What are you most passionate about learning - personally or professionally - and why?
I am passionate about and take my education seriously. I understand complete that I have been given a very special opportunity to go to college and continue my education. I am certain that working hard these next couple years will positively affect my future, so I am very passionate about my education and doing well in school in order to give myself the ability to choose what I want as a career when I am done.
Why do you think you might like to live in the community where Chelan Fresh is located?
I have spent the majority of my life in the Chelan Valley and I have absolutely loved it here. From the lake, to the mountains, to the sunshine year-round, Chelan is an incredible place to live. But above all the amenities here, the small town feel and love the community has for one another is what I find so special about our valley. It is hard to describe unless you have experienced it firsthand but there is something unique about our valley that makes it one-of-a-kind. There is not a doubt in my mind that I would love to return to this valley at some point in my life.

Women in Agriculture: Nita Pace

Nita Pace

Many of the orchards in Chelan valley are a family affair, with women playing a critical role in running smooth operations and growing the business. In our “Women in Agriculture” blog series we sit down with them to discuss their roles and thoughts on the industry.

This month we checked in with Nita Pace who works at Chelan Fruit. Visit our blog post to read more!

July 20, 2018

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Jul 18, 2018 4:14:16 PM


Freeze n' Store Cherries!

Freeze n' Store Cherries

Our farmers have worked hard this season to produce a bountiful cherry crop and Chelan Fresh cherries are readily available for at least one more month! The cherries this season are big and sweeter than ever! Now is the time to buy cherries and continue to enjoy them immediately or freeze some for later this fall. Contact your Chelan Fresh sales representative to ensure your cherry program lasts well into August. 509-682-4252.

Click here for a few helpful tips on how to freeze and store cherries.


Pear Season is Right Around the Corner!

Bartlett pears

Summer is all about cherries, but we sometimes forget that by August, Chelan Fresh will begin to harvest pears and early season apples. 

Bartlett pears are the first to ripen and come off the trees in August and early September. Their sweet, juicy flavor is a sure sign that fall is on the way. With the addition of Borton Fruit and their Yakima Valley orchards, Chelan Fresh will have pears earlier than ever and continue to harvest through September in our Chelan Valley orchards. Our D’Anjou, Bosc and Red Anjou are harvested in late August and early September allowing our customers to have a complete pear program all the way through spring of 2019. Contact your Chelan Fresh sales representative to set up your pear program today.


Women in Agriculture: Gwynne Godwin

Gwynne GodwinMany of the orchards in the Chelan Valley are a family affair, with women playing a critical role in running smooth operations and growing the business. In our blog series, "Women in Agriculture", we sit down with them to discuss their roles and thoughts in the industry.

This month we spoke with Gwynne Godwin of Box Canyon Fruit in the Okanogan Valley.

Click here to read the full interview.


Meet the Intern: Iris Santos

Iris Santos and Family

Iris Santos started with Chelan Fresh in the fall of 2015 as part of the Chelan Fresh/Chelan High School mentorship program. She came every day as part of her high school curriculum and assisted with projects in our accounting department. 

After graduation she has continued to work every summer for Chelan Fresh and never hesitates to take on a new project. We applaud Iris’s continued hard work and determination both in the classroom and at Chelan Fresh.

Where are you from?
I was raised in Chelan and most of my family still lives here.
What school are you attending?
I am attending Eastern Washington University.
What is your major?
My major is Social Work with a minor in Children's Studies and Spanish.
What skills do you want to gain from this experience?
Some skills I want to gain from this experience are self-reliance and tact.
What are your goals after graduation? 
If all goes as planned, after graduation I hope to be able to travel before I prepare myself to return to EWU to obtain my master’s degree in Social Work.
What extracurriculars are you involved in and why?
I have not been involved in much my first 2 years at EWU, but as soon as I return I want to join MEChA to expand my knowledge on promoting Chicano unity and empowerment. I also want to do more volunteering at a high school in the Spokane area as a mentor for at-risk youth. 
What are you most passionate about learning — personally or professionally — and why?
Ever since I had the opportunity to be a mentor in high school, I fell in love with the idea of learning more about mentoring and how having a mentor can make a huge impact in one’s life. This made me realize how much I love working with my community and helping others.
Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which our company is located?
I would like to live in this community because I think it’s a perfect place to settle and start a family. This community is great at coming together and being there for one another.


Category Performance

Click the image below to download.

Cherry Retail Sales Overview

Fresh Cherries… they are only here for a short couple of months, but they capture the full attention of retail Buyers, Marketers and Shoppers while they are available. There is always a fair amount of anticipation surrounding fresh cherries and this year was no exception. The California season came in later and with a much smaller crop than the prior year, resulting in significant Year-over-Year volume and dollar losses for our retail partners.

Thankfully, the transition to Northwest cherries was much smoother this season and Washington fruit quality has been outstanding! Year-over-Year volumes have now been up for the last 3 reporting weeks (June 17 – July 7) and we are looking forward to continued strong movement through the month of August.

If you have any questions about fresh cherry performance overall or in the specific markets where you operate, please let us know. Our Category Management team enjoys digging deep into the data and customizing market reports to support your business analysis and planning.


Topics: cherries, Meet the Grower

June 29, 2018

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Jun 28, 2018 4:43:39 PM


Healthy Reasons to Love Cherries

Sylvia Klinger pictured above left.

Sylvia Klinger pictured above left.

Sylvia Klinger, R.D. took the time to visit our Chelan Fresh cherry orchards and write about the health benefits of cherries. We love having a Registered Dietician remind us how healthy cherries are for you.
  • Bounty of nutrients - Cherries are not only beautiful, but they deliver a rush of nutrition – 3 grams of fiber (12% of your daily value) in every serving, as well as vitamin C, potassium and a list of other nutrients such as vitamin K, B vitamins, magnesium and copper.
  • Health benefits - Cherries also provide a number of health benefits, which are backed by science. Here are the top three most exciting reasons to love cherries even more:
    • Exercise recovery and pain relief – Did you know that a number of studies - some performed on long distance runners – have found that cherries act like a “natural-anti-inflammatory agent.” Eating more cherries may enhance muscle recovery, reduce exercise-induced inflammation and oxidative stress, and decrease exercise related pain. (Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2013 and Med Sport Sci, 2012)
    • Arthritis benefit – Cherries have demonstrated a potential for anti-inflammation, so is natural that cherries might hold promise in threating arthritis, which is an inflammation condition by nature. (Scand J Rheumatol, 2006)
    • Sleep aid – If you suffer from insomnia you may want to give cherries a chance. Cherries naturally supply melatonin to the body, which can translate in a better sleep quality in people. (Eur J Nutr, 2012)
    • Brain health – The anti-inflammatory properties of cherries have gotten the attention of Alzheimer’s disease researchers, who have found that cherries have potential (when combined with Omega-3’ and 6 fatty acids) in reducing cognitive defects. (J Med Food, 2013)
  • Freeze cherries - Cherries have a short season, but this is the time to buy extra cherries and freeze them for the remainder of the year. To freeze cherries, Remove the pit and gently place them into a freezer bag or freezer proof container. When ready to eat, thaw cherries and make your favorite recipe with cherries. Yes, it is that simple!

Cherries Love Tajín

This little bottle of Tajin Seasoning packs a big punch! And when you pair it with our Chelan Fresh cherries it adds a zing, making for a savory and tangy snack all in one bite.

Red Sweet Cherries and Tajin

Chelan Fresh is all about finding new and innovative ways to pair fresh fruit with other foods and seasonings to help consumers lead a healthier lifestyle. That is why we love our friends at Tajin. Tajin’s number one goal is to help improve the overall consumption of fruits and vegetables from children through adults. The Tajin line of seasonings pairs well with fresh fruits, vegetables and also offers a great way to add some kick to your favorite dish. And taking Tajin along with your favorite cherry or other fresh fruit as an on-the-go snack makes perfect, healthy, snacking sense.

Look for Tajin and Chelan Fresh cherries at your local retailer.

Rainier Cherries seasoned with Tajin

Orondo Ruby® in Stores Now!

Orondo Ruby ClamIf Orondo Ruby is your new “It” cherry, then the news is good as this cherry is landing in stores near you.  This gorgeous cherry has beautiful red blushed skin, a firm bite, and is bursting with flavor! Don’t wait as this cherry is only around for a few weeks every year and will be gone by mid-July.

Look for Orondo Ruby at the following locations:
Select Walmart Stores in Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama
New Seasons Market in Oregon
King Soopers in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
Kroger stores in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri
Pavilion Foods in Southern California


Meet the Intern

Eric Martinez

  • Where are you from?
    Bridgeport, WA

  • What school are you attending?
    Washington State University.
  • What is your major?
    Business Marketing
  • What skills do you want to gain from this experience?
    Some things I want to gain from this internship is experience in an office setting, and a more complete knowledge of everything that occurs in the fruit industry.
  • What are your goals after graduation?
    My goal after graduating from WSU is to be a marketing manager for a company (possibly fruit company) in need of someone with the skills and abilities I have to offer.
  • What extracurriculars are you involved in and why?
    In school I was involved in intramural sports, I played 5v5 basketball, 3v3 basketball, and softball. I play those because they're fun, competitive, and enjoyable for someone like myself.
  • What are you most passionate about learning — personally or professionally — and why?
    Personally, I enjoy learning how to work with cars because when my brother got his first car it was not in good shape, and we would always work on his car together, trying to get it to look nicer and run better. But professionally, I strive for opportunities like this internship so I can not only better, but further my skillset, while getting ahead of my college colleagues in gaining the experience I'm going to need in the future for my chosen profession.
  • Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which our company is located?
    Lake Chelan. I love swimming, and being in the beautiful atmosphere Chelan has to offer. Living here in Chelan is a goal of mine I plan on achieving in the near future!


Employee Spotlight

Christine WilliamsName: Christine Williams
Position: Export Sales Assistant
Favorite Apple: Honeycrisp and the Rockit™. My daughter and I love those little apples.
Favorite Cherry: Rainier
Favorite part of working at Chelan FreshMy co-workers. Everyone is so welcoming and helpful.  I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.
Favorite thing to do outside of work, something that is near and dear to your heart: Cheering on my little on the softball fields… Go Tigers! Also finding new hiking adventures to go on with my family.

Topics: cherries

June 2018

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Jun 6, 2018 10:04:21 AM

Washington Cherry Season has Arrived!


The Washington cherry season is finally here! Chelan Fresh cherries are beginning to land in stores just in time for the start of warm weather activities such as picnics, camping and boating. 

Our cherry farmers work year-round to ensure bountiful harvests. They nurture their trees throughout the winter and since March they have spent sleepless nights monitoring unpredictable spring weather to ensure that emerging cherry buds stay warm. Nightly monitoring of wind machines that help move the cold air ensures the spring nights do not cause damage to the emerging buds. Once the bloom happens, bees take over spreading pollen throughout the orchards to create tiny fruit that grows into a bountiful harvest with help from the warmer days of late spring.

Our beautiful Dark Sweet cherries kick off the season with availability that grows steadily through late July and continued supplies into mid-August.

Harvest for Rainier cherries generally begins about 7-10 days after the start of the Dark Sweet cherry season. They then try to steal the spotlight for a few short weeks with their unique color and ultra-sweet flavor.
Orondo Ruby® Logo

Not to be missed is our proprietary Orondo Ruby® variety that just might be Nature’s Perfect cherry with its unique blush color and sweet, complex flavor.

Chelan Fresh cherries are here and ready to land on the shelves of your retail store. Contact your Chelan Fresh Sales team to put our quality fruit in your hands: 509-682-4252.

Nature's Perfect Cherry - Orondo Ruby®

Orondo Ruby Cherries
Its official! Our Orondo Ruby® cherry harvest is less than two weeks away!  

Orondo Ruby® brings together the special qualities of both the Dark Sweet Cherry and the Rainier cherry into one blush colored and sweet but complex flavored package! We at Chelan Fresh think it may be Nature’s Perfect Cherry! Call your Chelan Fresh sales team for more information about featuring this special cherry at your retail store: 509-682-4252.

Boston Marathon No Match for Chelan Fresh Employee

Sharla Boston Marathon
Our Chelan Fresh employees are by nature an active group of people; but one employee goes over and above in her fitness regime. Sharla Austin (pictured above right), Controller at Chelan Fresh, loves to run ½ marathons, full marathons and a 5K is a sprint for her. In April Sharla added another notch to her race belt as she and her sister Heather Fox (pictured above left), conquered the Boston Marathon and qualified for 2019.

Growing up in the Tonasket Valley prepared them well for the crazy Boston weather they encountered on race day. Sideways rain, 20 mph headwinds and cold temperatures made for less than ideal race conditions, but the course was no match for Sharla and Heather. They both finished in just over 4 hours and were out on the Boston tourist trail the next day. Our hats are off to Sharla and her sister for all of their commitment to their sport!
Sharla Austin
Sharla Boston Marathon
Position: Controller

Favorite Apple: SugarBee®! It is crisp and sweet at the same time.

Favorite Cherry: Orondo Ruby® - I like that it is sweet but has a firm texture as well. 

Favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh: The People. Chelan Fresh is an active supporter of local school programs and I am very proud of the mentorship program the Accounting department started 10 years ago. Chelan High School’s Mentorship program chooses students who are interested in a career in accounting, fruit sales or business studies and pairs us with a student to join our team for a semester or in most cases a year long placement that turns into full time summer employment. Our Accounting department provides training and encouragement for students to advance by attending college or participate in advanced training. In some cases, we take on the role of a second parent and help with scholarship applications, college applications, letters of recommendation and even motherly advice for life after high school. Many of the students have told us that if it weren’t for the mentor program and Chelan Fresh they would have never even thought of going to college. Chelan Fresh believes it takes a village and we are proud to be part of the village for our local students.

Sharla_AustinFavorite thing to do outside of work: I love to run! I especially love the challenge of training for races. It forces me to focus and stick to my goals. I also enjoy baking and still bake regularly using fresh fruit and some of the recipes shared to me by my grandmother when we were growing up in Tonasket, WA.

Women in Agriculture - Megan Asszano

Megan Asszano and Family
Many of the orchards in Chelan valley are a family affair, with women playing a critical role in running smooth operations and growing the business. In our blog series “Women in Agriculture” we sit down with them to discuss their roles and thoughts on the industry. 

This month we checked in with Megan Azzano. Megan and her husband Mike own and operate a family orchard and fruit stand in the Omak area.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Visit us at an Industry Trade Show!

Stop and say “Hi” next time you are at an industry Trade Show. Our Chelan Fresh staff loves to meet new people and connect with old friends. 

United Fresh Show - Chicago Jun 26-27 Booth 1535Chelan Fresh logo
Smart Food Show - Chicago June 26-27 Booth 746
PMA - Orlando October 19-20 Booth 1789
NY Produce Show - New York December 11-13
All Industry Regional SuperValu, AWG, Affiliated Foods, Spartan Nash shows

Topics: Meet the Grower, cherries

November 2017

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Nov 16, 2017 7:45:31 AM

Leaning in on Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp ApplesThe apple category has been challenging this fall - volume and dollars are down across the US. But, if you look closely enough, there are always areas of growth and opportunity. This month we are leaning in on Honeycrisp apples.  
Crop to date, Honeycrisp are down over 9M lbs. and $19 M in sales vs. last year. The deeper we dig, the more clearly we can start to see the “bright spots” in the market. Individual regions like Houston, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, are driving increases. New package sizes are increasing in demand and creating an opportunity to move small size fruit at a premium retail price.
Our Category Management Team can work with you to identify and leverage these “bright spots” in your category. Call us today for more information.
Click the image below to download.

Screenshot 2017-11-09 07.20.51.png


Meet the Grower

John Bostock

Chelan Fresh is proud to represent the growers of Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties in Washington State. Check in 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.

We have a special interview for you this month with organic grower, John Bostock, of Bostock New Zealand. John is the largest producer of organic apples in New Zealand and partners with Chelan Fresh. We are thrilled that we were able to catch up with him during his trip to Chelan.

Visit our blog post to read more. 

Rockit™ Apples

Rockit™ TubesThe Rockit™ is the Small apple with the Big Apple taste! Rockit™ harvest is complete, the apples are ready to be packed and land on retail shelves for consumers. 

Rockits™ are available in the convenience of a 3 count, 4 count and 5 count tube that make healthy snacking on-the-go a breeze. Ask for our Table Top Rockit™ Merchandiser to display your Rockit™ tubes up off the floor or our full height Rockit™ Launcher gives you options for a stand up floor display in the produce department.

Table Top Rockit™ MerchandiserRockit™ Launcher

The new Rockit™ Shuttle is the perfect way to super size your family snacking. This package is a volume-filled 3 pounds of perfect size snacking. There are 6 - 3 pound Shuttle packs in a display ready carton.

Rockit™ ShuttleRockit™ Shuttles in Display Ready Carton

Chelan Fresh sales reps are ready to take your Rockit™ order and put our most talked about apple in front of your customers.

Harvest Time

Apple Orchard Harvest

Harvest is a special time of year for farmers. Fruit has being picked off the trees, put into bins and is stored in the warehouse for packing. Farmers look back and realize all the hours of hard work and preparation result in another bountiful harvest.

This year the orchards had ample snowfall to protect them from the cold winter and sunny spring days encouraged bees to get out and perform their pollination dance. Warm summer days in Washington state and a perfect fall of cooler nights gave our apples and pears their beautiful color and crunchy, crisp texture. From South Central Washington to North Central Washington our orchards were well prepared for a perfect harvest. Our Washington grown Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples are some of the best quality you will find in the industry. 

Harvest in the OrchardOur specialty varieties such as SugarBee™, KORU® Apple, and Rockit™ are quickly becoming consumer favorites that help retailers stand out in the crowd with new fresh fruit offerings.

Cascade Crest Organics label represents the longstanding quality of our organic program. Chelan Fresh is committed to growing and producing high quality organic fruit and continuing to increase volume year over year. Contact your Chelan Fresh sales rep today and ask about our high quality organic and conventional fruit programs. 


Topics: Meet the Grower, apples

October 2017

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Oct 5, 2017 7:32:10 AM

Cascade Crest Organics

Cascade Crest Organics

Cascade Crest Organics has always stood for quality in the world of Organic Fruit production.  And Chelan Fresh is proud to represent the growers who believe that growing fruit using USDA Organic approved standards is a benefit to both the land and the consumers who enjoy the fruit. Columbia Valley Fruit growers believe the same and chose to join our Cascade Crest Organics label to bring our 2017 season offering to over 1 million boxes of 12 varieties of apples, 6 varieties of pears and consumer stone fruit favorites such as organic cherries, plums, pluots and nectarines. 

By 2018 we will produce over 1.5 million boxes and are poised for substantial growth with plantings of new varieties such as high color Honeycrisp, sport Fuji and Gala offerings. Our 2lb high graphic pouch bags offer consumers easy distinction of the variety, the purchase weight, and good visibility of the fruit in a clear pouch. 

We look forward to talking with all of our customers about our Cascade Organics brand.  Come visit us at PMA Booth #2261 in spicy New Orleans on October 20-21.


Category Opportunities

The 2017 Domestic cherry crop was very different from 2016. We have performance data that can help you plan better for your domestic cherry season year over year. Contact your Chelan Fresh sales representative and they can help you work with our Category Specialists to better manage your apple, pear and cherry performance.

Click the images below to download the file.

Screenshot 2017-10-02 11.41.38.png

Screenshot 2017-10-02 11.41.25.png

 PMA Fresh Summit Preview


Christmas comes early in the produce business with the annual Produce Marketing Association convention held each year in October. This year the convention center in New Orleans will be decorated with all the most colorful and exciting new offerings in fresh produce and every produce company across the world including Chelan Fresh is counting down to PMA Fresh Summit 2017. 

Rockit Apple Display



KORU® Apple Logo







Chelan Fresh staff is busy checking and double checking the lists of fresh fruit, packaging and Cascade Crest Organics LogoPOS items to showcase. We have exciting opportunities in 2017 to share with our current and potential new customers. Items such as our growing Organic manifest which doubles to 1 million boxes in 2017 and increases again over the next 3 years. 

Decorate your produce aisle with our on the go Rockit Apple with new packaging options. The delightful KORU® Apple is now available nearly year round with domestic crops shipping now and NZ crops shipping in April.

SugarBee™ Apple LogoOur proprietary SugarBee™ Apple which continues to delight customers and sell out each year along with our proprietary Orondo Ruby cherries.

Keep current with consumers and Chelan Fresh's growing capbility to supply highly prized imported varieties such as Pinks, Gala, Fujis and Granny Smith apples to augment the domestic offerings.

Stop by PMA Fresh Summit booth #2261 to say hi and see all that Chelan Fresh has to offer. 


Employee Spotlight

Ken Brunner

Name: Ken Brunner

Position: Production Manager

Favorite Apple: Tree-ripened Jonagold

Favorite Cherry: I like most of them but Rainier cherries are my favorite because they have such a sweet flavor.

Favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh: The people that work at Chelan Fresh are great and easy to get along with.

Favorite thing to do outside of work, something that is near and dear to your heart: 
I really like going to College Football Games. The atmosphere is electric, the athleticism is amazing, and I love a solid hit. Last year I took my family to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta to see University of Washington vs Alabama. The game didn’t come out the way we wanted but it was a great bucket list experience. The Alabama fans know and love their football… I could relate to them on that level.


September 2017

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Sep 6, 2017 7:48:42 AM

Better Together

Better Together
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.
Organic Orchard
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.
Columbia Valley Fruit Owners.jpg
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.
Organic Pear Orchard
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.

Red Anjou Bags
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.
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This month we are talking with Allen Godwin of Godwin Organic Orchards in Tonasket, Washington. Visit our blog post to read more.

Employee Spotlight

This month we are featuring one employee who has worked for Borton Fruit and one employee who works for Chelan Fresh.

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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. 


Trudy Soost

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.

Category Opportunities

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.

Click the image below to download the file.
Fresh Pears: "Barriers to Purchase" Study


Topics: Meet the Grower

August 2017

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Aug 3, 2017 6:51:04 AM

Promotable Volumes of Cherries 

Every year in August we wait to see what bounties Mother Nature has to offer us here in the mountains and valleys of Central Washington. 

Sweet-front1-839474-edited.jpgThis year, large promotable volumes of Cherries are available in August. Our late season cherry crop is peaking on larger, dark burgundy colored fruit that is perfect for consumers enjoying the last few weeks of summer travel, picnics and BBQ’s. Our cherry bags and clam labels give consumers creative ideas for using cherries in pies, smoothies or even freezing cherries to snack on later this fall. Our website offers information on the benefits of eating cherries as well as numerous recipes for baking and even cooking with cherries. Don’t miss the opportunity to cash in on the consumer favorite late season cherries and give them center stage in your produce department. Contact your Chelan Fresh Sales rep to talk about cherries or coming soon - Bartlett pears and early season Galas.

Chelan Fresh Increases Organic Manifest

columbia_valley_fruit_logo-218979-edited.jpgColumbia Valley Fruit will join forces with Chelan Fresh beginning September 1st  and with that move comes exciting developments for our Cascade Crest Organics label. With the addition of Columbia Valley Fruit, the organic offering to retailers doubles out of the starting gate.  According to Marketing Director Mac Riggan, “We are excited to have CVF join us this fall. The fruit they add to our manifest on the organic side gives us significant volumes of in-demand varieties such as the sport Fuji and Gala varieties and Honeycrisp. The quality of their growing and packing operations is also a huge benefit as retailers can be assured they will still get the high quality fruit that Cascade Crest has come to be known for." 

Columbia Valley Fruit works with progressive farmers Cascade Crest Labelin Washington to grow, store and pack high demand organic and conventional apple varieties. With the company’s support, many of these farmers use modern orchard systems that increase harvest volumes of the highest quality apples per acre.

Chelan Fresh and the Cascade Crest Organics label look forward to having Columbia Valley Fruit as part of our family of outstanding growers and shippers. Contact your Chelan Fresh Sales representative to ask about increased organic production.

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 Herald Peebles of Chelan, Washington. Visit our blog post to read more.
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Employee Spotlight

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Name: Drew Belton

Position: Production Specialist

Favorite Apple: My go to is a good old fashioned Fuji, but the SugarBee™ is a close second. They are both sweet and crunchy and they are hard to beat right off the tree. I almost always know what I'm going to get with the Fuji, but it seems like the more the SugarBee™ gets into production, the better they get.

Favorite Cherry: Orondo Ruby™. They are the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and I love that they are grown exclusively in our area.

Favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh: There are a number of things. The environment in the office is great. We have a pretty diverse group of people and we know how to have a good time both at and outside of work. Some of my best friends are the people I work with. Management does a tremendous job letting employees have time to explore other passions like farming, coaching or other business endeavors. Working in Lake Chelan isn't too bad either. Especially when we have the option to jump in the lake during lunch breaks in the summer time.

Favorite thing to do outside of work: Spending time with my family is #1. My wife and I have a 19 month old daughter who we have an absolute blast with, and are expecting baby number two in November. We purchased somewhat of a fixer upper a couple years ago so a lot of our free time is spent working on our house, but when we get the chance to sneak away we try to do some traveling, visit family/friends and spend time outdoors. We live in a beautiful area so we try to take advantage of it when we can. I also coach high school football and I'm a volunteer coach at Chelan Valley CrossFit.

Category Opportunities

June cherry numbers are in! The momentum from California's "heritage" crop delivered positive Year Over Year growth for the first week of the month - fruit quality was outstanding and retail pricing stayed strong. But, the delayed start of the Northwest crop vs. last year resulted in a gap for the balance of the month.    

Good news, this is a much longer season than last year, so there is still plenty of time and fruit available to cover these early losses. 
Would you like to know more? Contact your Chelan Fresh Sales Representative and work with our Category Management team to customize the data to meet your market needs. We will partner with you to drive the most cherries, apples and pears as possible through the register. Let us know when you are ready to dive in! 

Click the image below to download the file.

Category Opportunities 

Topics: cherries, Meet the Grower

July 2017

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Jul 3, 2017 10:00:11 AM

Cherry Crop Update

It's official: cherry season has arrived! As we speak, produce displays, fruit stands and shopping baskets are filling with yellow, blush and dark crimson cherries just begging to be brought home and devoured.

And cherries go with the 4th of July like boats go with water. Company picnics, town celebrations and family camping trips all include bowls or recipes filled with Dark Sweet Cherries, Rainier Cherries and our own proprietary Orondo Ruby™.

There are many reasons to eat cherries. They're a good source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium, and are celebrated for being rich in antioxidants. Research has even shown that they can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and gout. Oh, and they're sweet and absolutely delicious!

Check out our cherry recipes, including Cherry Balsamic Chicken and this unique Chilled Cherry Soup. Using cherries in recipes is incredibly simple. Our cherry soup looks fancy and tastes more complicated than it really is. This recipe will impress your guests and can be served as a starter or as a dessert. Yes, you read that right!

Orondo Ruby cherries

Borton Fruit joins Chelan Fresh

When families with over 100 years of farming experience come together, you know you will continue to receive the freshest fruit Washington state has to offer. Yakima’s sunny valleys coupled with the mountain altitudes of North Central Washington come together to provide fruit availability with longer growing seasons and cool, crisp air to produce tasty, high-color fruit.  Family operations that pride themselves on their state-of-the-art processing facilities and innovative growing practices will continue to pack Washington’s Finest Mountain Grown Fruit.

This merger will also increase the volume of some of the most in demand apples in the marketplace today: Honeycrisp, new strains of high color Gala and Fuji in addition to everyone’s darling Rockit Apple™.

The merger also combines two sales companies, Chelan Fresh and Borton Fruit, with long histories of customer service. Chelan Fresh and Borton Fruit know that by providing exceptional customer service we can set ourselves apart with retail accounts. We will continue our appointment loading program to enable trucks to load fruit in the most efficient way possible - on time and on their way within and hour of checking into our facilities. Our customers are important to us and we will continue to strive to exceed your expectations.

As September 1st nears, we will provide more updates on our merger. Please feel free to reach out to your Chelan Fresh or Borton Fruit sales representative if you have questions.
Trout & Borton boxes

Meet the Grower

Chelan Fresh is proud to represent the growers of Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties in Washington State. In the coming months we will regularly 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 David Taber Jr. in Oroville, Washington. To learn more about David, visit our blog post.Red Sweet Cherries 

Freeze and Store

Freezing Cherries

People forget that you can freeze and store cherries simply and easily.
  1. Purchase extra quantities of your favorite cherry
  2. Rinse cherries and lay flat on paper towels to dry
  3. Remove the pits now or just leave the pits in and plan to pit the cherries when they thaw
  4. Gently fold into a freezer bag or freezer proof container
  5. Thaw the cherries out as needed. They make a great semi-frozen treat, use frozen, pitted cherries in smoothies or thaw for your favorite recipe.
  6. Freeze large quantities so you can enjoy cherries all year long!


Employee Spotlight

Desiree Phelps

Meet Desiree Phelps, one of our Accounting Specialists! She works on Account Receivables and handling claims and files that end up out of balance.

Name: Desiree Phelps

Position: Accounting Specialist III

Favorite Apple: A Golden Delicious picked right off the tree is my favorite for sure! I have such fond memories of climbing the huge Golden Delicious trees that my dad had in our orchard and picking the biggest apple I could find right off the tree and enjoying every last juicy bite. No other apple compares to that.

Favorite Cherry: My favorite cherry is Orondo Ruby for its firmness and sweet tart flavor.

Favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh: My favorite part about working at Chelan Fresh is my co-workers. We have a great team here that works hard but we love to laugh and joke around and have fun too!

Favorite thing to do outside of work: My husband and I have four kids and we love to follow all of their activities that they participate in each year. I also have started and coach a sand volleyball club in Chelan that has kids from ages 8-17 participating and traveling as teams to compete all over the state of Washington. The City of Chelan recognized the popularity of this program and supported us by adding sand courts at the local park that are used all day long. We even host tournaments now. Chelan Fresh has also stepped up and supported the volleyball club called Kahiau which means “To give back”. I am very thankful to work for an employer like Chelan Fresh who supports community programs such as Kahiau.

Category Opportunities

It's Cherry season and the US retail results are in for the month of May! Despite a later start than last year - which resulted in steep declines for the month - this promises to be a very dynamic and exciting year. With a solid and strategic retail plan in place, this crop year will deliver profitable Year Over Year category growth all the way through August... and possibly even into September!

Our Category Management team can customize the data to meet your individual market needs and partner with you to drive the most cherries through the register as possible. Let us know when you are ready to dive in! 

Click the image below to download the file.

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Topics: cherries, Meet the Grower

June 2017

Posted by Lorinda Oscarson on Jun 6, 2017 4:52:14 PM

Cherry Harvest Update

Our cherry orchards are getting close, but it will be 10 days or so before we have beautiful, sweet cherries ready for harvest.

The availability of our cherries at the start of the Washington season in mid-June will be less than the previous two years. We will see good promotable volumes in early July and all the way through early August.

Contact your Chelan Fresh sales representative for more information on having Washington's Finest Mountain Grown cherries as a part of your summer produce program.

Cherry Update

Orondo Ruby - A Brand New Cherry Blushing With Compliments

Chelan Fresh cherry harvest is less than 10 days away and orondo_logo.pngthe excitement continues to build for the Orondo Ruby cherry. The Ruby is a new cherry variety that is making fans across the country. Cherry lovers go wild for the crisp skin, super-sweet golden flesh and juicy cherry perfection. Lovingly grown on the banks of the Columbia River in eastern Washington—where hot summer days and cool river breezes make for perfect growing conditions—Ruby's show gorgeous red-blushed skin, a firm bite and tremendous flavor. The Ruby matures earlier in the season than Bings and Rainiers, and grown in small quantities, their window of availability is short. But they store in the fridge like no other cherry. (If you can keep yourself from eating them all.)

Orondo Ruby Packaging

How Long Are The Ruby's Here?

The Orondo Ruby is grown exclusively on the Griggs family orchards in eastern Washington, lovingly cultivated and handpicked at the peak of sweetness. The yield is small compared to other cherries grown across the country, so as our fans already know, there is a limited supply each summer. But boy is it sweet. You can typically find the Orondo Ruby in stores for a few short weeks starting around the beginning of July.
Consumers say:

"Wow, great new product. Nice taste, sweet and super texture. We kept a bowl on the kitchen counter for snacking and by day two and three, they seemed to gain a bit of sweetness, which was fine, but the best was they held their firmness. Worth another trip to the Issaquah QFC for these Ruby's."

Call your Chelan Fresh sales representative and ask about carrying the Orondo Ruby in your store this season. Ruby's are available from late June through the first 2 weeks of July.

Employee Spotlight

Mario Camacho

Name: Mario Camacho

Position: Export Sales Assistant

Favorite Apple: I would definitely go with the Rockit Apple as my favorite.

Favorite Cherry: Skeena because of its firmness and sweet taste.

Favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh: The positive environment in the office, activities we do as a team during lunch, and dealing with our customers on a daily basis.

Favorite thing to do outside of work: I enjoy getting together with all my family on the weekends, watching my kids perform in sports, I love fishing and doing outside work at my house!

Category Opportunities

April performance numbers are in!

Nielsen just released their performance numbers for April.  Apples delivered volume with Total Reporting US movement of 138 Million lbs. which was a -1.6% decrease over last year.  

Topline Apple dollars are still challenging in this deflationary crop year, with Retail Dollar sales being down -$13M (-5%).  Growth from next generation varieties, like Opal, Envy, Kiku, and Organics helped to offset the category dollars lost on Mature varietals this month.   

We have attached a one-page snapshot below covering Apple headlines, but if you would like to look more closely at your market area OR your performance vs. your competition, please let us know. Click the image below to download the file.

Category Opportunities

Meet the Grower

Chelan Fresh is proud to represent the growers of Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties in Washington State. In the coming months we will regularly 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.

Griggs Family

This month we are talking with Johnny Griggs from Griggs Orondo in Orondo, Washington. To learn more about John, visit our blog post.

Topics: cherries, Meet the Grower, apples