April 12, 2023

Orchard View celebrates a cherry century

Leading Pacific Northwest grower looks forward to an abundant 100th crop

Good things come with time, and this year’s Orchard View cherry season is no exception.

Slated to begin as much as two weeks later than usual due to chilly early spring weather, Orchard View’s centennial season is shaping up to be large in volume and excellent in quality.

“Our flower counts show potential for a very nice crop,” said Brenda Thomas, Orchard View Cherries’ president. “We are excited that our 100th anniversary season shows so much promise. We expect to begin mid-June, with peak availability June 24 to July 31, prime timing for July 4 promotions.”

Orchard View was established by Thomas’ great-grandparents in 1923. Over the years the operation evolved to specialize in the true craftsmanship of cherries — and only cherries. Thomas’ team now manages over 3,500 rain-shadowed acres along the Columbia River, with cherries planted in microclimates carefully suited to each variety. The season will kick off with Chelan, followed by Bing, Kordia, Lapin, Regina, Skeena and Sweetheart, carefully staged to assure the best cherry available at any given time is the one delivered to the market.

While honoring the farm’s heritage this season, Thomas and the team will plant new trees with an eye to the future, featuring such varieties as the Pearl and Royal series, newer varieties for Orchard View.

Thomas credits the enduring success of the farm to the efforts of the families who have worked alongside her own to bring cherries to the market each year.

“Our cherry family includes many in our community who join us as we grow, harvest and pack,” she said. “A lot of expertise and a lot of heart goes into producing what we believe are the world’s best cherries. We are grateful for everyone who contributes, from our neighbors in The Dalles to those who travel to work with us each season, as well as the retailers who stock and promote our brand year in and year out.”

Thomas notes that the Orchard View family also extends to marketing partner Oppy, the leading fresh produce grower, marketer and distributor, who relocates key staff to the farm each season to deliver expect the world from us service.

“We are proud to be linked to a grower of Brenda’s stature and discernment,” said James Milne, senior vice president of marketing and categories at Oppy. “Our team is in the trenches with hers through the intense eight-week harvest period. We have every confidence in the superior quality of the fruit: from the unique terroir of The Dalles to the unparalleled on-orchard expertise to the Unitec Cherry Vision3 sorter in the pack house — Orchard View is perfectly positioned to give our customers the best cherry experience possible.”

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