Preparing For The Holidays At Harry & David
If you ever imagined what Santa’s workshop looks like, you probably think of a building bustling with people, activity, treats and holiday spirit. Medford’s own Harry & David®, cradled in the arms of the heart of the Rogue Valley, is nothing short of a real-life Santa’s workshop. For over 85 years, Harry & David has spread joy, happiness and holiday spirit to customers across the globe with their handmade gifts and gourmet treats. With the holidays on the horizon, they are ramping up for their busiest season.
Harry & David
2500 South Pacific Hwy. Medford, OR 97501 541.864.2121
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Harry & David is one of the largest employers in the Rogue Valley, and this only increases prior to and during the holidays. To prepare for the influx of orders — and products required to fulfill those orders — Harry & David hires more than 5,000 seasonal workers in Medford. “This year, our seasonal workforce will outnumber our full-time staff by a factor of 5:1,” explained Steven A. Lightman, president of Harry & David. However, just how busy is Harry & David during the holidays? In the offseason, output is generally around 10,000 packages per week. “During the peak season months, our packinghouse will build nearly 75,000 packages per day,” said Lightman. That is a lot of pears, chocolates and treats.
In order to successfully meet an increased demand for products, Harry & David starts their preparations for a seasonal ramp up well before the holidays. Preparations begin with an assessment of the company’s needs and the creation of a production schedule which will meet those needs. In the production and packaging areas, Harry & David creates or expands additional shifts during the holidays in order to meet their fulfillment requirements. To ensure adequate coverage, there are weekend-only shifts and ones which run seven days a week. Harry & David then estimates the number of employees required to fill the revised schedule and builds a hiring plan that includes attracting new employees and rehiring past ones. With the increased number of employees working and products being made, the factory floor is abuzz with activity during the seasonal ramp up. Barrel 5 — one of their massive manufacturing facilities — contains rows of assembly lines, products and people busily working, all with the machines humming in the background and forklifts dancing across the factory floor. In addition to favorites such as Moose Munch® Premium Popcorn, chocolates and other treats, Harry & David’s Royal Riviera® Pears consistently remain their number one pear gift and most popular product during the holidays. These legendary pears started it all and this classic fruit never goes out of style.
Over 85 years later, Harry & David is still committed to staying at the forefront of the latest technologies to produce a great product. The company’s optical sorter is one of the tools which ensures top quality pears. This tool scans and sorts the fruit, taking up to 32 color and black and white photos of each pear to ensure superior quality. If any visual surface defects are caught, a computer program analyzes the pictures and assigns a grade based on quality. The pears that do not meet the required grade are sold to grocery stores or used by one of their partner distributors. While Harry & David’s products are exceptional, customers also love their commitment to connection. Even in the midst of their busiest time of year, Harry & David never loses sight of the importance of personal connection. “At Harry & David, and across the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. family of brands, our goal is to help customers express, connect and celebrate with each other every day of the year, so it’s important that each gift we produce has that extra special touch,” said Lightman. People who receive a gourmet gift from Harry & David know it was hand-packed with care, personalized with a handwritten note and meticulously finished with a hand-tied bow. So as people untie that beautiful bow and remove the wrapping to reveal a special note and gorgeous gift, they are filled with the warmth and magic of the holidays, because Harry & David is dedicated to delivering smiles to customers around the world all year long.
The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
101 E. 8th St.  |  Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 779-4847

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