Entries in Griggs family (2)


Meet Char Smith, Plant Manager


Ask Char Smith how long she’s been in the fruit business and the answer is quite simple, “My entire life”. A member of the Grigg’s family, Char brings 5 generations of fruit industry experience to her role as Plant Manager for the Chelan Fruit Company. While Char has worked for a short period outside the fruit industry, she came back to her family's roots. It's simple, for the Griggs family, growing fruit is just what they do.  

Transitions are a large part of the fruit growing business - typically marked by the seasons. Right now, Char’s plant is preparing for the transition from apples to the soon to be harvested Orondo Ruby cherry.

Forever keeping an eye on color and quality, Char’s attention to detail is the perfect match for this beautiful, sweet and unique cherry. Quality is something the Griggs family has been known for for a very long time.

Through each harvest season, Char’s hustling packing facility is filled with activity, yet very far from normal. In short, there is no such thing as a normal day - part of what Char enjoys about her job.  

When not packing fruit, Char spends time with her family. These days, it seems as though each waking hour is spent lovingly watching her kids play soccer. As Char puts it, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re thankful for Char’s watchful eye as the Orondo Ruby gets packed for it’s trip to a local store, and ultimately to your table. We’re counting the final days to the 2014 cherry harvest. Here’s to another wonderful year of cherries!



Meet Johnny Griggs, Orchardist

For Johnny Griggs, filling the role of Orchard Manager for our Orondo operation was something that he was born to do. Five generations prior, the Griggs family homesteaded in Orondo, WA.  It was here that they planted the first cherry tree in Douglas County - Johnny Griggs now oversees an operation much larger but still heavily rooted in family.

Johnny graduated from the Wenatchee Valley College Tree Fruit Production program in 1997. Though fresh out of school, there was nothing green about Johnny’s real world, fruit growing background. Having grown up in an orchard with dreams of someday becoming an orchardist himself, Johnny’s transition into orchard management was as easy going as his demeanor.

Sixteen years after first starting the job, there is no such thing as a typical day in the life of an orchard manager. For him, this is part of the excitement of the job. Alongside this fluidity, Johnny thoroughly enjoys working outside and being self-supervised, all qualities that provide for the ultimate reward of harvest season.

When away from the orchard, it comes as no surprise that Johnny surrounds himself with what he’s always known - family. His down time is spent with his kids, their sports, and with whatever time is leftover, more family. Perhaps yet another Griggs will head into the world of growing fruit.

The Griggs family is known to grow some of the best fruit in the world. Spend time with Johnny and you’ll quickly know why: growing fruit comes as natural to him as it has for his family for generations. We love that he’s a part of the Orondo Ruby journey.

Here’s to yet another amazing season of Orondo Ruby cherries, from our family to yours.