Crown Jewels' Atomic Torosian Shares the Latest on Greene & Hemly's Gala Apples and Bosc Pears
- by Jordan Okumura
FRESNO, CA - Warm daytime temperatures and cool nights brought on by the delta breeze are creating the ideal growing conditions for Crown Jewels and grower partners Doug, Cathy, Matt, and Virginia Hemly, and their Gala apple and Bosc pear program.
With fresh, cool fruit top-of-mind for retailers, Crown Jewels’ Partner, Atomic Torosian, joined me to discuss the start of the season in Sacramento, and how a deep commitment to quality and exceptional growing practices only adds to the fruitful program.
“The heritage and lineage of our grower partners truly speaks to the values within our program. The Hemly Family, can trace their farming roots back over 165 years along the banks of the Sacramento River,” Atomic tells me. “They consistently produce good quality fruit each and every season while working on new innovative farming techniques and also experimenting with new varieties.”
Doug and his wife Cathy are avid travelers as well, and there are few places around the globe they have not visited over the years, Atomic adds. “The success of the program comes down to the people and the vision that aligns our companies.”
Currently, the Hemly family grows Bosc pears and Gala apples along the banks of the Sacramento and Consumnes Rivers, with Galas also growing in the rich agricultural area of Davis, CA. These quality items are packed under Crown Jewel’s Tradition label, which reflects the deep relationship to the land and the people.
“The Bosc Pear deal is starting now, and we are expecting an excellent quality crop with good color, sugars, and firm fruit expected throughout,” Atomic tells me. “This year we should also see good russeting on the Golden Russet Bosc pears.”
While quality looks promising, Atomic does tell me that production will be off by as much as 30%-40% this year, as the pears did not set as heavy as last season, which could drive demand. With the tighter supplies this year, he adds that retailers need to get their POs in now.
“We just started the Gala apples last week (time for run next week) and the color looks pretty good so far and the sizes might be similar to last year with the peak sizes being heavy to 113s, 125s, 138s and 100s,” he adds.
When I ask Atomic, what he’d like retailers to know about tapping into the Crown Jewels program as a whole, he shares that, “We offer a wide array of commodities from melons to grapes, and have specialty produce offerings from items such as Figs, Pomegranates, and Forelle Pears, to traditional Granny Smith, Fuji, Braeburn, and Pink Lady apples. As a diversified grower, packer, and shipper, we bring sales and marketing support to our retail partners and tailor our program to their needs.”
Atomic has been working with Doug Hemly’s Family since the late 80s, a testament to the quality, tradition, and commitment invested into this ever-evolving program.