We don’t sell our fresh fruit delivery service so much as offer it. “Would you like fresh fruit delivered to your office?” After that, it’s simply a matter of sorting out the details. ORCHARD At The OFFICE is proud to provide fresh fruit delivery to businesses throughout the Dallas / Fort Worth area. It’s what we do and it’s all we do. Our singleness of purpose gives us the ability to focus on providing the highest quality service to the best of our ability.
FRESH FRUIT SELLS ITSELF
Our fruit baskets consist primarily of “the ABCs” – apples, bananas, and clementines. Bananas are the most popular fresh fruit, not only in Texas but in all of the United States. Americans consume an average of 13.5 pounds per person! The apples we use are primarily JAZZ, a cross between Gala and Braeburn with a subtle sweetness and enduring firm texture that satisfies most palates. Of course, we offer a variety of other fresh fruit, including grapes, berries, mangoes, and so on. With the popularity of the ketogenic diet, we’ve also seen a spike in avocado demand and are happy to accommodate.
OFFICES ARE GETTING HEALTHY
In the past decade, one of the major corporate catchphrases has been “wellness programs.” Company-driven initiatives to promote employee health are encouraged and incentivized. In its worksite wellness manual, the Texas Department of State Health Services lists a variety of measures that businesses can take to improve the fitness of their workforce, including health fairs and “healthy food.” This is, of course, where fresh fruit comes in. (For more information on what your company can do, refer to this D Magazine blog post on “Getting The Most From Your Wellness Program.”)
We’re local. As a Texas-based company, we can be attentive to your needs in a way that is simply not possible for any larger operation. We’re your neighbors in DFW and Greater Houston and think of you as such.
Personalized attention. It never benefits us to oversell. We want you to get “the best banana for the buck”. We’ll work with you to get the quantity and variety you want in a mutually-beneficial arrangement.
Simple financial terms. There are never any contracts, so you can try us out with no commitment. We’re certain our fresh fruit and obsessive customer care will keep you coming back. We’ll work with you to provide the service you need. Payments can be made by check (paper or electronic) or credit card.
ANY BUSINESS, ANY SIZE.
Some of the offices we serve have a staff of 5. Others have a workforce of 3,000. Therefore, we’ve developed options that will accommodate any office. While our most common order is a weekly delivery of a Premium Large Basket which holds 50+ pieces of fruit, we’ll gladly deliver smaller orders such as our Mini Basket (16+ pieces), all the way up to our “Fortune 600 Special”, a bulk special that will satisfy hundreds of staffers. Whatever your needs, we’ve got you covered.
Today, we’re playing 20 Questions with Kevin Long and Chris Buchanan of the Richardson-based office fruit delivery service ORCHARD At The OFFICE, who have served the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 2010.
Q: Describe your company in fifteen words or less.
BUCHANAN: We deliver fresh fruit to Metroplex offices.
LONG: That’s it. Seven words.
BUCHANAN: Do we win anything?
LONG (laughing): I don’t think it’s a competition.
Q: Where did the name “ORCHARD At The OFFICE” come from?
LONG: I wanted a name that told a story, that gave a clear mental image and conveyed a journey. Here, in this basket of fruit, you have an orchard…right here at your office! It’s worked well for us.
Q: Give us a Fun Fruit Fact we may not know.
BUCHANAN: If you took every fruit on the planet, laid them side by side, and attempted to name them all aloud, you’d irritate people. Even Harlan Pepper would tell you to stop naming fruits.
LONG: One thing I like to show people is how to peel a banana from the bottom, the way monkeys do.
BUCHANAN: And when you do it that way, you don’t get the phloem.
LONG: Right. That’s the technical name for the stringy matter inside a banana.
BUCHANAN: I should have made that my fact. (sighs) I had my chance, but it’s gone forever.
Q: Speaking of bananas, what’s this “bananigans” thing all about?
LONG: It’s really a state of mind, a reminder that health and happiness go together. Whether it’s the “banana smile” or juggling clementines, moments of silliness provide levity that add dimension to a workday.
Q: You describe yourself as a “local business”. What exactly does this mean to you?
BUCHANAN: Well, the company was founded right here in the Metroplex – Richardson, specifically. Our home office is here, our staff lives here, and our fruit is sourced from here. While it may be grown elsewhere – I’m certainly not aware of any pear orchards in Rowlett or Euless – the lifeblood of this business is Dallas. These are our friends and neighbors we’re serving.
Q: What’s the most popular fruit in Dallas?
BUCHANAN: Bananas are by far the favorite. We sell tons every week – and that’s not a figure of speech.
LONG: Yeah, bananas are the most popular, but whenever I’m in a conversation with someone, I’ll often ask them what their favorite fruit is. So many times, people say mangoes! I’m not sure why that is, because I don’t see nearly as many people actually eating a mango, but that’s what they say.
BUCHANAN: They could be lying.
LONG: Yeah, they may be lying.
Q: So what’s your favorite fruit?
BOTH (in unison): Mangoes.
Q: What are the smallest and largest offices you serve?
BUCHANAN: There’s one business with only three people, but they’re very dedicated to healthy living, so they go through our 16-piece Mini Office Basket every week. As the Metroplex is the home to so many large-scale operations, we’ve created options for everyone, such as our “Fortune 600 Special”. This helps us serve companies with over 1,500 employees.
Q: What do you do with any surplus fruit?
LONG: When we’re doing really well, there’s barely anything left over at the end of the week! When there is, we donate it primarily to two organizations: the Harvest Project, and the Samaritan Inn in McKinney.
Q: Tell us more about the Harvest Project.
BUCHANAN: Harvest Project is an amazing organization. It was started in 2014 by Danae Gutierrez, who has served on the DISD board and is truly an inspiring individual. It’s a community project that provides fresh produce to families in need at no cost. They’ll provide fruits and vegetables, give recipes and instructions where appropriate, even teach them to shop for bargains. Like Ms. Gutierrez, Harvest Project represents real, grass-roots action to promulgate positive change in Dallas.
Q: What do you suggest Dallas can do as a whole to stay more fit?
LONG: Eat more fruit, of course!
BUCHANAN: Yes. Beyond that, though, we don’t make nutritional suggestions. We leave the dietary recommendations to those far more qualified. Besides, there’s very little consensus and we try to stay out of the fray!
Q: Understood. That said, are there some more pragmatic tips you can suggest?
BUCHANAN: Some things are fairly straightforward. We did contribute a blog post to D Magazine awhile ago with some basic suggestions for how to stay healthy at the office, five minutes at a time.
Q: Along the same lines, how did y’all get involved with the Dallas Running Club?
LONG: That started in 2016 with one of our administrators, Leah Hinton. She’s friends with Erin and Sean Jett, who served on the DRC Board at the time. They were looking for a business willing to donate bananas to their races, and since we believe very strongly in the maintenance of a vital running community for Dallas, we’re happy to help! It’s a great partnership.
BUCHANAN: Yeah, the Dallas Running Club means a lot to us. My wife is an athlete who has logged more miles than I care to count and the whole history of the DRC, Tal Morrison, and White Rock Lake as a sort of “running sanctuary” are fascinating to me. It really feels like we’re part of something special.
Q: What are the trendy fruits right now?
LONG: Avocados are the biggest trending fruit right now. Last year, America spent more importing avocados than any other fruit, including bananas. That is an entirely new development, and our sales reflect the popularity of avocados.
BUCHANAN: Definitely. I’d also have to say that clementines, also known as “Halos” or “Cuties”, do extremely well. There’s actually several different varieties of citrus we conveniently call “clementines”, and they’re all delicious and have lots of mouth-watering appeal!
LONG: Chris handles our marketing, as you can tell.
Q: What’s the most unusual fruit you’ve ever sold?
BUCHANAN: Oy vey. Here we go…
LONG: He hates durian, but I love it. Durian’s an Asian fruit that looks like a giant pod – about the size of jackfruit but even more spiky – and when you open it, the edible fruit almost has a banana pudding consistency.
BUCHANAN: And there all resemblance ends.
LONG: It does have this very complex, powerful aroma. I get why people don’t like it, but I find it fascinating. Eating durian is an event!
BUCHANAN: So’s a tsunami. All I’m saying is that there’s a reason it’s banned on Singapore Rapid Mass Transit. It’s exponential: it starts off smelling like a field of chives, then comes the sulfurous essence, then what can only be described as a “rotting” smell kicks in. Then it’s like they all compete with one another to see which can fill the room quicker. And that pretty much describes the flavor.
LONG: Hey, I’m not saying everyone will like them. More for me, that’s what I say!
Q: Talk about the “seven banana myth”.
BUCHANAN: OK, I learned about this from Karl Pilkington…and when I say “learned”, it was clearly some sort of nonsensical urban myth. The idea was something to the effect that if you ate more than six bananas in a day, you’d have a lethal potassium overdose. It’s been thoroughly debunked in a number of studies, of course, but like Twinkies or zombies, misinformation has no shelf life – it’s always staggering back from its grave to eat the brains of the living.
Q: From a delivery standpoint, what’s your favorite building in Dallas?
LONG: I’ve always liked delivering to the Comerica Bank Tower. The freight dock is efficient, the security staff is courteous and professional, and the entire building is very attractive and easy to get around.
Q: Are there things you’ve learned about Dallas as a result of delivering fruit here that you didn’t know before?
BUCHANAN: Well, I’ve certainly gotten to know all the local structures and the business that dwell within them. I used to go to Klyde Warren Park, for instance, and I’d look around and think “oh, there’s that cool new building with the blue glass, and there’s the one with the D Magazine logo” and so on. Now I’m thinking of the building names, and exactly which business is in there, and which ones are our customers and which ones will be.
Q: What kind of music could we expect to hear at ORCHARD At The OFFICE headquarters?
LONG: That totally depends on who’s in the office! You could hear everything from ambient to metal. I like to have music going to keep the brain’s alpha waves going. But every once in a while, I’ll mix it up with some Tool or Van Halen.
BUCHANAN: I gravitate toward jazz fusion or any music that Outcry Theatre might employ in one of their amazing shows. I love the music of Tori Amos and Sigur Rós, and that sometimes creates problems as I find myself listening to it a bit too much and getting all emotional and weepy.
Q: Sell me fruit. Right now.
BUCHANAN: Our fruit really sells itself. Quite often, if we make people aware that there’s this office fruit delivery service in Dallas, that concept generates interest.
LONG: Everybody loves fresh fruit. “Would you like a banana?”
Replacing unhealthy snacks with fruit when you’re at work is a great way to keep in shape and to make sure you avoid that afternoon slump. The sugars contained in soda and candy bars give you an immediate energy rush, but can quickly lead to a crash that has you reaching for coffee or energy drinks. The healthiest fruits to snack on at work offer sustained energy and nutrition in every flavor-packed bite.
Fruit contains sugar but also contains lots of fiber, which slows down how quickly your body processes the sugar. It also contains vitamins and other nutrients that you won’t usually find in processed, pre-packaged foods. You might already have your favorites when it comes to choosing a piece of fruit to snack on, but here’s a list of the healthiest fruits.
Healthiest Fruit Options
It’s important to eat a mix of fruit and vegetables because different kinds have different nutrients. Experts recommend at least five servings a day, which should include a lot of variety. The following are some of the healthiest fruits to snack on at work.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits and it’s not hard to see why. They are easy to eat, tasty and contain a range of the nutrients our bodies need every day. One banana gives you 33% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B6, which is important for your nervous system and metabolism.
They are also one of the healthiest fruits to eat while dieting, because a medium-sized banana contains only 105 calories, but can still be very filling! This makes it one of the healthiest fruits with the lowest calories and a great source of dietary fiber.
Mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, a nutrient that help protects against many kinds of illnesses, they are also rich in Vitamin K and one of the best fruits for Vitamin A. As well as being one of the healthiest, they are also a delicious fruit with a unique flavor, which make a perfect snack in the morning or afternoon.
Apples are one of the healthiest fruits to eat every day and one of the best fruits for vitamins and minerals. A medium-sized apple is under 100 calories and rich in Vitamin C, giving you 17% of your recommended daily intake of fiber. Apples are high in antioxidants, which help fight against cell damage, and a lot of the nutrients are in the skin of the apple. Eating an apple, skin and flesh, provides vitamins and minerals you need, with no fat or cholesterol.
Avocados are often eaten in salads or mashed up to provide the guacamole in your burrito, but they are actually a fruit. Technically avocados are large berries, though you probably won’t ever find them chopped up in a sundae. What is for sure is that avocados are one of the healthiest heart fruits and the best healthy green fruits.
Avocados are high in healthy fats, which are good for the heart. They are also one of the healthiest fruits for Vitamin K, an important nutrient for the blood.
Citrus fruits like clementine oranges are among the healthiest fruits for vitamin C, which is crucial for the growth and repair of every part of your body. Vitamin C helps keep your skin, muscle, bones and teeth in top condition, and is one of many healthy hair fruits. Clementines are smaller than most oranges, and so are quick and easy to eat, but still give you 60% of your daily intake of Vitamin C.
With just 35 calories in one clementine, you could eat an entire bag and consume fewer calories than one doughnut!
An office fruit delivery company’s value proposition keeps them lean and hungry.
Richardson-based ORCHARD At The OFFICE started in October 2010 with a single and simple concept: delivering fresh fruit to businesses in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex. It’s proved to be a winning idea and we’ve long been the largest office fruit delivery service in north Texas. Our hundreds of clients have staff sizes ranging from two to two thousand, and we treat each of their regular deliveries with the same care we’d show our best friends.
As the Operations Wiseapple, I’ve gotten to see firsthand what’s worked for us, and thought about what might be useful for other small businesses in any industry. It would be accurate to say the keys to our success have been “perseverance”, “focus”, or “determination”, but these generalities do not inherently guarantee longevity. Many businesses founded on good ideas fail. The entrepreneurs involved had loads of determination and focus, and persevered until the bitter end. What’s been the difference for us, in a practical sense?
While there are many answers, some of which I’m too involved to divine, a primary principle I can share involves responsible use of budgets. In our office, we call it getting “the best banana for the buck”. Quite simply, when dealing with any expense, we ask ourselves “will this improve the quality of our customer’s experience?”
A question like this can cause one to be either miserly or extravagant. It can result in spending an exorbitant amount of time and dime attempting to quantify the effects of spending. (“Did customer’s perceptions of our service increase or decrease when our representatives wore salmon-colored collared shirts as opposed to navy?”) I can’t speak to what’s right for every business, but I can freely share our own experience, based on trial-and-error, that’s helped us walk an acceptable middle path.
Aesthetic Value: A Modest-But-Inviting Workplace
During the boom-and-bust of the “dot.com bubble” in the late 1990s, one trend stood out to me more than any other: given a tremendous amount of speculative seed capital, startup companies would rent lavish office space, often laden with sleek Scandinavian furniture, and spare no expense to make their working environment impressive to customers and inviting to talented employees. Of course, most of these web-based firms hadn’t actually worked out monetization, and the predictable result, as history illustrates, was that most went belly-up, sooner than later.
Our takeaway from this was to make sure we found the line between an overly-Spartan and ostentatious workspace. To give a few practical examples: do we need to spend money hiring professionals to stencil our logo on the walls? Not for us. We’re fairly certain our employees know where they are and who they work for. Do we really need nice furniture or fancy artwork? To these, we answered: yes, to a point. We do want our employees to feel comfortable – simple amenities like a couch to relax or healthy snacks (including the fresh fruit we supply) have been shown in studies to create more productive employees. But we have found no added value in buying expensive new furniture, and at the same time we didn’t want to chuck some smoky craigslist abomination of a sofa into a dimly-lit “break room”. Instead, we simply brought surplus items from home and encouraged staff to do the same. It’s created a cozy, eclectic environment that makes hours seem easier and lets dollars go farther.
Driven by Principle: Spreading the Word
On the one hand, a family business must be realistic about its budget. On the other hand, if it only spends like – or thinks like – a family business, that’s all it will ever be. ORCHARD At The OFFICE wants to make sure people are aware of who we are and what we do, but how do we best accomplish that?
This is where the “quality of experience” yardstick comes into play. It would not, in our estimation, help existing or prospective customers enjoy our fruit more if we invested in wraps for our delivery vehicles. Instead, that money is invested in making sure the vehicles we own work, and reliably. Money spent on maintenance goes much farther than money spent on décor, though of course, the two are not mutually exclusive. Additionally, ORCHARD At The OFFICE made the decision many years ago that it would make more sense to pay for someone else’s well-maintained vehicles than try to own a fleet of our own, and so we rent vans as needed throughout the week. We’ve found it works better than asking drivers to put mileage on their own cars (to which they may not apply the same maintenance standards), while keeping us from having to pay for an abundance of vehicles that don’t need to be in service on a daily basis.
So this frees up some money – but where to use it? Our goal isn’t just to have minimal expense, and we still need to promote it. For us, there’s been a variety of methods, but one that’s been of benefit to us (and would be to many others) has been to look to contribute to civic organizations with goals similar to our own.
A primary example is our partnership with the Dallas Running Club, who host a race nearly every month. We’ve been supplying bananas for the athletes to enjoy at the finish line for quite some time, and the exposure has been invaluable. It’s an obvious example of a win-win, and we’re happy to know that regardless of the outcome, we’ve helped contribute to a healthier Dallas! After all, that is the bedrock upon which ORCHARD At The OFFICE was built.
These specific instances may be unique to us, but they are again meant to be illustrative of how the principle of “best banana for the buck” (or “best product for the dollar”, or “best service per cent”) can be applied to all facets of a business, great or small.
Use the Entire Apple
I cannot verify if any group of people, indigenous or otherwise, made use of every bit of any animal they hunted. I can only say that for our business, the idea of repurposing as much as possible has helped us control costs and aided in budget decisions.
To give one example: the Jazz apples we use arrive in cardboard boxes. Obviously, we sell the apples, but what to do with the boxes? The answer was quite simple: for those who wanted a greater quantity of fruit but didn’t require the aesthetic appeal of our trademark baskets, we offered the Office Select Box. The produce is all still hand-selected to guarantee quality, but we don’t spend the money on presentation in a fancy box emblazoned with our logo. This helps us keep the cost down, and instead put the packaging money into buying the baskets for those who want them.
This idea holds true with all our fruit boxes – we use them, as is, for shipping and distribution wherever possible. We let the quality of the product be our brand, and in that regard, we spare little expense. The aforementioned Jazz apples cost considerably more than the thick-skinned Red Delicious doled out to you in the school cafeteria…and with good reason. They’re objectively better quality, and thus meet our criteria of “best banana for the buck”.
Perhaps your organization operates under an entirely different premise. You may read every sentence I’ve written and think “we would do the exact opposite”. If that is your reaction, I will still feel I have done a service as my goal is not to seek agreement, but to get small business managers thinking. Considering the “how” and “why” of success allows us to continue down the right path while perhaps taking corrective steps. I certainly encourage other entrepreneurs (or those who work alongside them, as I do) to put their own thoughts and ideas to paper, ideally after enjoying some fresh fruit from ORCHARD At The OFFICE!
We all need a brief respite during a busy workday to recharge, mentally and physically. With that in mind, here are some simple, practical suggestions for making the most of those office breaks:
ENJOY SOME FRESH FRUIT
Taking a few minutes to enjoy a banana or an apple not only satiates any oral fixation and keeps blood sugar and vitamin levels well-regulated, but it actually makes a person feel happier! Of course, it’s not easy to remember to bring fresh fruit with you to the office, so you might want to suggest to your HR department that they look into ORCHARD At The OFFICE, a Texas company dedicated exclusively to office fruit delivery for the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and Greater Houston. It makes sense from a company standpoint, as healthy employees are more productive. And you get to enjoy your favorite fruits in the break room!
SIMPLE EXERCISE BREAK
A brief, positive expenditure of energy does wonders for the endorphin level. There are dozens of exercise routines that can be performed quickly and without the need for equipment. Here’s just one that can be done in five minutes or less:
TRY THESE TODAY
Marching in place. 60 seconds will accelerate the heart rate without causing the average person to break out into an inconvenient sweat
Calf-raises. Next, with your back straight, stand on tiptoe for 1-2 seconds, then lower your ankles again. 20-30 of these will take about 60 seconds, and it’ll increase your capacity to endure stilettos if that’s your fashion inclination.
Wall sits. The Cooper Clinic of Dallas reminds us this is an example of an isometric exercise, meaning we don’t move once we’re in position. You rest your back against the wall and slide slowly down until your knees are at a 90° angle. Hold this position 20 seconds if you’re a beginner, anywhere from 30-60 seconds if you’re more confident in your abilities.
Side bend Stretches. Stand tall with feet together and reach arms up overhead. Lower your right arm down the right side of your body and exhale as you reach the left arm over the head, bending body gently to the right. Inhale and repeat on the other side.
Meditation is a simple practice that works for all kinds of people. Don’t think of it as an effort to eliminate all conscious thought from your mind, as this is impractical and would make you an ambulatory hazard. It’s more a reminder not to sweat the small stuff; to elevate perspective and reframe your day. Here’s a simple variation of walking meditation that you can step outside and do in just a few minutes:
As you begin your walking break, take notice of any sense-object: any sight, sound, smell or feeling that leaps out at you. It could, for instance, be the sound of a car’s engine revving.
Walk while taking your mind through the process of how that sense object came to be. Our automobile engine was borne of raw materials, mined from the earth, then shaped into a multitude of individual parts to be assembled into a vehicle, then transported, distributed, and sold, eventually to its current owner.
Consider your connection to the sense object. To the earth that provided the raw materials, the process of assembly, distribution, and consumption. The number of people working to a common purpose, each with their own unique vested interest in a positive outcome.
Now, as you complete your walk and return to your own job, you can reflect on how what you do fills a role in society as well. How many people are positively impacted to some degree by the work you do daily? With this outlook, you can all take pride in our daily work and imbue the seemingly mundane tasks with some semblance of meaning.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
Taken individually, these suggestions won’t revolutionize your life. However, they’re all components of creating a healthy break– enjoying each moment in the knowledge you are living well! If you’ve already got a nutrition plan and a fitness plan, these actions are supplemental. If you’re looking for a way to begin to take steps down the path of wellness, these suggestions provide a convenient way to get started. Live well, Dallas!
This article first appeared on the D Magazine website on September 29, 2016.