Product care is very important to retain our valued customers and deliver the high quality products they expect. We do not participate in many of the commonly practiced methods of most conventional grocery stores. We do not have any products on an automatic delivery and we hand check each item that comes in the store before it hits the shelf. Doing this allows us to keep a watchful eye on proper packaging and ensures food safety! Every item is ordered by hand on a daily basis which allows us to manage inventory and always have fresh products available.
One fun fact that you may not know is that we have a very extensive Olive Oil selection. We currently have over 25 different types of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from regions all over the world. We have an extensive variety of Greek, Italian, Spanish, American and Turkish olive oils ranging in flavor from light and fruity to robust and peppery! When choosing your olive oil it’s helpful to know about the different grades so you choose the best product for your meal preparation. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold pressed mechanically versus chemically and is also less than 0.08% acidity for maximum flavor and aroma. U.S Virgin Olive Oil has a pretty good flavor and odor with a low level of defects. Rated below U.S Virgin Olive Oil is what’s called: “U.S Lampante Virgin Olive Oil” is virgin olive oil which is lacking in flavor and odor and is usually not fit for human consumption and is usually used for refining and non food uses only.
Product Care is not limited to shelf stable products within our store, in fact the most attention to detail is allocated to our produce items. Starting in May with every spear of asparagus through the Fall with our apples, every item is inspected one by one before it goes to our shelves to ensure maximum color and overall quality. Brad Isnard is our CSA Director and has over 40 years experience with growing and handling all kinds of produce. In the most recent CSA newsletter Brad writes in detail how peaches should be handled and how we structure the timing into picking our peaches to ensure they get to your kitchen when they taste best.
“We pick peaches every two days (the same tree will be picked up to five time), so we try to pick them at the cusp of ripeness when you’ll still be able to handle (not squeeze) them. Peaches go from darker green to lighter green to yellow on the tops. We try for that just-yellowing spot for the proper timing of picking,” says Brad. Even if the picking season is only a couple weeks, growing our produce is a 365 day/year engagement that requires diligence and patience with product care in order to bring you the best quality you will find. Beyond our local Guilford Farm, our careful inspection process doesn’t stop with our own. All produce items here at Bishop’s Orchards are also inspected carefully when they are delivered before they get to your basket. We keep a close and consistent eye on what we receive which helps us to notice any changes that may have occurred in the picking and handling process.