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Meet Chris Buchanan and Kevin Long of ORCHARD At The OFFICE

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Buchanan and Kevin Long.

Chris and Kevin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The seed for ORCHARD At The OFFICE was planted in 2010, when our “Chief Banana” (that’s what it says on his business card), Kevin Long, was working as a manager for an advertising firm and decided to bring fresh fruit into the office in lieu of the usual sugary snacks. The fruit was devoured instantly, and Long knew he was onto something. By October of that year, he was ready to convert the potential to kinetic, and ORCHARD At The OFFICE emerged.

In the years since growth has been exponential. For some time we’ve been the largest office fruit delivery service in North Texas, providing Metroplex businesses large and small with tons of bananas, Jazz apples, the ever-popular clementines, plums, grapes, berries… a whole variety of fruit flavors.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Trial and error is, of course, a necessity of growth. Nothing is truly a mistake if one learns from it, and if we did everything the exact same year after year, we’d surely stagnate and eventually wither away!

The biggest challenge we’ve faced – and I doubt it’s unique to us – has been the issue of training and documentation. When it’s just a couple of people running a business, very little is written down: everyone just “knows”. Once the business grows and new people are brought in, knowledge gaps become apparent. After I heard myself saying “Did you not know that? Oh, wait… how would you have known?” I realized we needed to make a concerted effort to put documentation together and create training procedures.

We’ve been fortunate in that we avoided many errors by learning from others. None of us expect to live long enough to be able to make all our own mistakes! For instance, most of our deliveries take place on Monday and/or Tuesday. If we bought all the vehicles we need, they’d sit dormant most days of the week. We’d be paying off – and insuring – vans that weren’t being used 70% of the time. Instead, we realized that renting several vehicles on the days we need them would work out much better. That’s one example.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with ORCHARD At The OFFICE – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Critical to our success is our singleness of purpose: we provide fresh fruit to D/FW offices, pure and simple. Focusing on doing one thing exceptionally well allows us to stay on track. Now, there are plenty of people who could simply provide fruit to offices. The two things that have allowed us to thrive, even as competition has emerged, our dedication to premium quality and superior customer service.

“Premium quality” means that we’re willing to apply the extra time and dime to giving our friends-in-wellness the “best banana for the buck”: top-of-the-line fruit, hand-inspected, and always guaranteed. “Superior customer service” means, not just individual attention, but the goal of a 24-hour turnaround for any issue. No phone trees, no dismissing customer concerns under the guise of “company policy”. We care about our customers and their wishes, and we’re rather obsessive about exceeding their expectations.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
At its heart, ORCHARD At The OFFICE not only has a single mission but a single goal. The entire company is predicated on earning enough to get six kids through college and allowing two families to retire! That helps us strike a balance between channeling energy into growth opportunities and remembering why we’re here. In other words, we put in enough hours to be the best at what we do and ensure our growth rate continues. At the same time, we don’t want it to come at the expense of the very families we’re trying to support.

To harken back to your previous question, though, I would very much hope that my answer in two years will be different! As in all of life, more will be revealed.

Pricing:

  • 15-piece Mini Office Fruit Basket: $15
  • 25-piece Small Office Fruit Basket: $25
  • 50-piece Large Office Fruit Basket: $50
  • 90-piece Premium Office Select Box: $80
  • 190-piece “Greatest Value” Special: $122

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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