Oliver’s regulars know that every year we wait for the Robert Grist Owari satsumas; unfortunately, we may soon have to say a permanent goodbye to one of our favorite growers. It was the ugliest fruit we carried – it was also one of the best tasting. Robert drove up once a week to our stores from Southern California; over the years, he saw a steep decline in access and acreage of the original Owari trees he had taken care of for decades.
Robert also spoke recently of retiring, though to be honest, we cannot confirm whether he did or didn’t. Robert has no cell phone, no email, and can only be contacted through a P.O. box, he actually used to call us from some of the last pay phones in California for our orders! Robert and his mandarins will be missed, but our citrus life must go on.
Introducing Tri-L Mandarin Farm!
Located in Oroville, Tri-L is owned by Scott and Holly Perkins. Scott bought the farm from previous owners Lou and Lola Lodigiani who have been running the farm since 1995 and have been residents of the Oroville area for over thirty years. The Perkins had worked alongside the Lodigianis for years before acquiring their farm, and they have pledged to maintain the same standards and traditions set by their predecessors.
After a quick taste test, we know their high-quality mandarins are as close as you can possibly get to a true Grist mandarin, both in flavor and texture. Scott informed us of two very important details: first, the orchard only grows Owari variety satsumas, and second, they check the sugar content of the fruit before picking. These Owari satsumas are handpicked and only harvested when they’ve reached the optimal brix (sugar) content. This means fruit that is consistently beautiful and delicious, which is the kind of quality assurance we love to provide for our customers!
More importantly, Tri-L is located in the Butte county, which has been deeply affected by the Camp Fire. Before the recent fires, most of Scott’s fruit was sold to local stores and the school districts around Oroville; obviously, circumstances have changed. After we landed on a set price, we asked if he would charge Oliver’s an additional 50¢-per pound which would then be donated to the Hope Center, where Scott helps with logistics. The Hope Center is a medium-sized food bank and outreach group which provides daily meals to the homeless and home delivery to elderly and immobile population in Butte county. They are currently the primary location for the storing and distribution of donations for the ongoing Camp fire relief efforts.
So, what does this mean to you?
It means that every time you purchase delicious Tri-L Ranch mandarins, not only are you supporting a fantastic family-owned farm, you’re also supporting the entire community! It’s rare that we get the opportunity to do so much by doing so little, and Oliver’s understands how important it is to lift one another up in times of crisis. Simply by purchasing some of the highest quality mandarins we have available, you too can make a difference in the lives of those affected by the Butte county fires.
So, while it pains us to have to say goodbye to our favorite Robert Grist mandarins, Oliver’s is pleased and proud to announce our new partnership with Tri-L Mandarin Ranch! Stop in and try them for yourself today!