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Our man about town Jared Hatch investigates the Harry & David pop-up store on Oak Street and eats some pears.
When we enter the new store we're slapped in the face with a relish covered pretzel and the smell of free samples. Browsing the selection on the first floor, we meet Kristin Berggren, the interim store manager who's just finished talking with a gaggle of gold coast housewives crunching on Moosemunch and stuffing truffles in their fur coats.
It seems like only yesterday Harry & David, the Oregon based foodstuffs store, was plastering paper over the windows, now its a full-fledged holiday madhouse. The company signed the lease on Nov 1st, shipments came on the 10th and they opened on the 14th. This flash opening makes it really apparent that large companies like Harry & David know that their formula works.
"Space rental prices are still high around here," Berggren says. "We've got to be quick setting up shop." And she would know this having traveled around the country opening temporary Harry & David stores like this one.
We had heard a lot about the pears. Fancy pears. Royal Riviera Pears. Stacked and stowed in all the coolers around the two floor store they are obviously the most popular item. Kristin confirms the deliciousness of the pears, after tasting them, so do we.
She leads us up the stairs to the second floor and we wander around while more sales people are fulfilling phone orders for gift baskets. Before long its just too busy and we're left all alone in the sockeye salmon section and we wonder back to the truffle-pushers for more sampling.
The Harry & David pop-up store on Oak Street will be open through January 6th.
· Harry & David [Official Site]