My love for Harry & David started as a little girl, growing up in the Rogue Valley, their pear orchards and the Harry & David headquarters not too far from my hometown. The stories of my mom and her siblings working the orchards, getting deliveries of beautiful Harry & David boxes of fresh fruit every year for Christmas and enjoying their special handmade treats throughout the year gave me a fondness for their products and the people who worked there. Years later, as a blogger, I wanted so badly to work with Harry & David and bring my blogging friends to beautiful Southern Oregon and to the Harry & David orchards to see the unique gift of this awesome company right in our town!
My dream became reality last year as two groups of amazing bloggers visited and toured the Harry & David orchards, headquarters and, more importantly, the Harry & David candy kitchen, where Charlie, who heads up the Harry & David chocolate factory, put us to work making our own chocolate candy treats. Not only did we get treated like queens and kings, Harry & David allowed me to cook dinner for our guests in my backyard. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal and sharing it with friends and those in your life who you care about the most.
Harry & David has continued to carry out this vision of bringing some of the most successful bloggers to our hometown, so next week, here in the Rogue Valley, another group will be arriving.
They’ll be learning about the fruit, grown in the Harry & David orchards, wine baskets, chocolate deliveries and some of Harry & David’s specialty gourmet food gifts.
I’m so excited to introduce you to my special blog friends, as each person has such a uniqueness, passion and love for food that ultimately ties into their own Harry & David story.
I remember when…our aunt and uncle sent us a box of pears at Christmas. Or, when we received a Fruit-of-the-Month Club® Collection for six months. Or, when our family went through a really hard time and our friends across the States sent us an amazing gift basket.
What’s your Harry & David story?
It’s now my pleasure to introduce you to the fantastic blogging team.
Angie Dudley started her website, Bakerella, to help keep track of her baking and decorating attempts, and it has since grown to be featured with Martha Stewart Living, Amy Atlas Events, Woman’s Day, Cookie magazine, Parenting.com and The Pioneer Woman, just to name a few. On Bakerella, you’ll find ideas for cupcakes, cookies, brownies and cupcake pops.
Julie Deily was a software engineer for 10 years before making the transition to full-time blogger at The Little Kitchen as well as freelance recipe developer and food photographer. A self-professed nerd, she’s a food lover but not a food snob and a firm believer that you do not have to have a huge kitchen to make amazing food.
Melissa Michaels, of the popular decorating blog, The Inspired Room, encourages women to love the home they have by sharing attainable tips and inspiring ideas to transform your home. As the creator of one the top decorating and DIY blogs since 2007, Melissa’s work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, Cottages & Bungalows, HGTV, and Apartment Therapy.
Shelly Jaronsky writes the popular baking and dessert blog Cookies and Cups. Having been trained in her grandma’s kitchen each summer, and now trying to feed four boys and a husband, she started sharing her recipes and life stories in 2009 and has been baking ever since. She’s a hug giver, a manicure getter, a laundry do-er, a cake maker and a spatula licker.
Lindsay Landis is a graphic designer and entrepreneur by day and a food blogger and cookie dough addict by night. Her food blog, Love & Olive Oil, chronicles her culinary adventures in and around the kitchen. She is also the author of The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook and coauthor of Breakfast for Dinner with her husband, Taylor.
Lifestyle blogger and designer Michael Wurm Jr. writes about his latest design projects, favorite recipes, DIY crafts and more on his popular blog, Inspired by Charm. When it comes to interior décor, he is often inspired by vintage finds, modern lines and colorful accessories, and he shares more of this creativity as a blogger for Better Homes and Gardens, Lowe’s, HomeGoods and Glidden Paint.
Cassie Laemmli is a freelance recipe developer, food photographer and the writer behind the blog Bake Your Day. Bake Your Day is all about Cassie’s love for food, for people and for life, especially living well through food. For Cassie, that means creating wholesome meals and always leaving room for dessert.
As Director of Content Strategy at Federated Media, Helen Jane Hearn works with brands and bloggers at the forefront of the independent web and has developed award winning digital campaigns with Target, Absolut, P&G, Hyundai and Levi’s. She has blogged at helenjane.com since 1998 and can also be found in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens, Food & Wine magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal and Reader’s Digest.
Gina Homolka is a busy mom of two girls and the creator, photographer and recipe developer of SkinnyTaste.com, which features delicious, healthy, low fat, family-friendly recipes. Skinnytaste originally began in 2008 as an idea to marry her two passions, great food and beautiful photography, and has since developed into a highly rewarding labor of love.
Robyn Stone is a seventh generation Southerner who loves to share simple, fresh, and family-friendly recipes on her website, addapinch.com, named one of Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Blogs of 2013. Robyn’s work can be found in print and online in various publications such as Southern Living, Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens, Parade magazine, the Huffington Post, HGTV.com and Fox News.
Ali Ebright is the writer, photographer and stylist behind the blog, Gimme Some Oven where she loves to create simple, affordable, creative, seasonal and delicious recipes that can be shared and enjoyed around the table. When she isn’t cooking at her home in Kansas, Ali loves walking her dog, travelling, listening to music, and reading.
Amanda Green Bottoms is the author and photographer of Kevin & Amanda. What started as a place to keep in touch with friends and family quickly became a popular source for delicious recipes, stunning travel photography, easy DIY tutorials and an entertaining and educational place to visit.
Judy Gambee is the author of the blog From Home to Roam. She is a wife and mother of two who loves to travel around the world with her family and has been to over five continents and multiple countries. Judy enjoys sharing their travel experiences and tips with others on her blog, as well as contributing regularly to the Fodor’s Travel and Trip Advisor online travel forums where she helps others with their travel questions and plans.
Sarah Lemon is a writer and editor for the Mail Tribune in Oregon’s Rogue Valley, an up and coming artisan food scene with deep agricultural roots. During her seven years as the Tribune’s food editor, she has profiled local ingredients, businesses and culinary events and experiences in feature stories for the Tribune’s weekly food section, A la Carte, and on her blog, The Whole Dish. Inspiring much of her writing is Sarah’s love for cooking, often incorporating homegrown vegetables, herbs and fruits.