Reviews for: The Orange Shop

Average Review:

88 reviews



Good orange
By: Lory Widmer Hess    (Feb 27, 2013)

These were tasty oranges, but I wouldn't say of the taste that "there is nothing remotely like it." They tasted like oranges! The flavor was very full though, both sweet and tart, not sour or bitter or bland like bad oranges you get in the store. They arrived in perfect condition, but I wish they had not been coated with a highly toxic fungicide; is this really necessary???

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Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Mar 1, 2013)

Lory, Many thanks for your review. I just wanted to clear up the point about the fungicides. We do apply a wax to the fruit, which is necessary to prevent water loss after it has been removed from the tree. The wax is food grade, and is harmless. If we don't have some kind of coating, the fruit would turn soft very quickly, and wouldn't store very long. In the wax, we dissolve a very small amount of material that retards mold. It has no effect on people in any way, and is only on the surface of the fruit -- it doesn't penetrate the skin at all. So, there isn't anything harmful applied to the fruit, either before or after harvest. That's only one reason why we've received so many environmental awards, and go to great lengths to assure our customers that our fruit does not have negative consequences of any kind. Hope you enjoy yours! Pete



A very welcome arrival in the dead of winter.
By: Christopher Miller    (Feb 24, 2013)

We've ordered three times this winter from The Orange Shop. The first two orders were the Page/Navel/Grapefruit combo, which were all outstanding. Not one piece of bad or sub-standard fruit. The third order was the Tangerine/Grapefruit combo. Had 3 of the tangerines arrive soft and/or moldy. Let them know and a replacement package for those quickly arrived. The flavor of all citrus received is outstanding. The tangerines have a surprisingly high amount of seeds, but I'd order them again due to the outstanding richness of flavor

Overall we're very pleased with what we've received and almost look forward to the next nasty winter so that we can once again have a ray of summer sunshine arrive from Florida via the UPS man. :o)

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Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Mar 1, 2013)

Christopher, Thanks very much for your kind review. On the matter of seeds, some of the varieties we ship do have them. We specialize in heirloom varieties that have been around long before lower-seeded varieties were developed. In most cases, the newer varieties were selected for a low seed count and shipping characteristics, but the flavors of the more traditional varieties are very distinctive and unique. The only way to enjoy those flavor experiences is to overlook the seeds, and I guess we've personally been eating citrus so long that we don't even notice them. We do work closely with the University of Florida and the USDA in new variety development, and one of the desirable characteristics is low seed count, but our guiding principle is that if a new variety can't compete with the flavor of Page, Temples, and Honey Tangerines, it probably won't find it's way into the catalog of The Orange Shop because we're all about flavor. Incidentally, the California "Cuties" come from trees that have had giant nets placed over them during bloom so the bees can't cross-pollinate the flowers. The varieties they use are self-incompatible, so don't produce seeds unless they're pollinated by another variety. In Florida, Orange Blossom Honey is an important industry, and one of our best sellers, so we encourage bees in the groves, and are careful that we don't do anything to harm them. The result is some of the best honey you'll ever taste -- and seeds in the fruit. So, many of our varieties do have seeds, but some of the alternatives are just unacceptable to us. A quick story about seeds -- at our Citra Orange Affair (the town's annual citrus festival) one year, we challenged the kids to a "seed spitting contest". One tow-headed little 11 year old launched a Fallglo seed an amazing 37 feet -- a record that's never been broken to our knowledge! Thanks. Pete



Delicious and well worth waiting for!
By: Lisa Grandstaff    (Feb 13, 2013)

I ordered a honeybell and grapefruit combo through Local Harvest from the Orange Store. The transaction went smoothly and within a day or two I received a notification email that my shipment went out. I was to expect it within 2 - 3 days. Alas, it did not come on schedule, and when it did arrive, I was anxious to taste fresh citrus fruits right off their own tree!

I pulled a honeybell out and tried it... it was incredible! Imagine my dismay when I found four of them (as I unwrapped the protective tissue around each fruit) moldy! I got in touch with the company via email and within hours I had a personal reply, telling me that they were contacting all customers who had ordered during the time that I had, because the big storm along the east coast had interrupted delivery schedules and they needed to know if the fruit was okay.

I replied and explained what I found, that four of the honeybells were moldy, all of the grapefruit were fine... the very next day, they shipped a small box of a half dozen to replace the ones I lost. All were otherwise perfect-- large, juicy, sweet, texture of the flesh amazing, and in spite of having the normal delivery disrupted by the weather the fruit was worth waiting for and their customer service was flawless.

Do not hesitate to try The Orange Store! DEE Licious!

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The Orange Shop will take care of business
By: Thomas Getts    (Feb 10, 2013)

I ordered some Honeybells. A few on top were smashed in shipping. I contacted The Orange Shop and they took care of the problem right away and replaced them in a timely manner.

Great products and great service. Thanks again and will order more.

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Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Feb 11, 2013)

Thanks, Thomas. We always appreciate hearing from everyone about their fruit, and experience with The Orange Shop. One thing might be good to mention here, as Thomas discovered. Of the many hundreds of packages we've shipped through Local Harvest in the last 30 days, a few did have problems, more so in January because of hot weather here in Florida and extremely cold weather up north. We always replace any fruit that doesn't arrive in perfect condition, and since citrus is much more perishable than apples or pears, it can and does unfortunately happen, although of course in most cases everything goes smoothly. The point I'd like to make is that if someone receives a box with damaged fruit, while we understand that posting a review is important and certainly welcomed, the reviewer's information is anonymous, so we can't respond to the issue. There is also an option to send an email or comment on our store through Local Harvest, both of which allow us to reply directly to the sender. The easier it is to converse directly with a responder, the faster we can solve the problem. This is especially important as the maturity period for each variety nears an end for the season -- if we don't respond quickly, we may not be able to replace damaged fruit with the same variety. In this particular case, Thomas apparently responded first via email or comment rather than a review, so we were able to rapidly ship out a replacement and he could enjoy all the fruit he ordered of the original variety. His review triggered that thought in my mind, so was a good opportunity to make this observation. Many thanks! Pete



INCREDIBLE customer service, worked with us even in ALASKA!
By: Sarah Posey    (Feb 7, 2013)

We've just received two boxes of the most luscious, eye-poppingly yummy citrus we've ever tasted, thanks to the generosity and T.L.C. of The Orange Shop's products and - especially - its customer service. I'm a first-time customer. Was inspired to order by a free shipping offer -- usually too good to be true when vendors find out they're shipping to Alaska, but I received a prompt can-do email from Pete when I placed my order online. He acknowledged the difficulties of shipping their usual order volume so far in winter, but also offered a reasonable and generous way to compromise -- still with free shipping. VERY impressive. The fruit left Florida on Feb 3 or 4, arrived by USPS Priority Mail here in cloudy Southeast Alaska on Feb 6th, with every single orange (2 varieties, many dozen fruit) dry and edible, the vast majority in absolutely perfect condition.

I am impressed beyond words. Hubby (who grew up in South Africa with fruit farmers in the family) is raving about the citrus, best he's ever had. Tween daughter - a fruit fiend - will need careful minding so she doesn't eat all within days. Teen son and I are the fruit-shy members of our family foursome, but we're eagerly tucking in as well. Altogether an incredible experience.

I felt compelled to go on at length here because I see there are several recent reviews giving low star ratings -- but I also noted Pete's rapid responses to each and absolutely trust that he has honored The Orange Shop's 100% guarantee in replacing fruit that was damaged in shipping. In this day and age, such attentive service is rare indeed. So go ahead... give this business a try. You've nothing to lose and some heavenly fruit to find!!!

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Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Feb 8, 2013)

Many thanks, Sarah. That's the kind of report we like to hear. We go to great lengths to see that our ultra-perishable fruit arrives in good condition. The vast majority of the packages do arrive without any incident whatsoever -- including all the way to Alaska. Occasionally, problems occur, and often they're not pretty, which triggers an emotional response that's completely understandable because everyone's expectations of us are so high. Our expectations of us are even higher, though, so when problems occur, we always make them right. That's the only way we can go about shipping the rare, delicate citrus varieties that are often only available from The Orange Shop. Other shippers are scared of bad reviews, so they stick with the sure things, but what fun is that? We like to take the risks that are necessary to provide wonderful heirloom varieties, and push the seasons to allow the fruit to attain the exceptional flavors that occur even though the shipping ability might not be as favorable as earlier in the season, but that's who we are, and what we do. You are correct that everyone who had an issue did eventually receive exactly what they ordered, with a few extra fruit included to compensate them for the negative experience of receiving a box of fruit that was not in perfect condition. We appreciate the time and effort that you devoted to your review, and hope your family continues to enjoy the fruit. I've been to South Africa, and they grow some great citrus down there, so that's high praise coming from your husband. Thanks! Pete



End of the Season?
By: KIM HOFFMAN    (Jan 31, 2013)

I was shocked at the appearance of my Honeybells when they arrived. They looked like they went through a meteor shower - scared, grey spots, bruised. This surprised me since they were "freshly" picked and were only in transit for two days. I noticed at my local grocer that their Honeybells didn't look any better than mine.

Despite their appearance, they were rather large and tasted just fine.

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Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Feb 2, 2013)

Kim, thanks for posting your review. I picked up three points -- there were blemishes on the fruit, they looked bruised, and despite appearances, they tasted good. In regards to the blemishes, Honeybells are susceptible to a number of causes of blemishes, and to prevent them, people apply up to 12 sprays a year. However, we believe in a low-intensity approach that relies on natural preventions of problems rather than spraying a lot. Usually, it works OK and the fruit turns out to be very nice. In some cases, more often with Honeybells than others, there will be periods of imbalances in the ecosystem, and blemishes can occur. If we throw all that fruit away, the energy and other inputs required to produce a crop would be wasted. So, in that case, we grade out only the worst fruit, and if the remainder is sound and good tasting, albeit a bit more blemished than we'd like, we ship them. Most of our customers understand this, and appreciate the philosophy we use, but occasionally someone who is expecting the perfect fruit that is a consequence of intense pesticide use and heavy grading, they can be disappointed when they open a box and find blemished fruit. We certainly apologize if we haven't made all this clear -- there is a discussion on Local Harvest that explains our approach that can seem like a lot of "fine print" -- and hope that the flavor and juiciness of the fruit helped offset any impression as to the appearance. In regards to the bruising, this is of more concern. We harvest and ship immediately, and every fruit is perfectly good when it leaves our packinghouse -- it is rare that the time interval between harvest and shipping is more than 48 hours. So, if the fruit appeared to be bruised, it was a consequence of rough handling during the shipping process by Fedex or the Post Office. We will look into your shipment to see what happened, because it's important to us that the fruit is handled carefully. In the meantime, if any of the fruit you received was beyond salvage, be sure to let us know so we can send a replacement for any that are lost -- which is our 100% arrival guarantee. Many thanks.



Arrived squashed and moldy. Box was very wet.
By: Lynnette Mikesell    (Jan 25, 2013)

Oranges did not arrive in Arkansas today in good condition. If not squashed and moldy, they were very soft, except for 5 out of 13. The 5 are passable, but I would not have hand picked them at the store. I believe I deserve a refund or replacement shipment. I like the concept so, I am willing to give it another try, with assurances of proper oversight.

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Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Jan 27, 2013)

Lynette, Thank you very much for letting us know that your fruit did not arrive in perfect condition. As is noted on our Local Harvest store, all of our fruit has a 100% arrival guarantee, so if there's any problem, we will ship a replacement for any that did not arrive in good condition regardless of the cause. The past two weeks have been brutal on fruit arrivals. We pick when the fruit is at peak ripeness, rather than harvest them before their prime to improve the shipping ability. It was in the 80's down here, and cold as the dickens up country, so as the boxes moved in and out of warm and cold conditions during delivery, a lot of moisture built up. If the box was handled roughly and the fruit bruised even a tiny bit, we saw a lot of very rapid decay. It's all good when it leaves the packinghouse, of course. Fruit this ripe is highly perishable, but to us it's worth the risk to get the exceptional flavor. We will ship you a generous replacement for those that didn't make it because we want you to enjoy every piece of fruit we promised you. Many thanks. Pete Spyke



First time ordering, Honeybells & Ruby Reds...not good
By: LK    (Jan 25, 2013)

Order placed on 1/11, shipped on 1/18, received 1/23. The 12 Ruby Reds were small but OK. The 18 Honeybell, all but two were moldy. I was very much looking forward to enjoying these little gems, so I must say that I am quite disappointed :(

In the future, I will probably not order fruit by mail. Thank you.

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Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Jan 27, 2013)

LK, Thank you very much for letting us know that all of the fruit you received did not arrive in perfect condition. It's all firm and fresh when it leaves the packinghouse, of course, but it is highly perishable, so rough handling, shipping delays, and the recent extreme weather can result in damage, in which case decay can occur very rapidly -- overnight in some cases. However, we have a 100% arrival guarantee, so any fruit that doesn't arrive in perfect condition, regardless of cause, will be replaced, because we want you to enjoy all the fruit you purchased from us. If you will provide us with your name or email address, we will be happy to send the replacement to you. Many thanks. Pete