Reviews for: Royal Oak Farm Orchard
Please go to this orchard
By: Darlynn Venne (Sep 23, 2018)
First, we went to another orchard in the area. It was extremely busy. U Pick was $45/bushel and could not pick half bushels. Prices were too high for rides. Left feeling discouraged. Googled Royal Oaks and proceeded to this orchard. Prices were much more reasonable. Did not have to pick an entire bushel. Restaurant was more comprehensive. Carousel rides, kids area and petting zoo much more user friendly. Individuals can book a hay ride for $8/person which includes a bon fire and you can bring your own snacks. Go to Royal Oaks. You will not be disappointed.
Royal Oak, royal pain
By: (Oct 13, 2010)
I decided to go to Royal Oak for the first time this year. Having the time and not wanting to go when it was a crowded weekend, I went during the week.
Not being familiar with the place, I spent some time just looking around. It is a very pretty set up, but information was lacking for those who were first-timers. It was busy due to a senior bus visiting, but still there was plenty of room in their pre-picked and add-on shop. I was a bit surprised to see that with a busload of visitors plus all the other cars in the lot, that there was only 1 cashier in the shop. The restaurant looked very nice, but I didn't go in.
I found the barn to pay for the u-pick area. Since the u-pick guide had indicated that there were raspberries available until frost, I asked the cashier about where I would go to pick them. Neither she nor the gentleman that was another employee had any idea of where I would go for that. Enough said. I paid for a 1/2 bushel bag. I asked if I would be able to drive or if there was any transportation to the orchard. The cashier said, "No, you'll get your exercise". Hmm. I'm assuming that they only offer rides on the weekends.
I headed out and filled my bag rather quickly. I don't know if any of you know how much a 1/2 bushel of apples weighs, but that plastic bag was pretty darn heavy. By the time I was 1/3 of the way back to the barn, the string on the bag completely ripped out and all the apples fell into the mud. I wasn't a happy camper.
Upon coming back to the barn (sans apples) I said that I wanted my money back. I was then told that I should have been holding the bag differently. Actually, the bag wasn't strong enough for the weight. If I had been able to drive out to where I was picking, like I've done at other places, or if a ride had been provided, this wouldn't have happened. Or at the very least, a wagon of some sort should have been readily available for people who want to pick more than 3 lbs of apples! I did get my money back with no problem, but I think that they're more concerned with the weekend crowds when they charge you $3 a car just to park!
I can't tell you anything about the quality of the apples as all of mine were in the mud. I think that I'll stick with an orchard that is not so concerned with being a showplace destination. It's too bad because I did want to support a Christian business.
Comments on this Review:
Rebecca Mastey says: (Oct 20, 2010)
Royal Oak does provide wagons. They're located directly behind the U-Pick barn for a $5 [refunded] deposit. I've been going there for YEARS, several times per year, to pick. It's very disappointing to hear that one of my favorite apple haunts is treating people so badly. However, I'm not surprised. We visited to pick raspberries last summer and when I told them their bushes were COVERED in angry bees and they should warn people in case of allergies, they said people should know. Wonderful. Unfortunately, Royal Oak began to go downhill once they became popular. Saturdays used to be busy, but leisurely. Now, you have to fight a crowd due to "special events" and other weekend attractions, pay for parking, and deal with a dirty orchard. Even during the weekdays, you have to contend with tourists and regular pickers plays second fiddle. Such a shame.
By: suzy greenburg (Oct 9, 2010)
We go to Royal Oaks Apple Orchard in Hebron and have been going there for the last 6 years. This year we went there like every other and were EXTREMELY dissapointed with the lack of apples they had and he quality of the ones that were still left. We decided to ask for our money back and just purchase the apples we knew were good in their store but were given a VERY hard time. After we were given our $ back we were approached by the Quality Control Man and he had a TON of excuses and never apologized. Instead he told us we were entiltled to our opinion and when we called him out for puting flags on apples that weren't even ripe yet his response was 'the people would just pick them anyways" So he told us to go out in the orchard and try other apples in hopes that we would change our minds so we did. We really didn't find anything to our liking so we decided again to go and purchase them inthe store. When we were walking to the store we noticed an unmarked bin full of apples and saw similar bins in the field and assumed they were for picking. So my three small children and my husband and I all tried these new apples and liked them. Suddenly we were approached by the boy that gave us our money back and he was yelling at us and pointing his finger at us telling us "Who do you think you are returning your bags and now you're taking apples from us!" We were in shock and tried to explain that we were not aware that they weren't for trying and he continued to badger us and basically calling us thieves. My daughter started to cry and I was so upset I was nearly speechless! The other man came over and told us we had been nothing but trouble and we needed to leave!!!! Appparently if you voice your dissatisfaction with their product this is how you are treated there! We were sent away in tears with no apology but instead just more ridicule! I will NEVER set foot in that place again!
Comments on this Review:
suzy greenburg says: (Oct 9, 2010)
They clearly were flagging apples that were'nt even ready to be picked. When we approached the grower he admitted that they weren't ready. They were cleaned out from the weekend before and instead of just putting quality first, they seemed more concerned with making money and selling a less then ready/ satisfactory product. Very unfortunate!
Dennis Norton says: (Dec 21, 2010)
Unfortunately no matter how we tried to resolve this situation, we were going to lose. We are a Bio-intensive IPM orchard and our apples are not going to be grocery store shelf perfect as they had wanted. We had been so busy during the season we were running out of apples that were at 12% on the Brix scale and opened apples up for picking that were at 10% Brix so our customers would have some apples to pick. We had to open them up because they were the next closest apples ready to pick and customers were starting to pick them before being flagged as ready. I even tried to offer this couple a free peck of apples that were pre-picked. The bin they were picking from was in our packing room area which is posted off limits to customers due to insurance reasons. They refused our free apple offer and used the F word in front of their own children at least 25 times. Then they called us filthy names, so we asked them to leave because they used such filthy language. This was most unfortunate.
Fabulous Fruit, Mighty Morals!
By: Katie Lang (Oct 3, 2008)
Royal Oak Farm is decidedly the best Apple Orchard in Northern Illinois. You've gotta love their motto..
"He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit"
John 15:5 (NKJV)
Comments on this Review:
anna says: (Oct 3, 2008)
All that I have read about Royal Oaks Apple Orchard sounds great! Can't wait to go there tomorrow! Blessings to all.