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ShopNBC features Fruit Company

November 2, 2011

The Fruit Company.com of Hood River receives some national exposure Friday morning.

Company owner Scott Webster will appear on Shop NBC, airing at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, to present a variety of the company's fruit baskets and boxed tower sets, which can be purchased online.

Webster's appearance will mean a full-hour opportunity for the company to tell viewers about the range of products, which feature Hood River Valley-grown pears and apples, along with chocolates, nuts and a variety of other specialty items.

The company's fruit of the month selection is just one product to be shown.

"We'll get to go over each of the fruits and also sell a nine-piece tower, and a new product, chocolate-covered Comice pears," Webster said.

Webster travels to the Minneapolis studio this week; fresh selections of The Fruit Company products to be displayed on the show will be shipped close to the air date.

Items can be purchased in real time as ShopNBC airs, similar to other home shopping networks. (The Fruit Company.com was featured on QVC in 2006, but for only five minutes.)

Viewers are shown how many products are available as Friday's show progresses, allowing people to track which items are close to sold out. Webster said some of the merchandise shown on ShopNBC will be sold only during the one-hour program, but viewers can go to the show's website to place more orders.

All items shown on TV will have been shipped directly from Hood River, according to Webster.

Anyone who misses the program this month might have another chance in early December, Webster said. NBC approached The Fruit Company about eight months ago about a fall slot on the program, which is available on the Dish and DirecTV networks. Originally, they offered a September slot, but Webster successfully lobbied for the November air date, and was told the company might be invited back next month.

"We are excited about it," said Webster. "If we hit November and go on again in December, that means two times people will have seen us."

"If it sells really well, we're scheduled to be back on Dec. 5," Webster said.

"(NBC) had wanted to get us on sooner,"?he said. "We wanted the launch to be close to the time slot when our biggest orders go out."

That's December, though the entire fall and winter are busy times for The Fruit Company, which saw a revival year in 2010 after a 2008-09 slump that matched the national economic decline.

"The number of buyers who consummate an order goes way up in December," noted Webster, who founded the company in 1999 with his brother, Addison.

Friday's showcase will include the following fruit: Jonagold apples, Comice pears, apricots, pluots, Rainier cherries, Oregon blueberries, scarlet nectarines, and green d'Anjou pears.

"We are very excited by this opportunity to showcase our local fruit in the baskets and towers," said Becky Betty, who handles partner development for The Fruit Company.com.

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