Hello, not quite as stupid a question as it sounds.
I live in the north east, and if I go to the grocery store or even whole foods when Florida oranges are in season, I am never "wowed" by the quality, or very rarely. If however I were to order Florida oranges from Harry and David or the fruit company, I pay my $88 for 12 oranges plus 2 day shipping, and each one tastes 90% as good as if it had come off the tree (which I have had).
So, my question is, assuming the fruit is in season, what are boutique fruit shippers doing differently than grocery stores in order to get that level of quality? I mean, don't they use the same industry standard harvesting techniques and distribution techniques when it comes down to it? Farmer wakes up in florida, laborers picks in the am, Pre cooler by noon, refrigerated truck by 2:00 and on the road to Boston. In 48 hours the truck is rolling into New England Produce in Chelsea. The broker from the grocery store is there to receive the shipment, and in four hours the orange is on the shelf. If I use two day shipping on a mail order, if I get to the oranges as soon as they're put on display that's still only a day or so later from tree to plate than with a mail order. I feel this applies to most fruits too. What are these speciality mail order companies doing right that a grocer can't do?