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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jan 13, 2021

Humans of New York Features Owners of Delicious Orchards

Humans of New York is a growingly popular social media account run by a photographer, now with 11 million Instagram followers. The photographer, Brandon Stanton, interviews everyday people about the intimate struggles and details of their lives. He recently interviewed Delicious Orchards staff member Mike McDonald.

Delicious Orchards opened in 1911 as a wholesale apple market. Operations changed throughout the years, and the shop began offering coffee, baked treats, cheeses and other retail goods. The orchard was owned by the Barclay family for generations until they moved to a different location and turned the business over to their management team, including Mike McDonald’s father, Bill, who had worked at the store since the age of 18. The other two owners left the business in the early 2000s, and now Delicious Orchards is owned by Bill, his wife, Linda, and their children.

“On the day my dad got full ownership of the store, he signed over everything to his four kids,” Mike said. “I was in the room when it happened. His lawyers and accountants tried to talk him out of it.”

But Bill wanted the business to stay with the family.

The store has grown in popularity over the years, but the owners remain humble and dedicated to each other. Mike detailed his father’s loving nature.

“I used to think that Dad was just a ‘family man,’” he said. “But as I got older, I realized that his ‘family’ extended to the folks who worked for him. Nobody ever leaves our store. We have 15 managers, and the newest one started 10 years ago. Our employees stick around because my dad has always taken care of them.”

All four of Bill’s children – Keri, Chris, Mike and Erin – are involved in operating Delicious Orchards on a daily basis. Mike described his dad as generous, thoughtful and always helping his employees.

Still a hard worker, Bill even continues to stock produce in the market.

The Humans of New York post warmed thousands of hearts, especially locals who were commenting their admiration for the family-owned business.