Harry & David name is bearing up just fine

Driving past Harry & David the other day I noticed that the words "Bear Creek Orchards" and "Bear Creek Corporation" have been removed from their buildings. When I worked at Harry & David back in my college days the company was known as "Harry & David's Bear Creek Orchards" or just as "Bear Creek." Has the "Bear" been permanently removed from the H&D Corporation?

— Larry S., Jacksonville

The erstwhile Bear Creek Corp. hasn't totally lost its "Bear"ings, Larry.

While the Medford-based fruit and gourmet food retailer has gone through a variety of ownership changes and name tweaks over the decades, the origins of its current moniker can be traced back to 2004, when a New York-based private equity firm called Wasserstein & Co. obtained the company from Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co.

As a result of the new ownership, Bear Creek Holdings Inc. became known as Harry & David Holdings Inc. Wasserstein attempted to take the company public, filing an initial prospectus in August 2005, but withdrew its offering in May 2008. The company's retail stores throughout the country are known as Harry & David Stores and the complex on the south end of Medford houses Harry & David Operations Corp.

The company's acres of fruit trees around the valley are still known as Bear Creek Orchards.

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