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Rainier Fruit's Mark and Bill Zirkle Discuss Professional Success and Future Strategies

Rainier Fruit's Mark and Bill Zirkle Discuss Professional Success and Future Strategies

SELAH, WA - It is all about the people. This is a sentiment that thrives in our industry, and Rainier fruit is a true believer in the passion of its people and what the team brings to the forefront of the company. Over the years, Bill and Mark Zirkle of Rainier Fruit have been recognized for their industry leadership, focus on innovation, stewardship, and quality, and as you would expect, they say that the credit goes to their employees. Five generations of Zirkle’s have lived with the mission, “Wholesome to the Core.” And Bill and Mark Zirkle are continuing this vision and legacy.

Bill and Mark Zirkle of Rainier Fruit Company

It’s new ideas and quality people that have helped Rainier Fruit transcend beyond farming and become a service business that puts customers and consumers first.

Andy Tudor, Director of Business Development, Rainier Fruit

Andy Tudor, Director of Business Development, shares in this ideal and remarked, “Bill and Mark are some of the best people in the industry. The quality of the fruit grown and packed by Rainier Fruit is second to none, but that happens because they have built a business culture rooted in professional pride that makes quality a priority and puts service at the front of what we do. Every employee is empowered to take responsibility and it shows in what we do from the orchards to the packing sheds, to the sales desks and even in our own health and wellness.”

The Zirkle family business is rooted in quality and innovation, with a priority for people and the community. Today, Rainier Fruit is best known as one of the largest suppliers of organic apples, pears, cherries and blueberries from Washington State, according to the company, and as the grower of proprietary varieties like Lady Alice and Junami. While the company’s values bring flavor and innovation to the retail community, it is the commitment to environmental stewardship and employee well-being that truly defines Rainier Fruit and its mission of “Wholesome to the Core.”

Despite their professional success, both men offer a humble assessment of their own roles and acknowledge that the organizational evolution has come from great employees that perpetually propel the business forward.

Mark Zirkle, President, Rainier Fruit“This is a huge effort of a lot of talented people,” Mark said. “Dad and I may strategize for the future but it’s the team…it’s the people who run this place who drive success.”

Bill Zirkle, Rainier FruitBill added, “It’s how you treat your customers, your employees, your co-workers, your neighbors, their families. It makes no difference. It seems like if you do the right thing, it all works out, and in our case, it did.”

That focus on health and wellness is central to the “Wholesome to the Core” mission. As we look toward 2017, Mark continues to envision the future of Rainier Fruit and its commitment to helping employees and consumers achieve greater well-being through healthy lifestyles and fresh fruits. That commitment is played out on a large stage with its largest marketing program in history which includes a multi-year sponsorship with the Boston Marathon. But it is also playing out in the stories told by the people that work at Rainier Fruit as they commit to #EatWholesome and #BeWholesome.

The company provides an internal cafeteria that offers healthy meals at cost, as well as Toys for Tots drives, in addition to employee led health efforts like fielding a relay team in the Hood-to-Coast race. It is all about empowerment.

“Farming, because of its connection to the land, has always given me a sense of purpose and I take my responsibility of growing healthy fruits seriously,” Mark said. I know first-hand how a healthy lifestyle can impact an individual’s future so I’m proud of our organization’s efforts to educate and inspire not only consumers, but also our employees, to fuel their training and their lives with healthy food.” Zirkle finished.

With a legacy built around the deep dedication to its employees, I don’t see Rainier’s impact slowing anytime soon.

Rainier Fruit Company

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