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OESCO's History

  • The French family

    Russ, Thelma and Norm French in showroom at OESCO in Conway, MA

  • Mobile repair shop in the early 1950s

  • Original Orchard Equipment & Supply

  • Russ, Thelma and Norm on front porch of OESCO

  • Norm French in his element

  • Russ French at work

  • The Conway building, formerly a lace factory

  • Water tower in Conway

  • OESCO office in Conway

OESCO Inc. (also known as Orchard Equipment & Supply Company) is located on the banks of the South River, 8 Ashfield Road, Route 116 in Conway, Massachusetts, seven miles northwest of Interstate 91 in Deerfield. Conway is a small western Massachusetts town in the Berkshire foothills. OESCO is just west of the center of the town. You are welcome to stop and visit us when you are in the area.

Orchard Equipment and Supply was founded by Norman and Thelma French in Burlington, Connecticut. In 1966, Norman passed an empty mill building in Conway, MA by chance. By 1967, the company had expanded into their new facility. Under the leadership of their son and President of OESCO, Inc., Russell French, the company has grown to include 27 employees, with customers throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Our search for new and innovative products includes Italian manufacturers of flow meters to fully automated orchard picking machines. We continue to expand the forestry products manufactured by Tajfun in Slovenija. Our dependable, tried-and-true US vendors continue to bring efficient new products to the marketplace.

OESCO is committed to our customers with our friendly service, broad knowledge of our industry, and timely efficient deliveries, with a dependable and skilled technical service department. We are an unusual company, offering a fair point of sale, before and after sale service, and repair. We have thousands of wholegoods and parts in stock and are ready to help you, our valued customer. If you have purchased from us before, we sincerely thank you for your business and trust. If you are new to OESCO, welcome!

Our history

The French family started Orchard Equipment and Supply Company in 1954 when Norman and Thelma French purchased the Palmer Brothers Cider Press Company of Cos Cob, Connecticut. The cider press manufacturing company operated out of their farm in Burlington, Connecticut. It began a lifelong commitment to growers and green industry professionals through more than a half century. OESCO, Inc. continues to do what they do best, supplying growers, gardeners and groundskeeping professionals with professional grade machinery, tools, parts and service.

From the start, Orchard Equipment and Supply improved on the quality of well-made machinery. As the original Palmer Brothers wood framed presses changed style, Orchard introduced the stainless steel Sanifeed Deluxe press. This press, designed, engineered and built by the French family, and still manufactured by OESCO, is considered one of the best rack and cloth cider presses available in the United States. The purchase of the Cardox air blast sprayer company expanded the business from a seasonal to a year-round operation. A new facility was needed to manufacture and assemble components and a search began for a building.

In 1967 the French family, Norm, Thelma and their three children, Russell, Jo-Ann and Donna moved to Conway, Massachusetts, relocating the business to the former Conway Manufacturing Company building. The entire company, including five full- and part-time workers and owners, moved to the Conway area. A newspaper article from the time describes the event:

"A welder by trade, French started his business as an equipment repairman, later branching out as a manufacturer. The Orchard line has grown from a few basic products for the fruit grower to a complete line available from a single source."

Thelma acted as office manager, Norm as sales manager and designer. The company soon became a major manufacturer in the town and is still Conway's largest employer. Russell French became more involved with the company after the move. Listed in the article as "shop manager and expediter," Russ moved his already established contracting business to Conway, working both businesses until joining Orchard full time.

Growing with the industry

By the early 1970s, the business expanded again into a warehouse across from the office and manufacturing facility. Orchard became a major supplier of fruit packing equipment and orchard supplies in the northeast. Ever aware of changing trends in the industry, the company began offering rotary drum presses in 1978. The Mearelli press, imported from Italy, provided an alternative to the rack and cloth presses but did not replace it. More significantly, it established a connection with Italian companies that eventually led to the importing of tractors and sprayers from that country.
Orchard then took on the John Bean, Rears and AgTec lines of sprayers that set the tone for its commitment to quality tools and equipment for industry professionals. The company now carries over 200 brands available by mail order, online and at our Conway location where in 2002 a showroom was added. Through creative invention, product refinement and acquisition, Orchard Equipment and Supply Company grew steadily into a full-service green industry supplier.  In 1996, the company was incorporated as OESCO, Inc. and now employs 27 full time workers who manufacture, sell and ship products nation-wide.

In the beginning, product development was guided by a careful analysis of the fruit growing business. The dwindling number of orchards caused OESCO to adapt their mission to supply and serve all growers, and then the entire green industry, with the focus on trade professionals. OESCO continuously evaluates their product lines and constantly explores new lines and processes to maintain industry standards. When Gypsy Moths infested trees in the northeast in late 70s, OESCO used their knowledge of crop spraying technology to provide commercial spray equipment to fight the epidemic. Our reputation among growers, landscapers, nurseries and grounds keepers as a reliable source for tools, machinery and unparalleled expertise grew steadily.

The Parts Detective

With such a long tenure, OESCO has built an impressive list of loyal customers who are constantly replacing and repairing machinery almost as old as the company. As a result, OESCO has built the largest inventory of new, used and recycled parts for pumps and sprayers in the northeast. When people need to find parts for discontinued, worn and antique pumps and sprayers they call OESCO. The active machine shop is capable of designing and fabricating machine parts and accessories. After the pandemic supply chain crises in 2022, a 26” fly wheel saved with other old “treasures” got our customer up and running when nothing new was available. Get them up and running!

Made in the USA

Through the last half century of growth and innovations, OESCO has remained true to its first focus; serving the fruit growing and cider industry from pruning to cider processing. At their Conway facility, Orchard manufactures tools for the orchard. The Wheeler Pruning Saw, featured in Martha Stewart's Living Magazine, is a staple in every orchard owner's toolbox. OESCO purchased the Friend Picking Bucket Company which fabricates nearly a thousand units a year here. The parts, assembly and delivery of the Orchard Sanifeed System, Orchard Cider Presses, packing equipment and apple graters all originate at the Conway location. The Orchard Feed Needle was designed by and assembled in the Conway facility. To complete the cycle, OESCO is sole marketer and distributor of the CiderSure® UV (ultra violet) juice processor which sanitizes juice without increasing temperature or diminishing flavor. OESCO provided information to cider producers while field testing units and worked with the manufacturer through FDA approval of the process.

Old Fashioned Customer Service

OESCO maintains their reputation as a solid supplier and resource for the green industry with old school customer service. Answers to questions are a phone call or email away. Starting at 6:30 AM, we are answering phones and your questions about applications, equipment failure, parts needed or which are the right tools to use. The calls are answered by helpful people with knowledge and experience.

Russ French is on the premises daily overseeing operations as President of OESCO, Inc. In 1998 Norm was awarded an Award of Merit from the Connecticut Pomological Society for his contribution to the industry with his work in spraying technology. Though co-founders Norm and Thelma are no longer with us, we will always remember them for their innovations in the field and motivation to do our jobs well.

OESCO continues to supply professionals with what they need to conduct the day-to-day business of the green industry. You can find OESCO at nearly every industry trade show in the northeast.  Our printed semi-annual catalog is available by giving us a call or emailing us with your address to receive a copy. Or, simply go online. Our catalog is stocked with products of superior quality that consistently meet the demands of professionals around the country. It has thousands of items, in full color, from hand tools to machinery, sprayers and spraying components, orchard, nursery, forestry and woodlot tools and equipment. Take your pick!

OESCO, Inc. - Over 60 Years of Excellent Service!