The Douglass family fortune was built on Papa D’s Orange Juice. Patriarch Oliver Douglass bought some land in 1938, and set up orange groves as far as the eye could see. In no time, ‘Papa D’s OJ’ lined store shelves from Orlando to Miami.
The family’s spotless reputation was tarnished last week though, when it was revealed that for decades, one of Douglass’ partners, a paper manufacturer, was supplying him with wood pulp for Douglass to add to their Papa D’s juice.
According to agriculture inspector Hank Kimball, Douglass used the cheapest strain of oranges available. “The fruit had next to no nutritional value whatsoever, and contained little to no pulp. They were basically sacks of juice surrounded by an orange rind,” Kimball stated.
The paper mill was owned by one of Douglass’ business partners. “From what the authorities have told me,” said Kimball, “apparently Douglass got the pulp for free in exchange for some tax breaks or something he arranged for his friend at the mill. Douglass had that kind of pull in this town. So they set it up so that pulp the mill needed to get rid of, that couldn’t be disposed of on land without it costing a lot of money or inconspicuously dumped into the ocean, would get mixed into the orange juice to get rid of it.”
“I feel sick to my stomach,” said Port St. Lucie shopper Doris Zifffel. “I’ve been drinking Papa D’s for years, and I’ve given that juice to my son Arnold since he was a baby. Maybe that explains why he was so ‘regular.’ I hope it didn’t hurt his little insides.”
Douglass was a local hero in his day. He supported the community by funding schools, hospitals and various charities. If Douglass endorsed you, you were a member of the ‘in’ crowd. Now, people can’t distance themselves from the family fast enough.
According to inside sources, the city of Port St. Lucie is now terminating all business dealings connected with the Douglass name. “It’s going to be a long process,” said the insider. “The orange juice facility was just shut down. The paper mill will probably take a hit. Just about everything in town has the ‘Douglass’ stamp on it in one way or another. It’s a huge mess.”
Calls to the Douglass household were answered by a maid who identified herself as ‘Consuela.’ When asked to provide a comment she said, “No, no, Mr. Douglass – not at home now.”