The Grant J. Hunt Co. reports outstanding quality and big size on this year’s crop of empress plums from Oregon.

The deal was set to kick off the week of Aug. 25, about a week earlier than usual, according to a news release from Oakland-based Grant Hunt.

Empress plums ship for up to six weeks. Production of Blue Goose-branded empresses, marketed exclusively by Grant Hunt, is expected to be up as much as 25%, Eric Patrick, the company’s marketing director, said in the release.

“This is one of the cleanest crops of empress plums I’ve ever seen,” he said. “We’re getting great size, and could potentially peak on the larger 2-inch plums.”

Empress plums are large and egg-shaped with blue/purple skin and a freestone pit. They’re popular with bakers because when they cook, they develop a thicker, almost jam-like consistency, Patrick said.