Who We Are
We founded The FruitGuys in the kitchen of our one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco in 1998 with the idea to help companies provide healthy options to employees during their workday. Today we are the nation’s #1 provider of farm-fresh fruit to businesses. We are still family owned and operated and maintain a commitment to giving back as well as expanding our network of family farms in each of our regional hubs across the country.
Inc. Magazine has named The FruitGuys one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. each year since 2008.
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Chris Mittelstaedt is working at the Fairmont Hotel as a fax boy, wife gets pregnant. Luckily she has a real job. Has idea to deliver healthy snacks—especially fruit—to dot-com companies.
Feb 16, 1998
Our birthday (we are an Aquarius!). The FruitGuys’ first delivery—by scooter and Honda Civic—from our North Beach apartment to businesses in San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center.
A friend gives us a free space in The Cannery at Fisherman’s Wharf to do production as long as we are gone by 7 a.m. Monday deliveries to San Francisco and Tuesday deliveries to Silicon Valley happen via rented U-Haul truck.
We lease production space from Gilt Edge Creamery in South of Market and purchase our first truck (an old Boar’s Head truck) which has an “A” residential parking permit because we park it on the street by our house at night. Begin delivery of milk and other goods.
Begin fruit donations to St. Anthony’s Dining Room in San Francisco. GoodWorks program born!
We crest $1M in sales! Move to bigger warehouse space in South San Francisco. Buy five trucks from Webvan before they go under.
Dot-com bubble bursts. Half our clients go out of business. I overhear someone say: “I can’t believe Red Gorilla didn’t make it.” Sadly I have to lay off half my employees. We barely stay in business.
Start getting calls from transplanted ex-dot-com workers who want fruit shipped to them on the East Coast.
Start shipping fruit nationwide.
Philadelphia facility opens to serve the East Coast. Establish relationships with local farms and source from them for local deliveries when in season.
Farm Steward Program starts by donating 4 beehives and 48,000 bees to Gabriel Farm.
(This program is now a part of the FruitGuys Community Fund Program)
Launch of The FruitGuys Almanac blog and newsletter. All the news that’s fit to eat!
Chicago facility opens to serve the Midwest.
Farm-to-School program launches, serving public schools through the federal FFVP program.
Donate-A-Crate Program begins; many clients forward their fruit to local nonprofits during holiday weeks
Phoenix facility opens to serve southwest.
The FruitGuys named top small company workplace by Inc. Magazine.
Founding of the nonprofit The FruitGuys Community Fund, a fiscal project of Community Initiatives, to provide small grants for big impact sustainability projects to small farmers across the U.S.
Los Angeles facility opens.
Move into new HQ in South San Francisco. 100 employees nationwide. Thousands of companies and millions of employees served.
The FruitGuys becomes a certified B Corporation.