The FruitGuys are proud to partner with local farmers all across the state of California. On June 13th, 2009, the public television show California Country featured The FruitGuys in an extended segment about healthy office snacks.
Working at a corporate office, it may seem impossible to find nutritious food in the break-room vending machine. But what if you could have an assortment of delicious fruit delivered to your office, as often as you like? That’s the premise of The FruitGuys, and its founder and CEO Chris Mittelstaedt took a fruit delivery system from idea to execution. During the dot-com era of the 1990s, Mittelstaedt visited friends around San Francisco who were employed by tech startups. He saw how unhealthy their eating habits had become, simply by virtue of not having nutritious food options.
With every season, Mittelstaedt and his team search for new fruit varieties to include in their boxes — the more local and sustainable, the better. They tend to find small, family-run operations growing the most unique fruit; for example, local California farmer Torrey Olsen raises Asian pears on Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol, which is rare to find in the area. Olsen loves how The FruitGuys put a name to the fruit, by including information about the farmers inside the fruit boxes and creating videos that profile the farms.
It may seem like a simple idea, but changing out candy and chips for healthy office snacks like fruit can increase productivity. Rather than experience a midday sugar crash, employees can enjoy organic fruit that is rich in vitamins and fiber. Mittelstaedt truly believes in The FruitGuys’ product, and often he’ll don a banana costume around town to spread the word.
Healthy offices don’t need to be boring, and local employees like Rose Maciejewski enjoy when The FruitGuys add new and interesting fruit to their boxes. Originally from the Midwest, Maciejewski was used to more conventional fruits, but now that The FruitGuys deliver to her office she can try out persimmons and other exotic varieties. Then, she can spread the word around the office and see what her co-workers thought about the new fruit.
All told, Mittelstaedt wants to create a bridge between local farmers and their communities. Through The FruitGuys’ Farm Steward program, the company can show its gratitude to local farms by donating beehives and planting trees. By starting with the goal of healthy offices, The FruitGuys have forged deep relationships with the people who grow delicious fruit in our backyard.