The Fruit Club

COLUMBUS — The Fruit Club opted for the direct approach four years ago — selling its fresh fruits just out of the orchard to customers from the back of a 53-foot truck and trailer.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based company’s semitrailer will arrive Wednesday at the Bomgaars parking lot, 3920 23rd St., where workers will unload and sell fresh fruit from growers on opposite sides of the nation.

Georgia peaches, which arrived early this year with the help of Mother Nature, and Washington Bing cherries are the fruit choices during the upcoming visit from the club. Local customers can buy their fruit from 4:30-5:30 p.m. during the semi’s Columbus stop.

“The peaches and Bing and Rainier cherries are two of our biggest crowd-pleasers,” said Katie Larsen, a marketing spokeswoman for the 4-year-old company that has grown from the Midwest region to 300 cities in 14 states.

The company was born in 2013 in the parking lot of the Sioux Falls Staples outlet.

“Since then it’s blown up,” said Larsen.

The company targets consumers directly to keep a lid on prices.

Larsen said company founder Irina Kleinsasser started the business with the goal of providing United States-grown fresh fruit at affordable prices. The club offers a new fruit each month.

“She loved fruit and she knew everybody else did, too,” said Larsen while describing the club’s founder.

No membership is required to be part of The Fruit Club. However, reservations are needed and anyone can order their peaches and upcoming summer fruits by visiting the club’s website at www.thefruitclub.net.

Orders can also be placed by calling or texting 605-377-8679.

The club has already taken more than $9,000 in preorders for this summer (June, July and August) in Columbus, Larsen said.

The price for a 12-pound box of peaches is $25, and 25-pound box costs $45. The price for a 10-pound box of cherries is $27, and a 20-pound box costs $47.

Local buyers without preorders likely won’t leave the Bomgaars parking lot empty-handed.

“There is almost always fruit left over that people can buy after all the reservations are filled,” Larsen said.

The club recently hosted the South Dakota Peach Festival, a Sioux Falls event in mid-June that attracted more than 40,000 visitors. The company donated proceeds from the event to charity.

Other seasonal fruits offered during deliveries to communities in the course of the year include Honeybell oranges and ruby red grapefruit in January, Florida strawberries in February and March, pineapple in April, blueberries and Florida muskmelon in May, nectarines, Washington peaches, pears and plums in August, apples and pears in September, Royal Red seedless grapes and King Green seedless grapes in October, Satsuma Mandarin oranges and Georgia pecans in November and Florida citrus, oranges and dark grapefruit in December.

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