South San Francisco-based The FruitGuys, known for delivering fresh organic fruit to corporate offices, is expanding to include produce designed for home consumption.

The TakeHome service will deliver fresh produce to an employee’s desk, said Chris Mittelstaedt, founder and chief executive officer of The FruitGuys.

“I started the business at the height of the dot.com boom in 1998 as a way to deliver fresh fruit to offices to replace the junk food that companies were giving to employees,” he said.

FruitGuys expanding corporate deliveries
FruitGuys expanding corporate deliveries

Mittelstaedt

Word of The FruitGuys spread, and the company has branches in Philadelphia and Chicago in addition to its California headquarters.

Some of those corporate customers are the catalyst behind the company’s new TakeHome service.

“They were telling me they were so happy with our office deliveries that they asked if we could put together a program along the lines of a community supported agriculture or CSA model,” Mittelstaedt said.

The first step was to develop and patent the HealthCase, a delivery box with The FruitGuys logo across the front, Mittelstaedt said. By logging on the company’s Web site, www.fruitguys.com, employees can see what produce is in season, order by variety and size and set up a delivery schedule — one-time, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, he said.

The entry price for produce that is delivered the day it is packed is $24. The TakeHome service is available to the general public.

“We can help anybody interested in trying the service,” Mittelstaedt said, “But we’re giving our clients’ employees the first shot at this.”

That means focusing efforts as close as possible to the metro regions served by The FruitGuys, he said. The number of regions the company serves may increase, but Mittelstaedt declined to reveal where a new hub or hubs might be established.

“There’s lots of activity; let’s just put in that way,” he said.

As for the TakeHome service, Mittelstaedt said it is just an extension of what the company has been doing for the past 13 years.

“We are strong believers in fresh fruits and vegetables,” he said. “Our goal is to help people eat more fresh produce.”