Dulcinea is in temporary quarters now, but by mid-April should be in its permanent home in Ladera Ranch, between San Diego and Los Angeles, Migdal said.
The new company probably will top out at about 25 employees scattered through an operations group, which will oversee growing, harvesting and distribution; a marketing group; and a sales entity, he said.
Robert Bassi, who had worked at Tanimura & Antle, will serve as director of operations. Christopher Grallert, who comes to Dulcinea from Syngenta, is director of sales. Keith Kato, who has worked in real estate as well as for companies such as Taco Bell, is director of finance. And Matt Goldthwaite, who comes to Dulcinea from ConAgra Foods, is marketing manager.
Dulcinea already is shipping its PureHeart melons, and Migdal said he expects the watermelons to be in 3,000 to 5,000 stores by the end of the year. The company’s second product, the sweet, Tuscan-style cantaloupe, will be available by mid-May.
Dulcinea already is looking at producing a third melon as well, he said.
PureHeart melons are a little bigger than a large grapefruit and are being marketed as a single-person melon. They are seedless and have a thin rind that generally is about one-eighth of an inch thick, Migdal said. They are the result of interest in a sweeter, more convenient melon, Migdal said.
The Tuscan-style cantaloupe is smaller, with green stripes that change color when the fruit is ripe.