Enzed Exotics this season is shipping its New Zealand-grown kiwano melons directly to the East Coast. ( Photo courtesy Enzed Exotics )

New Zealand-based Enzed Exotics is shipping kiwano melons directly to an East Coast port for the first time.

The grower-shipper attended the New York Produce Show in December and from there established a shipping base in Philadelphia, according to a news release.

“This is a very exciting development for us,” Enzed owner Alan Hutchings said in the release. “Previously we shipped solely into Los Angeles. Now East Coast retailers and wholesalers can have the same direct access to our fresh Kiwano as our West Coast clients.”

Since the shipping season started in January, the company has enjoyed strong demand for its fruit, though wet and humid conditions has tempered expectations for a possible record yield, according to the release.

Enzed Exotics touts longstanding sustainable growing practices such as crop rotation, natural fertilizers and hand weeding as selling points for its fruit, which boasts a shelf life of two months or more after harvest under optimum conditions.

The company ships kiwanos in 9-,11-,12- or 15-count trays.