Starting a ‘fruitful’ venture

Almost everyone likes fruit, and fresh fruit is the best. Now southwestern Minnesota can get just-picked fruit in a matter of days thanks to a Lake Benton woman.

Brandee Miller heard of a new company, The Fruit Club, based out of Sioux Falls, S.D., that was shipping fruit to neighboring states, and she took it upon herself to facilitate a fruit drop to this area.

The Fruit Club,, receives the fruit and then sends trucks to cities in surrounding states.

Miller made a Facebook page, Wednesday night and by Friday, 1,394 had viewed the page.

“I have more than 80 orders already,” she said. “One person put an order in for 100 pounds.”

Lynn Albers of The Fruit Club said the company is only two months old.

“The interest has been huge,” she said.

They started out with a truckload of cherries, she said, and they thought, “‘let’s see what happens.’ We’re now in five states.”

Miller said she ordered a box of Freestone peaches and “I did not have a single bad one in the box.”

She made peach cobbler with some of her peaches. She doesn’t bother skinning the fruit for her cobblers and pies and “you can’t tell,” she said.

Prices for cherries were $45 for a full 25 pound box and $18 for a 10 pound half box. Prices for peaches are $35 for a full 25 pound box and $15 for a 10 pound half box. There are anywhere from 60 to 80 peaches in a 25-pound box and 30 to 35 peaches in a half box, Miller said.

Albers said the peaches that arrived Friday were “just picked Wednesday. Some of them still have the leaves on it.”

Albers said The Fruit Club doesn’t just call a farmer and order fruit.

“We fly to the orchard and inspect the fruit,” she said.

They only use family-owned farms.

“We want to support them,” she said.

Future shipments will include Washington pears,” Albers said.

“In the winter months we will have citrus fruits and fresh nuts – pecans, almonds, pistachios,” she added.

The next estimated delivery date is from 1-3 p.m. Sunday and Sunday, Aug. 4 at the lakeside by U.S. Highways 14 and 75. Albers said there will be extras for people to buy if they didn’t get a chance to pre-order. The Fruit Club and Miller are working on getting a license from the city of Marshall and hopes to be able to bring a truck to Marshall perhaps the third weekend in August.

Miller can take orders by phone, 828-6781, as well as on Facebook.