Fresh fruit is good for you. It's also good for Sharon Baker and Randy Schneider, who launched Fruit Fresh Delivery about a year ago in Boca Raton.
The business is a concept built around Schneider's entrepreneurial insights and Baker's passion to live a healthy lifestyle after losing her mother to cancer at a young age.
As a hospice volunteer, Baker says it's about being serious in making lifelong nutritional choices and carrying that message to customers.
The start-up delivers fresh fruit, at various price points, to corporate clients for offices, conferences, business meetings and events.
At first, Baker would go to local produce markets to hand-pick apples, bananas, kiwi, plums, peaches and other seasonal fruits.
As business has grown to serve a variety of clients — including a law firm, a software company and an accounting firm — Baker purchases in volume from wholesalers and still fulfills orders by selecting the best out of the bunch.
The idea is to give options to employers who want to provide their workers with an alternative to vending machine snacks or that box of doughnuts or pastries.
“That's our biggest competition,” says Baker. “Fresh fruit is a new concept for many employers to think about.”
Employers should make knowledge-based decisions about wellness programs, says Marilyn Gordon, registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist at Nova Southeastern University.
“Fruit satisfies the sweet tooth, but also provides a host of vitamins,” said Gordon.
Being proactive to create a healthy workforce can benefit a self-insured company's bottom line, says Gordon.
“It makes sense to help your employees stay healthy.,'' she said. "Your business will flourish.”
Baker makes the pitch, planting the seed by the numbers.
“I walk in with a six-pack of fruit and make a presentation,” said Baker. “I tell them they can show employees they care by instead of bringing in bagels and cream cheese at about 500 calories, offer an apple, at 50 calories, or a banana at 90 calories,” said Baker.
The weekly cost is about $1 to $1.25 for a half pound of fruit per person, versus vending machine prices for chips and candy bars, says Baker.
Steve Moreno of SKM Media Group, a Boca Raton-based direct marketing and analytics firm, bought into the concept.
Moreno has 20 employees. The firm has offices, a conference room and a small kitchenette.
“We're snacking all the time,” he said. “This is a tough business and it's important to have a comfortable workplace. We provide coffee. And now for a modest cost, we provide fresh fruit. It's an energy boost and creates goodwill.”
Though on a small scale, Baker says her company's revenues have doubled in the past six months.
She gets the word out through email blasts, the website, Facebook, blog, referrals and cold calls, she says.
In addition to regular clients, the company services about a half-dozen staff meetings a month and mail-order customers.
“We work very hard, but we're making money,” said Baker. It's very encouraging. It's clear the potential is there.”
Details: Fruit Fresh Delivery fruitfreshdelivery.com 561-404-9874
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