Fruit Club: Behind-the-scenes look at pineapple sourcing in Costa Rica

This piece is presented by The Fruit Club.

Kyle Barber left for Costa Rica a few weeks ago without exactly knowing where he might end up.

Barber, who works in marketing for Sioux Falls-based The Fruit Club, was there to find a source for pineapples. The Fruit Club will deliver the tropical fruit to customers in more than a dozen states starting this week.

Here, in his own words, is how a deal came together.

Kyle Barber spent several days in Costa Rica sourcing pineapple for The Fruit Club.

Tell us a little about the basics of the trip. Where did you go and for how long?

We stayed in Costa Rica for a total of six days. Three out of the six, we stayed in Quesada, a beautiful city on the countryside located a few hours outside of San Jose. Here, we were able to meet with the pineapple farmers and distributors, and were able to tour the farms and ended up setting up a deal for our pineapples. We then traveled north to La Fortuna and up to Liberia to visit and tour the mango farms.

How did the Fruit Club find its pineapple farmers in the first place?

Initially going into the trip, we planned to meet with a guy who we knew had connections to pineapple farms in Costa Rica. We hoped through meeting him he would guide us in the right direction of the farmers. During our meeting, he brought in a man who turned out to be the farmer, and we ended up getting to go out to his farm to see first-hand the operations and how everything worked.

 

A pineapple farm in Costa Rica.

What were your first impressions of the farm?

My first impression of the farm was how beautiful and lush everything was. Going into it, I never would have thought pineapple farms look the way they do. It was fields upon fields of pineapple, with this beautiful scenery full of tropical vegetation and mountains and volcanoes in the distance. It was like something you would see in a movie. The farm itself was very organized and had advanced irrigation systems that reminded me of something you would see here. Everything was very professional and organized.

What was your biggest surprise in learning about the operation?

I would say the biggest thing was being able to see first-hand how passionate, professional and knowledgeable the farmers were. The farm itself is family-owned, and the farmers have been working on the farms since they were kids. One thing they stressed to us was the quality of the fruit. It was great to hear they wanted to make sure we are satisfied with the quality of the product we will be getting.

So most important question: Did you get to taste the pineapple? How was it?

When touring the farm, we were able to try the pineapple right off the plant. The farmer literally broke it off, sliced it up and let us taste it. The taste of the pineapple was out of this world. It was full of juice and was incredibly sweet, exactly what a pineapple should taste like.

And when is The Fruit Club bringing pineapple to its communities? How can we get some?

We will be starting our pineapple deliveries on April 18. Customers will be able to reserve their pineapple by vising our website at thefruitclub.net, or they can call or text us at 605-377-8679. Reservations will be required for pineapple. This is to let us know how many to bring to each stop and ensures a box is saved for them at the truck.

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Fruit Club: Behind-the-scenes look at pineapple sourcing in Costa Rica

“The taste of the pineapple was out of this world.” Kyle Barber of The Fruit Club talks about his trip to Costa Rica to find the fruit.

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