GILLETTE, Wyo. — A berry special visitor is coming to Gillette and nearby cities next weekend.
The farm-to-consumer produce delivery company The Fruit Truck will be in Wyoming from March 25 to March 27.
Multiple times a year, the South Dakota–based company sends semi-trailers filled with seasonal fruit to communities in 15 states.
The goods are picked from farms all over the nation, including Florida, Washington and California. Fruit fanatics can reserve their produce by filling out an online order form on the truck’s website. They can pay for and pick up their order once the truck comes.
The available fruits — which include peaches, cherries, melons and pineapples — change depending on the season. September is the best time for crunchy apples and pears, November and December bring bright citruses and the summer months welcome sweet peaches and cherries.
This month, Wyomingites can order organic strawberries harvested from Plant City in Florida, which is known as the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.”
The berries can be reserved by filling out Fruit Truck’s online order form.
The truck will appear in the following Wyoming cities next weekend:
Note: Cities, locations and times are subject to change. Click here to check for the latest updates.
- Buffalo – 10 to 10:30 a.m. at Big Horn Tire at 196 US-16 E.
- Gillette – 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. at Home Medical Resources 901 W 2nd St.
- Riverton – 6 to 6:45 p.m. at Rocky Mountain Sports at 709 N. Federal Blvd.
- Sheridan – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Cloud Peak Lanes at 1520 Coffeen Ave.
- Thermopolis – 4 to 4:45 p.m. at Exxon at 167 US-20
- Casper – Noon to 1:30 p.m. at Restoration Church at 411 S. Walsh Drive
- Douglas – 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. at Hardware Hank at 1120 E. Richards St.
- Rawlins – 8 to 9 a.m. at Tractor Supply Co. at 2201 Plaza St.
- Wheatland – 4:30 to 5:20 p.m. at Wheatland Travel Stop at 81 Swanson Road
- Cheyenne – 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. at Big Lots at 3501 E. Lincolnway
- Laramie – 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Cavalryman Steakhouse at 4425 S. 3rd St.
Sioux Falls native Irina Kleinsasser is the mastermind behind the business, said Penny Olson, the Fruit Truck’s brand ambassador.
As a child, Kleinsasser’s father, a truck driver, would bring the family fruits from California, Florida and Texas.
“She got such a taste for fresh fruit,” Olson said. “When she started her own family, she said, ‘Oh, I wish I could have fresh fruit like my dad used to bring.'”
Kleinsasser, who leased trucks for a living at the time, decided to use the trucks to transport fruits from produce-rich states straight to South Dakota.
The local deliveries quickly became popular with South Dakotans as well as out-of-state visitors.
“South Dakota is a tourist state,” Olson said. “When people [from other states] saw the produce, they asked, ‘Can you bring some to our area? Can you mail it to us?'”
Kleinsasser began to partner with orchards across the state and launched the Fruit Truck in 2010.
The Fruit Truck has a Sioux Falls storefront market where people can purchase locally grown and imported fruits, vegetables and baked goods year-round.
Those outside of the area, though, will only get to see the trucks during their nationwide fruit tours, which take place four times a year.
Residents in the northern states are hungry for fresh fruit, Olson said, and there are always long lines of customers when the truck comes.
“You’ll see pictures of the lines of people waiting to pick up their orders,” she said. “Most of the time they are really patient; they know we have small crews and we go as fast as we can.”
Like the customers, Olson said she always looks forward to getting fresh produce. Her favorite fruits to eat and bake with change depending on what is in season.
“My favorite right now are the strawberries,” she said. “You come back in June, it’ll be cherries. There just isn’t any bad fruit.”