In 1988 Eric and Kim Christensen purchased an orange grove with a home on it. Once we moved on to the ranch we started to get ideas about packing and selling our own fruit without going through a large commercial packing house. This would give us the flexibility to grow some of the unique varieties that we wanted to see available in produce departments. The secret would be to get the product picked, packed and delivered to the customer in a timely manner so that the consumer could enjoy citrus at its best.
Rising C Ranches
From this idea we built Rising C Ranches. This was the company we started in order to handle our own fruit. We were definitely small compared to the larger plantings and packing facilities, but we had big ideas.
We started by building a small packing facility on our ranch and began packing our own fruit. We were excited to pack the different varieties and deliver them to our first customers. Being small allowed us to pick the fruit when we knew it was at its best, and to pick and pack small amounts to meet our customer’s needs. We customized our packing to meet the needs for each variety. One area that we specialized in was picking the fruit with the stem and leaf attached – now a standard in our offerings. When the stem and leaf are attached the beauty and vitality of the fruit can be appreciated. Another area we specialized in was picking only to fill orders, so we didn’t inventory the fruit in cold storage. This way of handling our fruit led us to the Just in Time and Ripe to You® company mottos. In order for customers to identify our fruit in the marketplace, we developed our brand – Ripetoyou.com. The Ripetoyou.com label assures customers of a high quality product each time, as well as a direct connection via our website.
More ideas led to purchasing several more ranches, all of them still small in the citrus business. These included planting more new varieties; buying a used, but larger packing facility; and retooling the packing facility to meet our needs. Along with planting more varieties ourselves, we began working with a few associate growers to coordinate varieties that would fill the voids in our season. This has allowed us to offer more specialties to more customers.
Our latest development has been the formation of Fruition Sales, Inc., the exclusive sales company for Rising C Ranches and its associate growers. This in house sales company meets the needs of our wholesale, retail and online customers.
Over the years, we have had many ideas and our business has grown, yet we have never forgotten where we started from. Our goal continues to be to offer customers new and exciting varieties of citrus as well as offering those varieties they remember from their childhood. We believe in delivering the very best quality citrus without compromise. Our commitment is to produce great tasting fruit, pick it only when it is ready, and deliver it to the customer in a way that the freshness proves that it is “Ripe to You®”. We trust you can taste the difference!