Konstantin Kosov is a long-bearded and free-spirited fruit prophet, known for bicycling around to the various farmers’ markets in San Francisco, loading up a thousand pounds of fresh produce on his trailer, and delivering the fruits of this labor to about 80 offices downtown. His business doesn’t really have an official name, but the people call him Fruit Jesus. Does he mind? “It’s cute,” says Kosov. “But I’m actually exiting the Jesus stage of life, and hoping to evolve into a Noah.” He usually delivers to tech engineers and Sephora glamazons alike, keeping entire teams in sweet snacks such as mandarins and strawberries, and introducing skeptics to more unusual options like pluots and canary melons.
Until, of course, he didn’t. Small food businesses that catered to office workers were some of the first to go under during the current crisis, when all those employees were sent home, commencing a mass exodus from SoMa and the Financial District. Fruit Jesus went quiet. It was the tail end of winter citrus, ramping up into spring strawberries, and a natural break in the seasons, anyway. He had been meaning to take a couple of weeks off. He would have been happy to make it a month.
In fact, it turned out to be six weeks, during the course of which, Kosov lost half his clients. He started a “cherry layaway” program, so if any companies were able to continue their usual payments, they would get twice as many cherries during the glut in June. But mostly, he settled in with a sense of serenity in his RV, currently parked at the base of Potrero Hill.
Not anymore. Fruit Jesus has risen, and is back to bicycling around the city, and bringing produce to the people. But this time around, he’s offering something new: home delivery.
The details are somewhat mysterious. “I try to be chill with people, and I find they’re chill with me,” Kosov explains his business philosophy. Customers simply email him with contact info, budget, and any requests. The minimum order is $25 per week, and for now, delivery days are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. As always, he keeps a third of the fee and spends the rest on fruit. He refuses to do bananas, which are not local. He refuses to wash the fruit, which can compromise thin-skinned specimens in a matter of hours. There are no guarantees on what exactly boxes will include. Fans simply put their faith in Fruit Jesus.
Oh, and in addition to fruit, he might be expanding into milk, eggs, greens, and spirulina. “My three great loves are fruit, raw dairy, and fresh spirulina,” says Kosov. He’s already got a spirulina guy, who’s growing the blue-green superfood locally.
There is one obstacle to tackling residential deliveries. The offices were nearly all consolidated downtown, whereas people’s homes are further flung across the city. Kosov does have a van for larger deliveries and has also recruited friends. He’s planning on sending two cars up into the hills and two bicycles down into the flats. “I don’t know how it will work,” Fruit Jesus says, sounding zen. “Home delivery is going to be a whole other ballgame. We’ll be hodgepodge-ing it. But for now, we’re going to deliver anywhere within city limits. I mean, my grandma lives in the Bayview, and I’m happy to drop off food for her once a week.”