In 1949, Roberto Alvarez spent the $700 he’d earned as a laborer to invest in fresh produce. He opened his family-run operation by selling his goods from the back of a pick-up truck and operated that way for several years before opening his first office to begin delivering to local stores. Coast Citrus Distributors, today a multi-million dollar business, supplies an abundance of tropical produce that include bananas, limes, papayas, mangoes, apples, grapefruit, apricots, watermelons, cantaloupes and an assortment of vegetables to name a few. At Coast Citrus, the employees are eligible to participate in the ESOP after completing 500 hours and/or three months of service. Currently the company is 70 percent employee owned. The employees were very excited when told about the implementation of the ESOP plan.