By Tess Hardy
As the Coronavirus crisis continues to cause uncertainty, it’s important that we support the small businesses who have been affected. A number are having to reinvent themselves online, showing a great deal of flexibility and creativity. To make things easier, they’ve extended their services all the way to your doorstep to help us maintain a nutritious diet. We decided to reach out to some to see how they’re responding to the pandemic and how they’ve had to adapt to the outbreak.
If you’re looking for a quality fruit and vegetables supplier, we’ve got you covered. Greens Produce Limited, started almost 12 years ago by Sahin Yazitekin who began by throwing cabbages out the back of his car, is now a fast-growing company based in New Covent Garden Market, London, UK. They pride themselves on their first-class produce, customer service and competitive prices.
Since transitioning their business online, the response has been overwhelmingly positive and they’ve needed all hands on deck to cope with the demand, with everybody working double shifts.
Careful not to increase their staff so as not to defeat the purpose of self-isolation, their largest challenge has been finding the placement of individual households compared to restaurants. Their team of drivers have had to restrict their daily deliveries to London transport zones 1-6 – some finishing at 9pm instead of 3pm!
After experiencing Green’s services myself, it’s no surprise they take around 200 orders a day. Haeleigh stated,
“Quality is really important to us at Greens…it’s the number one priority for all of the companies that do wholesale produce.”
To me, that was very obvious. The preset variety boxes come at affordable prices of £16-£20 and are perfect for sharing with family, friends and neighbours. You wouldn’t think their imported produce from farms worldwide is limited in stock!
Moreover, the Yazitekins have set up an amazing donation campaign to help hospitals and organisations in need of food. With the generous contributions of their customers, they have been able to donate 61 boxes, totalling £1200 worth of fresh produce, to NHS staff at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Oaks Centre for Children and Young People in Sutton.
Another wholesale supplier of high-quality fresh groceries is Smith & Brock, founded by dedicated brothers, Nick and Joe. To survive these unprecedented times, they created a ‘Knock Knock’ delivery business from scratch just a few weeks ago.
When the announcement from UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, came to close all restaurants and hotels, they lost 90% of their main business. In just four days, they set up their home delivery service and have had a stream of encouraging feedback. Their prices range from £18-£60, with convenient boxes to suit your needs, from comfort and essentials to premium and indulgence. The fact that we get to taste Michelin star quality ingredients from the comfort of our own home is hugely exciting.
Based in Camberwell, Knock Knock by Smith & Brock are trying to extend weekly to postcodes around South and West London. Similar to GPL, their whole team are working tirelessly; they go the extra mile to ensure they reach the isolated and vulnerable. Trusted employee, Valentina Capsa, said,
“Knock Knock isn’t just a temporary business but, at the moment, it’s our saviour in a way because it’s bringing some business back.”
They hope to develop with the seasons and be one of the best home delivery businesses once everything goes back to normal.
A huge drive for the business is that they’re looking for ways to be more sustainable, particularly as food waste is one of the biggest issues we face globally. Valentina explained,
To help combat this problem, Smith & Brock are in the midst of creating smaller sized boxes in order to cater for households less than three.
The story behind the business is just as beautiful as what they offer. The name ‘Smith & Brock’ shows just how committed the brothers are to their families, by using their wives’ maiden names. Their knowledge of and passion for their trade has been passed down through generations – and long may it continue!
Making sure you get your 5-a-day doesn’t have to be done via fresh produce alone. Why not try wholefood supplements? These are accessible online and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.
Eve Lily Cousins, a health and wellbeing lifestyle coach, spoke to us about the franchise she joined four years ago with Juice Plus+, a company offering supplements made by juicing whole fruits, vegetables, berries and seeds. The juice is then freeze dried to protect and retain their vitamins, minerals and plant compounds, before being mixed into supplement blends.
The capsule superfoods are great for reducing oxidative stress in the body, all while providing a boost to your energy levels, immune system, mental clarity, skin, hair and nail growth, and healthy weight management.
To ease the current situation, Eve has kindly been giving away products and parents are gifted free supplements for their children. Since the lockdown, business has been booming.
Although these businesses have faced struggles, it’s amazing to see how they’ve all adapted and flourished. It’s a time to be creative and experimental with food, with businesses like these helping to support us all.