We took on the business – originally Eat Your Greens – at the end of 2018, and it’s been a massive learning curve since then, albeit a really fun and enjoyable one. For various reasons, this Christmas break is probably the first year we’ve managed to stop and take stock. Our ‘business’ meetings normally take place when we’re out walking the dog, and always impromptu -it’s rare for us to actually schedule a time to talk about work, which is a pro (and con at times!) of being a couple who also happen to run a business together. This is a pic from our last meeting the other day [note to self, more ‘professional’ walking gear required haha].
Anyway, our plan for this year is really to consolidate where we are at and try to do what we already do better / more efficiently (so we can free up more time for growing more/better veg, make fewer mistakes, and generally run a tighter ship). We’re not focused on growing (excuse the pun) at any rapid rate, and want to make sure we have the processes in place to support any growth we do have so we avoid letting down our current customers in the drive to get new ones. We also want to make sure we make enough time for the field – we’re getting more confident about what vegetables we want to focus on growing, and need to make sure we have enough time to make the growing side of the business work as well as it can.
So, 2022 for us is partly about making sure people know we’re here and what we’re about, but mainly on getting things behind the scenes working as smoothly as they can and making sure we continue getting the customers we already have (you lovely lot) the vegetables that we get such great feedback about. So what does this mean?
Firstly, a change of premises.
As many of you will know by now, we have moved the box-packing to a unit on the Colomendy, it’s the one where Motorworld used to be (yes, sorry, Motorworld no longer there if you ever used them).
This is going really well, having more space has meant we can pack the boxes more efficiently and the access means it’s much easier for veg to come in and be unloaded. We’ve also managed to make delivery timings more consistent which has made a big difference to time spent waiting around for veg to arrive.
We’re in the process of getting a cold room to make sure any veg we need to store stays in best condition, especially during the warmer months.
Secondly, we’ve been building a new ‘shop’ inside the unit (and we’ll be there from Friday 4th March onwards).
This means we’ll no longer be at the shop on Mount Pleasant. We’ve thought long and hard about moving ‘out’ of town but this was never meant to be a permanent location for us. We just needed somewhere to pack our boxes and the shop came up at the right time, and then once we had it we realised we could start selling from there as well as packing the boxes.
We’ve had so much support for the shop it’s been really great, and we are sad to be leaving the town centre, but for us as a business we needed more space for packing. And at the stage we’re at it it’s not sustainable to have the shop separate to where we pack as it involves too much time (unpaid!) moving veg back and forth.
The new location means we are going to be open more often than just Friday mornings, but we’ll confirm opening times once we get a feel for the flow of the week. This will probably mean this newsletter goes out earlier in the week too.
Thirdly, you’ll be able to buy online.
We’re in the process of sorting an online shop (computer been thrown on the ground – in my head – many times but we’ll get there) so you can order and pay for your veg and other bits before you come in.
This will also mean we can start doing bespoke boxes that we can deliver locally for a cost but this is tbc.
Fourthly, we’ll be selling other organic produce.
We’ll be selling a bit more in the shop in the way of organic produce (all from our wholesaler, Organic North) – dairy, pantry staples, and also alcohol (beer, maybe wine). Our plan is to focus on selling things that we buy and use ourselves that help us to avoid supermarkets most of the time, with the thinking behind it being if it works for us it might work for some of you too!
A massive thank you to all our customers (past and present!) – whether you get a box or come into the shop – for the support, and encouragement. We’re excited about what the year holds.