Veg Box - local produce is a passion for Bedlington couple
PUBLISHED: 13:37 26 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:58 20 February 2013
The North East is blessed with great produce and a couple from Bedlington want more of us to enjoy it, as Sarah Louise Banner reports
Putting vegetables grown in the North East on to dinner plates across the region is the dream for Laura and David Roberts. And theyre so passionate about it that they deliver the produce to your door. And even provide recipes to help you make the best of the ingredients theyve supplied.
The couple launched the Vegbox Company in Bedlington 12 months ago and now make 75 deliveries every week to families from Hexham to north Durham.
The idea was prompted by the Mary Portas TV programme Mary Queen of Shops when she helped a struggling grocer by suggesting they deliver their produce direct to their customers.
It seemed like a brilliant idea and one that would work well in this area, said David who gave up his job as a joiner to run the scheme.
Setting up our own business was a risk, as we had no previous experience in this industry, we thought wed give it a go and we havent looked back since.
They now have about 40 regular customers and deliver from Wednesday to Saturday with prices starting at 9, including delivery.
We use social media sites Facebook and Twitter to connect to our customers and share different recipes and ideas, Laura added. Its a great way to interact with customers better and find out what they like. The Family Fruit and Veg box is our best seller. It contains a selection of 20 different fruits and vegetables.
We source our produce from local suppliers and we are very passionate about using produce sourced nearby to help support the agricultural community in the North East. We find that sourcing our products closer to home means our vegetables are much fresher and larger than our large supermarket competitors. Our turnips are three times as big!
We also work with other businesses in the area, such as Victory Teas, and work together to promote each others businesses. We give free samples and promotional codes in our boxes to encourage our customers to buy locally and sustain small businesses in the region.
The couple now have plans to expand their business and to begin delivering further afield and Laura added: Wed like to tailor our boxes more to our customers tastes, too. We already cater for special dietary requirements but in getting to know our customers better, we hope to offer them the option of tailoring the boxes we deliver, to their exact taste.
To order, or to find out more, visit www.thevegboxcompany.co.uk
The print version of this article appeared in the February 2012 issue of North East Life
We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here