County Durham couple launch Farm Fresh Direct food service

PUBLISHED: 11:44 08 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:10 20 February 2013

County Durham couple launch Farm Fresh Direct food service

County Durham couple launch Farm Fresh Direct food service

Local food has become a buzz phrase among those who care about what they eat. But how can you make it work in a world where time is precious? Stephen and Helen Brown might just have the answer

It was food that brought Stephen and Helen Brown together. Originally from Scotland, they settled in the Durham area twenty years ago. But food was the reason they met in the first place, when Helen was managing one of Stephens favourite restaurants in Glasgow.

In recent years this love of food - particularly local food - has continued
to grow.

And now they have put their money where their passion is - in Farm Fresh Direct, a brand new on-line farmers market for locally produced food. It is believed to be the first of its kind in the Durham area and delivers local produce to customers within a 10 mile radius of the city.

Stephen said: We have, at different times in our life together, speculated on the possibility of setting up a food business. However, the right opportunity, financial resources and business idea were lacking until now.

But Farm Fresh Direct brings together our passion for real food and the business knowledge and skills we have acquired over our careers so far.
Helen said they believed there was a groundswell of people wanting to source as much of their weekly shop locally as they could, but finding that sometimes it wasnt that easy.

Now, people will be able to order on-line through our website and book a delivery time - just like the supermarkets - and we will deliver their personalised shopping order to their door.

The service will provide the convenience of doing most of your weekly shop in one place, while assuring that its as local as it can be.
Farm Fresh Direct operates in partnership with existing farm shops and other food producers in the Durham area and advertises their produce on its e-commerce site.

Helen, who has wide experience in restaurant and retail management, said: We were in a position of looking for a brand new business venture.
Around the same time we were also trying to buy and eat as much local produce as we could ourselves, but found it wasnt all that easy to get everything locally, especially if you lead a busy working life. So the idea of Farm Fresh Direct was born, really to serve people like us.

Not every item on the website is local, but most are. There are also farm shop favourites from around the country and other specialities like drinks and sauces. But items such as fresh meat, milk, cheese and other dairy products will be exclusively locally sourced.

Stephen said: We think of the service as local plus, but people will know exactly where their food is coming from.

Stephen, who has a background in IT and Information Security, and Helen will manage the website, make up the orders and deliver them in refrigerated vans. They hope soon to be able to boost local employment too even if only in a small way.

Stephen said: We aim to promote the benefits of buying and eating locally produced food. Well combine the capability and reliability of online
supermarket shopping with the friendliness, flexibility and approachability of a store on the street corner.

Supporting local producers and enabling people to shop in a way they wish - while enjoying the real flavour of where they live - is what Farm Fresh Direct is about.

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