Farms2Fork was launched after the sudden and unprecedented COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak caused all non-essential shops in the UK to Close.
The owner of Nordic Style London, an upmarket Chelsea Interiors business, started developing the concept at the start of March 2020 when it was clear that all retail shops were going to have to close at short notice. In two weeks the business was launched and operational.
The aim was to provide a service to Nordic Style customers who were self-isolating around the UK and wished to have much needed supplies delivered to their door without risk of any contamination. They simply could not get the required delivery slots from Conventional Delivery companies and the more established supermarkets. It was no surprise that existing channels could not cope with the demand as in March 2020 only 7% of the country’s food shopping was home delivered and there was a 66% increase overnight on that demand. Nordic Style London had the sub-contractors with vehicles who needed to work and could not fall on the state, so they stayed out on the road and continued to work, but also to help the national effort to keep peoples life as normal as possible in the extraordinary uncertain times.
Nordic Style has been trading out of Chelsea for over 29 years, so has a wide and far reaching following – many of whom have been with them from the start. As a Traditional Gustavian Furniture business who have been around for a long time the demographic of the customer based tended to be those who it was sensible for stay out of the public domain for a number of weeks to protect themselves and the NHS from the danger of the Virus.
Farms2Fork conducted up to 300 deliveries a week at its peak, as well as donating vast volumes of Fresh Produce to a local Charity and Food Bank before the Government Free Food scheme really kicked in. We also offered to do free home deliveries of Government Free food parcels to any areas we regularly work in up to a maximum capacity of 20% of our paid for loads.
As the Crisis played out the demand was very much on PPE to get businesses back to work and the public ready for the ‘New Normal’ we all faced. As a result we suspended all food deliveries and the focus has been on getting PPE out to where it is needed most.
Would we of done things differently from March 2020 to today, or could we have done better? Maybe – but it is not easy to judge events that occur now by conditions back at the start and height of the Crisis. Nobody really knew at the time what the future rules, situations and conditions would be. We did our best in tough circumstances and have ended up make a huge loss for the period. It does appear sometimes that politicians and Governments can make mistakes without recourse – Lack of PPE, Faulty PPE, U-Turn on schools, Track and Trace/Tracking App, U-Turn on Masks, the Vast Nightingale Project that never got used to name a few – yet small business owners never get a second chance and have to make decisions from the facts and circumstances they have at the time, to be judged at later dates when the facts, circumstances and situation is very different.
As Ex British Army Logistics specialists, those running Farms2Fork are used to solving Logistic challenges. Even so, gathering Fresh Produce from Lancashire, Surrey, Yorkshire and Suffolk and keeping it cold to deliver the same day has been a challenge – but we like to think we did an alright job in times of need as our reviews confirm:
What Our Customers Are Saying
“Just wanted to say a big thank you for getting these masks and gloves to us and
also to say how good the quality is, there are loads of rubbish ones dearer than
yours on the market. I am over the moon. Superb service and not greedy or
profiteering at all.” Paul, Lancashire
“I found you online at 8am Monday and by midday I had 20 litres of hand gel delivered…
my 160 girls and residents will be greatly relieved! “
“Thank you so much for the delivery. Looks delicious and the lemongrass
is a lovely, unexpected bonus.” Julie, Barnes
“Delighted with my box. It cheered me up – so colourful and fresh!
Thank you so much.” Dina, Fulham
“Thank you so much for the boxes delivered by Ian yesterday. The food surpassed
expectations and it is a great relief to have the face masks.” Roger, Bromley
“Thank you so much for pulling out all the stops to get a speedy delivery.
I hope all goes well with this venture and that your lovely furniture
shops bounce back.” Lisa, Lancashire
“Ian delivered our first boxes today and we were thrilled! All delicious
and fresh. Thank you so much. See you next week.” Lily, Bicester
“Well done to you and the team for your tremendous efforts and drive
in making this logistically possible.” Phillipa, Wimbledon