Mr Fruity: A Wholesaler Adapting to the New Normal
October 15, 2020
Mr Fruity offers a huge range of produce, from locally grown strawberries, through to exotic goods and edible flowers to a wide range of caterers. They are now offering a home delivery service too.
Each week, we’re showcasing some of the wholesalers we work with. This week, we’ve spoken to Jed from Mr Fruity to understand just how they as a business are adapting to the new normal.
Read our Q&A below to learn a little more!
Lockdown was such a shock for everyone. What was Mr Fruity’s initial response?
I think like everyone, we thought, how had it come to this? What were we going to do to sustain business? Could we sustain business after losing around 80% of our customer base overnight?
What have you learnt as a company during the pandemic?
I think we’ve learnt a lot. We never take our customers for granted of course, but not knowing if they were going to re-open and come back to us was a real threat. Hopefully we’d been doing enough before lockdown to ensure their return. We’ve learnt to adapt to a “New Normal”, which brings changes to us, both internally and externally, with our customers. We’ve learnt that we can adapt, we can work together but there is always something to improve.
How has Mr Fruity adapted to the new normal? – Have you changed your product list? How you supply your customers?
Our drivers have masks, gloves and hand sanitiser available. We have hand sanitiser in reception. We’ve had to restrict visits into our warehouse and we’ve had to adhere to some of our customers requests when delivering. Our product range has increased slightly to accommodate our home delivery requirements.
What has been the biggest challenge for you adapting to the new normal?
I think advertising a Home Delivery Service and getting that up and running to a point where we were happy with it. It was difficult at first to manage, demand against stock, time against resources but we’re really proud of where we are with it now. We’ve come a long way.
What good has come out of lockdown for you as a company?
Well our home delivery service is working, so that’s been very rewarding. We were nominated for an award at The Aylsham Show and also for an award at the EDP Norfolk Business of the Year 2020 which were both in recognition for our work in helping people out when lockdown hit. We’ve grown stronger having come through it all together.
Do you have any tips for other wholesalers adjusting to the new normal?
I think the guidelines are there already for companies like us to operate within. It’s just making sure that everyone is doing what they should be doing, when they should be doing it.
What was your most popular product during lockdown?
Our local Strawberries were way out in front of anything else. We were getting fresh in everyday and the flavour was just superb.
What’s to come in the future for Mr Fruity?
Who knows? I mean currently, we really don’t know what’s around the corner. I think all we can do is carry on as we have been while trying to improve in all areas, which will help build a robust platform for our business and our customers.
Last question…If you had to pick one favourite Nurtured product, what would it be?
I think I’d go for the Viola Flowers. Always popular with our customers that use them and a great way of introducing the concept of edible flowers to those who don’t. Bright and colourful, reasonably priced and you get a nice selection in the punnet.