The BIG idea
PUBLISHED: 06:35 09 June 2014
Tell us about the StonesThrow story.
Following the birth of my children, I was thinking about and wanting to improve the quality of the food we were buying for the family. We wanted to understand where it originated from and how it reached us. Based on my professional experience, I saw a gap in the market, to make purchasing local food with home delivery simpler and more cost-effective using e-commerce. With the business based on the Elveden Estate, we started to source producers who shared our outlook; set up our website; purchased our first delivery van, and StonesThrow Food Co was up and running in May 2013. We’re now celebrating our first birthday.
What is the ethos of the business and why is that important to you?
Our aim is to offer a real alternative to the supermarket shop where our customers can browse online and choose fresh, healthy, seasonal food produced within a stone’s throw of where they live. Meaning we can all champion our hardworking Norfolk producers, help support the rural economy and have choice, convenience and fabulous food delivered to the door.
How do you source the products and producers you work with?
We work with trusted local suppliers to ensure quality and traceability, and select the products that our customers are looking for – like Swannington Farm to Fork meat and Marybelle dairy products. I spend a lot of my working week researching and talking to existing and potential new producers so we have the best possible range available. As we learn more about our customers we are able to respond to their needs and expand our product range accordingly.
What particular challenges does the Norfolk food industry face at the moment and how is your business rising to them?
With the growth of online shopping, we believe more people will actively choose to do their weekly shop online, but they will want to incorporate more local products in their selection. StonesThrow is bucking the downward trend seen by some well-known supermarkets and is growing on average 20pc each month We’ve purchased a second delivery van and we’re recruiting additional staff too.
So, Richard, what is StonesThrow’s Big Idea for driving forward Norfolk’s food industry?
For me it’s really quite simple – to offer people the same convenience as supermarket home delivery, but to specialise in delivering fresh, local groceries (the sort we like to eat every day of the week). And to supplement this with a wider range and well-known quality brands so that customers can do a full shop with us with a convenient and free delivery service Tuesday to Saturday.
StonesThrow Food Co, Elveden Estate; 01842 898070; shop at www.stonesthrowfood.co.uk; email firstname.lastname@example.org