A COVID-inspired business sourcing the best quality fruit, vegetables and pastries from the Adelaide Central Market has partnered with EcoCaddy couriers to deliver fresh food to your CBD office.
This is the zero-emission produce delivery partnership we’ve been waiting for
Brendan Whennen, founder of Adelaide Fruit and Vegetable Delivery, moved back to Adelaide in December 2019 after a two-year stint working in hospitality and cycling around the Netherlands.
Adelaide Fruit and Vegetable Delivery x EcoCaddy
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This was a good few months before the coronavirus would force international borders to close, but upon return to Adelaide, Brendan was presented with a different challenge. He was unemployed.
The pandemic descended upon the state, and in doing so a heartwarming entrepreneurial opportunity presented itself.
“It was the time the South Australian government said everyone above the age of 70 should stay at home, shouldn’t even leave the house; get your friends and family to try and bring you things that you need,” Brendan tells CityMag.
“Me and my siblings and our family, we’re just talking a lot about taking stuff to our grandparents and I just had this feeling, maybe there are some older people in our suburbs that don’t have friends and family to look out for them.
“We dropped all these letters off saying ‘On Wednesday, just text the number – which was my number – and we’ll drop you a mixed fruit and vegetable box in the front door. Leave $50 out and let us know where about it is.’”
Adelaide Fruit and Vegetable Delivery transported 65 produce boxes to inner-suburban customers in its first week in April 2020. “It took off,” Brendan recalls.
The care package contents were delivered and hand-selected by Brendan, who acts as a broker to find the best Adelaide Central Market produce for the boxes.
“I was walking around going, ‘Which one looks good, which one has the right price?’” Brendan says.
“I purchased all the products that they have for sale, and [the stall-owners] gave me a discount.”
Coming up to a year in operation, Adelaide Fruit and Vegetable Delivery is expanding its offering by teaming up with environmentally friendly bike and electronic rickshaw company Eco-Caddy, to deliver healthy and tasty treats to CBD offices.
This week, the duo launched a five-week trial of the partnership, with deliveries going out weekly on Wednesdays, bringing the Central Market into office kitchens across the city.
EcoCaddy riders will drop off boxes filled with Thompson’s Fruit and Veg, Pick Me Fresh, Market Bread Bar and House of Health goodies, which are not only locally sourced but environmentally friendly, too (meaning no plastic wrapping).
EcoCaddy founder Daniels Langeberg tells CityMag the partnership happened naturally as both businesses have similar values and style.
“The first day I met Brendan he rocked up wearing an avocado shirt, and I was like, ‘This is my kind of guy’,” Daniels says, laughing.
“We’ve been testing [delivery] with a number of other clients, from parcel delivery to corporate food or function food delivery, and they all have their own nuances and niches to delivery, to delivery windows, what the expectations are on both sides.
“What we really love about [Adelaide] Fruit and Veg [Delivery] is the location of where we’re picking up from, the variety, also minimising packaging – these guys are really thinking about that, how it’s transported, and it gives us a good delivery window, given that its fruit and veg.”
As well as transporting quality produce, Daniels and Brendan also want to make it easy for people to choose healthy and ethical options.
Supermarket conglomerates have made buying groceries cheap, easy and efficient, Daniels says, and the team want to make what they’re offering even harder to resist.
“We just want it to be as easy as possible for people to have healthier options,” Daniels says.
“A lot of offices out there will go for the cheapest non-local milks,” Brendan adds as an example, “and we want to push that really local kind of thing.”
For more information on the project, visit Adelaide Fruit and Veg Delivery’s website.