Thrings meets...

Kelly Bar­foot, owner of Boxxfresh

Hampshire Life - - Heritage Open Days -

Kelly Bar­foot talks to Thrings part­ner Sally Pike about Boxxfresh, and ex­plains how the Titch­field-based veg­etable de­liv­ery busi­ness is on a mis­sion to get more fresh pro­duce into peo­ple’s lives.

Where did the idea for Boxxfresh come from?

I have al­ways loved food and even mar­ried into a farm­ing fam­ily. My back­ground is in per­sonal train­ing, and my clients of­ten wanted ad­vice about how to shop and what to eat, so I be­gan sam­pling a few veg­gie boxes to help them. Af­ter get­ting to know a num­ber of lo­cal and spe­cial­ist grow­ers, my hus­band, Jon, and I launched Boxxfresh in 2017 with the aim of in­spir­ing peo­ple to eat food which was bet­ter for them.

How has the busi­ness de­vel­oped?

When we first started we would pack a few boxes in a lit­tle barn next door to our house and work on a com­puter in the kitchen. Largely as a re­sult of wordof-mouth mar­ket­ing, we have grown and to­day op­er­ate in large of­fices, have a size­able pack­ing fa­cil­ity and de­liver fresh pro­duce to the doorsteps of cus­tomers in Hamp­shire, Sus­sex, Sur­rey and Berk­shire and Dorset. It’s been quite a trans­for­ma­tion.

Is your fo­cus on win­ning more cus­tomers or in­tro­duc­ing new lines?

Boxxfresh has grown as a re­sult of us be­ing out there and con­nect­ing with cus­tomers. We’ve de­vel­oped our ‘Ex­tras’ page so peo­ple can pur­chase things like breads, juices, chut­neys, and tape­nades to go with their veg­gie boxes. They might only want some­thing ex­tra once a month, but it’s giv­ing them other op­tions. We want the busi­ness to con­tinue grow­ing or­gan­i­cally and let the prod­ucts speak for them­selves.

What gives you sat­is­fac­tion?

the greatest

We get so many mes­sages from in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies telling us how we’ve changed the way they plan their meals, how they shop, how they cook and how they eat. I also like the fact we’re par­tic­u­lar about what leaves the pack house. Our veg­gie boxes con­tain fresh pro­duce which is usu­ally picked and packed in the same day. I don’t mind ugly toma­toes, odd-shaped aubergines or wrong-sized cab­bages, but ev­ery­thing must be fresh.

Do you and Jon get time away from the busi­ness?

The­busi­nesshas­movedafewmile­saway from the fam­ily home, but switch­ing off can some­times be dif­fi­cult. Ex­er­cise helps us keeps our minds fo­cused for work, and de­spite our chil­dren ask­ing “why are you talk­ing about work again?” we make a point of spend­ing qual­ity time to­gether as a fam­ily. As a re­sult, we’re able to close the of­fice door, take a deep breath and feel we’re away from things for a bit.

Have you got any words of wis­dom for bud­ding en­trepreneurs?

If you’re launch­ing a busi­ness, go with your gut feel­ing, do some­thing you love, al­ways be pre­pared for things to take longer than you ex­pect, don’t try to please ev­ery­one all of the time and never give up. And don’t worry about things you can’t con­trol – like the weather. Wet and freez­ing weather slows ev­ery­thing down, and while farmers might have con­tin­ued work­ing tire­lessly, cus­tomers still want their pro­duce to be de­liv­ered. It can be a chal­lenge, but we’ve worked ex­tremely hard to con­nect with our cus­tomers and ed­u­cate them about how the busi­ness of g rowi ng and de­liv­er­ing veg­eta­bles works.

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