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After having resisted the temptation to “do” veg boxes for some time we eventually succumbed, mainly because so many customers asked us for them ! The reason we had not gone down this path was, having been veg box customers ourselves, we know how frustrating it is to get veg you don’t want, or veg you can’t use, or the same veg week after week.
So we have gone for a bespoke scheme where we email every customer and ask them what they want. Some are happy to leave the choice to us which means we can fill their box with lots of what we’ve got ! Others want to select from our shop list and get exactly what they want. We’re more than happy to do both, but of course it does leave some dilemmas!
Firstly, to substitute or not to substitute? Is it worth the risk to swap cauliflower for cabbage if the latter looks less wonderful. What about fennel, celeriac etc ? Is it worth assuming that everyone likes these or has told you what they don’t want… decisions decisions. And then, of course, the boxes have to be packed (usually, late at night before an early morning delivery run) Just the moment, of course, to discover we have no spinach picked, or mixed herbs, or something which inevitably then requires a torchlight trip to the polytunnel to pick some. Or run the risk of saying, sorry – not available – and losing a customer.
Delivery poses its own problems – of course. Can we find the property ? Is it too early to ring the bell ? Can I leave the box somewhere if it noone is in ? Am I going to surprise/annoy someone who has forgotten it’s veg box daY?
Finally, of course, it’s about customer satisfaction! Given we deliver a £5 veg box up to 20 miles away for free, it is amazing how people’s expectations differ. Some are just grateful to get fresh veg and meat delivered, and send us lovely emails afterwards on how much they enjoyed this, or were surprised (pleasantly) by that ! Some people seem more difficult to please… the best yet has been someone who felt one particular veg item was too small in their veg box, and told us so, but had forgotten by the following week when they asked us for more of the same because they were “amazing!”
But we always try and make the veg boxes the best we can, even if they make us next to nothing. You never know when a satisfied customer is going to go on and buy a freezer pack of meat – suddenly a £5 order becomes a £50 “splurge” which makes it much more viable.
So, if you are a current veg box customer – thank you ! And if you aren’t – why not think about it?? Just email us email@example.com and join our growing clientele
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after what seems an age I finally get time to update the Blog… so much has happened since the last post I don’t know where to start….
Thank you for everyone who visited us at the Beechenhurst Forest Food Showcase on Sunday. The larger tent seemed to work really well – it certainly didn’t feel as crowded as last year. We sold a fair bit of produce, but more importantly met a lot of old, current, and new customers.
If you’ve got any comments and suggestions about the Showcase, or our stall, then please do pass them on to us.
Produce wise, the French beans are over, and it won’t be long before the runner beans are gone. However, we’ve got a good crop of spinach and kale coming on to address any cravings for “greens” over the winter. We’ve also got somebody coming to sort out the “waskely wabbits” that have been nibbling our brassicas!
The rams are in with the ewes, trying their chat up lines and exchanging phone numbers. There is no privacy in the world of farming – not only is Reggie and his girls in the field by the road for all to see, but we have put a “raddle” on him so that he leaves a lurid red chalk mark on all of his conquests! Suffice to say, if there aren’t any lambs born next year it is not through lack of trying on his part.
Fred is back – our favourite, largest, laziest Gloucester Old Spot lothario has come back to renew his acquaintance with Mabel. We are undecided as to whether he had a fruitful visit when he was last here with Eleanor. Yes, she is looking a little chubby, but she doesn’t look like she’s going to have 10 piglets in a few weeks!