Since beginning this journey less than a year ago, I had never imagined it would be such a Roller Coaster Ride! There have been so many up's and a few down's too.... But that’s what goes with starting a small business, especially one that relies so much on the local producers and community to keep it going by spreading the word and the love!
I want to thank all of my customers that have been buying from me on a regular basis, thank you for all the feedback, the motivation, the ideas and the enthusiasm.
I know that for many of the producers there is so much work that goes into producing such wonderful produce and usually with very little profit. There have been times that they deliver only one or two items to me a week which cancels out their profit... But still they keep on going, knowing that what we are doing is good and that as time goes by more and more people will see what we are trying to achieve and rethink their weekly shop to support their local producers and businesses.
I think the hardest thing about starting an online business like this one is that there is no face to face, I only have moments like this to communicate or occasionally I get to meet a few customers when I’m on the doorstep with a box of goodies! So its hard for people to realise that this is just a small business that really cares and not a large corporation with no face.
We are also all creatures of habit and trying to change that is incredibly difficult... Why shop from Pretty Local when you can get everything from Tesco? I have been asked if I can increase the range, add in lots more dry stores, perhaps nappies and cosmetics. In fact if I were to do that then I would be Tesco's and unfortunately I will never be able to compete with a large supermarket that has such buying power. They control their suppliers and squeeze them on price and pass this on to the consumer.
What I do have that the supermarkets don't is produce that hasn't travelled hundreds of miles and been stored for days, weeks or even months before reaches my customers. I have produce that is lovingly made in home kitchens or small units that is full of flavour and made with absolute care. I have the knowledge that all the meat is from local farms that I have had the pleasure of visiting, getting to know the farmers and seeing how their animals are reared. I have had the task of saying no to any farmers that didn't fit the criteria of what I am trying to do, those that keep livestock in barns year round or those that do not have the animals highest welfare as a top priority. I have the knowledge that all the seafood comes from small day boats and not from large boats or trawlers. I have the absolute pleasure of being able to deliver the freshest, tastiest local produce available.
And what do my customers get out of this? They get to support local producers and their families, they get to have the convenience of a weekly shop delivered to their door, they get free delivery just by leaving out a cool box (Tesco charges at least £4), they get produce that isn't wrapped excessively in plastic, they get the freshest produce available, they get high welfare meat, they get veg that is either organic, chemical free or local and is usually picked the day before delivery making it fresher than any supermarket.
But what about price? Another question that comes up is price, I mean we are all wanting a deal, we all want the best but want it as cheap as possible right? Well yes we do and every week I am going to do a price check and see what I can do to get prices down for you, but I am not going to jeopardise the produce for price. So when you're in the supermarket (or farm shop) and you see chicken at £3 for 4 chicken breast, have a think about where that chicken has come from, check the labels carefully, because to produce chicken for that price it can only mean that it is done on an enormous scale in factory farms where the chicken is routinely given growth hormones to speed up the growing process, antibiotics to stop any infections they may get from being pecked by the other 20,000 birds they have to share a space with. Think about the infection, disease and bacteria that chicken may carry, and think about the chicken 🙁 The same goes from sausages, bacon and ham etc… You can buy cheaper than I will ever have, but I won’t ever have factory-farmed meat on the site.
Where to next…
Well I am going to be at lots of events over the next 6 months, I want to get out there and meet you all! I want you to see what I am trying to do here and get you on board with our fab local producers. So between now and Christmas come and see me at the following spots!
Christmas boxes are also now available for pre-order. These are boxes filled with everything you would want for a perfect Christmas Dinner, from local Turkey, Veg and all the trimmings. Either order online or give me a call!
Dartmouth I’m coming for you! Last but in no means least from today I have increased my delivery area to cover Dartmouth! So yes I now deliver to the area between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth including Dartmouth… So please spread the word!
See you all soon,