Get to know our suppliers!
We spoke to one of our long term supplier partners about how they are coping throughout the COVID lockdown period. Here's what they had to say!
"In2food is has been a long term supplier of fruit and veg to Left Bank Melbourne, and were excited to help them recently with their weekend markets, which has been a fantastic initiative to keep their team and community engaged."
Tell us a bit about your business:
In2food, formally known as Yarra Valley Farms is a national fresh fruit and vegetable supplier. In2food was created through the merging of seven long established businesses in the fresh and prepared food categories. We have national capabilities but our focus is always local. Purchasing all our products through farm direct deals and from the Melbourne Market located in Epping. We pride ourselves on being able to offer our chefs product for purpose by learning their menu and offering substitutes based on product seasonality and spec requirements. In addition to our frequent farm and market tours we can provide our chefs with farm traceability on every product that they purchase so that they know where it is coming from. Another focus of In2food is our environmental sustainability. Our measures towards this are our collapsible crates and our partnership with enrich360, which helps prevent landfill by turning food waste into fertiliser.
How has COVID-19 affected your business and what things have you done to adapt?
Covid-19 has affected In2food in the same way that it has effected everyone in the hospitality industry. As we are mainly restaurant based it has been a challenging time watching restaurants having to shut completely or adapt to tough COVID-19 restrictions. During the restrictions In2food moved to a 3 day operation schedule. This includes reduced delivery days, buying days and production days. We used this time to develop and introduced our Wellness boxes. These are a mixed fruit and vegetables box that come in multiple sizes to cater for all families sizes. We have also added a staple option to these boxes which would give customers the option to avoid the supermarkets altogether and have fresh produce delivered to their door.
We are also grateful for all the innovative ideas of our chefs and business owners, such as the Mercato which have helped keep us operative.
What precautions are you taking throughout the COVID-19 period to give customers confidence in the production of your products?
We implemented multiple new policies to ensure that we were keeping our staff safe, but also to give our customers peace of mind. Some of these included mandatory temperature checking on site, compulsory masks, frequent sanitising and cleaning of our site. We also used this period to roll out a new ordering platform that allows customers to have contactless POD/deliveries, with the functionality enabling them to sign on their own phones. Our drivers are also instructed to follow any procedures that individual sites have put into place.
What sort of products do you supply at the Mercato? Is there anything you would like to tell our customers about your products or feature one in particular?
We supply all the fruit and vegetables for the Mercato. Some of these products include; Zucchini, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, ginger, beetroot and plenty more!
What is your favourite thing about the Mercato?
Where to start…It all starts from the amazing location on the South Bank Riverwalk to the amazing food and great range of cocktails. We celebrated our work Xmas party there last year, which now seems like a long distant memory. Look forward our next visit – when restrictions permit!
What do you think about the Mercato? Have you enjoyed taking part in it? What has it meant to you being able to be a part of this?
In2food has loved being involved in the Mercato. It was a fantastic idea and it has been exciting to be involved in the project alongside the left bank team. We’re confident that it has been a great way to bring some light to the local community during this hard time.
What advice can you give to customers or business owners who are also struggling with the impacts of COVID?
Our advice would be to keep being strong and holding in there. We know how much of a hard time this has been for everyone but especially for our hospitality industry. Reach out to your friends and try to stay connected and remain positive.
Do you have an online store that customers can visit if they would like to purchase more?
We don’t have an online store. But we are able to supply directly to restaurants where they can order fruit and vegetables on our online app. For the wider public we offer fruit and veg wellness boxes which are great alternative for avoiding the busy supermarkets, these can be delivered to your door.
What are you looking forward to the most when we are able to get out of lockdown?
What we are most looking forward to once we get out of lockdown is being able to go visit and support our chefs. We also can’t wait to get back to closing the gap between chefs and farms by offering our market tours and farm tours.
If you would like to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, delivered to your door, click the button below: