THE TRAVEL industry has been ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving those with careers in the sector facing an uncertain future.
But one such individual, travel PR agent Lucy May Bennett from Beech, near Alton, has taken the initiative during lockdown and launched her own family-run fruit and veg box delivery business.
Her new start-up, aptly named Lucy May’s, set out in May with the mission of delivering fresh groceries, as well as bread and pastries, at a time when people were more reluctant to go to the supermarket with Covid-19 still in circulation.
Lucy is also supporting British growers and producers in these difficult times.
She told the Herald: “We have been going for just over a month now and there has been a really promising but manageable increase in sales.
“It’s been a good challenge transferring from PR because there are a lot of transferable skills I have used in previous jobs in that sector, such as customer service skills and building relationships with people.
“Another thing I have enjoyed since starting this venture is the hands-on aspect of the business – the customers seem to like the presentation of the boxes.
“The attention-to-detail skills I have developed in PR has played a big part in that.”
In her mission to serve the community, Lucy’s parents and brother have been working with her on selecting and sourcing produce and sorting and delivering the boxes to doorsteps, which are all part of the hands-on side of the business.
Although her family is helping her in the present day, they have also been partly responsible for the journey that has led her to this industry.
“I come from a foodie family and we have always been adventurous when it comes to meals, so that is where my love for food has come from,” she said.
Lucy said she had used other companies’ fruit and veg boxes in the past but had often been underwhelmed with how ‘measly’ some of the servings were.
Now she is in the driving seat, she wants to put this right.
As well as providing decent portions, Lucy is also keen to supply seasonal produce to ensure her fruit and veg are at the very highest standards for the customer base she is hoping to build.
The contents of her boxes change week to week to provide variety.
Customers can select up to two fruit or vegetables they would rather not have in their box, giving them a personalised choice and considering those who also grow some of their own produce already.
A ‘recipe of the week’ is also inserted in to every box each week, giving a pleasant surprise to customers looking to expand their food horizons and satisfy their taste buds.
For people who are looking for a treat between meal times, a selection of bread and pastries baked locally in a Hampshire bakery – including cinnamon buns, croissants and hot cross buns – are fresh and available to order from the website, along with all other produce on offer.
In Lucy’s mission to be socially responsible, all delivery boxes are also as plastic free as possible and, as part of a recycling initiative, customers can receive a discount when they give their old box back to the business.
Deliveries to customers in Alton and the surrounding areas are currently made on Fridays, to both one-off buyers and those who are becoming hooked to this local start up with a community-focused ethos.