Successful blockade after a London couple launches a grocery delivery venture

A couple in South London started a successful grocery delivery business during the pandemic, as thousands of British were forced to rely on courier services to supply them with blocked food.

The nationwide blockade to curb the COVID-19 pandemic has affected countless businesses since March 2020, forcing many SMEs to close their doors.

Wimbledon-born florist Emma Soulsby and Leigh Daley launched “Magnificent Marrow” to bring fresh produce to the British after the blockade had an immediate impact on their lives.

Soulsby, 37, planned to create the first celebrity wedding installation abroad when the first blockade hit, but later made most of her flower reservations at Emma Soulsby Flowers. I lost it.

Looking for a way to float, the couple decided to sit down one night and embark on a new venture. Within a week and a half, the Magnificent Marrow, which delivers fresh produce and flowers across the UK, was born.

Talking about ventures, 44-year-old Daily said NTD: “Initially, it was to help people who were having a hard time getting food for the first blockade, but it was successful from the beginning.”

The couple first worked from behind the van and completed about 100 local deliveries a day during the first blockade. However, they quickly enlarged the van and upgraded to the unit in Raynes Park where they live.

After its first success at the local level, Daley and Soulsby expanded their venture to offer both local delivery by dedicated drivers and nationwide delivery by third-party courier companies.

“The learning curve was steep from the beginning,” said Soulsby, which included finding printer ink during the blockade and “understanding small things like potatoes.”

It is also difficult to work 24 hours a day. A typical couple’s day begins at 1 am and heads to the market to buy fresh produce for online ordering. Then they rush back to the unit and pack the London delivery box that will be collected at 6am.

By leveraging old business contacts and using social media, Soulsby was able to get off to a jump start with a new business.

“I have 10,000 followers from the wedding side of the business, so it was really nice to reach out to that network,” she said.

“I asked all the celebrities I worked for in the past to share this business, and they did. It was unbelievable.”

Soulsby wants to renew its flower business when restrictions are slowly relaxed during the summer.

Family-owned grocery stores were launched during the initial blockade as demand for online grocery shopping surged.

Market research shows that the blockade has caused more than half of UK customers to buy food and drink online instead of over-the-counter, increasing sales by 75% and 2020 was a record year in the online market. ..

However, the blockade is only expected to end in June, so only 5% of online customers say they will return to in-store shopping.

Therefore, according to market intelligence companies, what was initially inevitably born can become a long-term trend. Mintel..

Nick Carroll, Associate Director of Mintel, said the combination of consumer interest and increased domestic food and beverage demand drove record growth.

“The majority of customers currently on the channel want to bring great opportunities and undoubted legacy boosts to online grocery sales in the UK,” he said.

NTD reporter Neil Woodrow contributed to this report.