A marketing story: The Cornish Food Box
The Cornish Food Box
Talking Brand Cornwall, welcoming negative feedback & how they’ve become a ‘zero waste’ business.
The Cornish Food Box Company began in December 2010 with the very simple aim of making it as easy as possible for people to buy Cornish food and drink. Now, nine years later, sisters Tor & Lucy, have an online delivery business, a café, a shop and an order fulfilment warehouse. They employ 15 staff, work with over 250 local producers, farmers, fishermen, bakers and artisan producers and deliver across Cornwall, the UK and into Europe. We spoke to Tor about her business values, their marketing best-practices and the importance of customer feedback for their business.
Values & Missions
“When we launched our original aim was to deliver Cornish food and drink to Cornish homes. We delivered to one person in that first week and we still deliver to that person now!” explains Tor
“We combined technology, good customer service and made it easy for our customers to order online whilst supporting our local rural economy”.
Now, The Cornish Food Box company keenly describe themselves as a ‘zero waste business’. “Our café is a waste disposal unit!” says Tor
“Everything that we get from our local producers can be used whether it be via our online business, in the shop or in the café. Nothing is wasted. It’s good for the environment and, as a business, it’s financially prudent for us to operate this way”.
Brand & Marketing
Cornish Food Box started in 2010 selling just Cornish produced or grown produce. In 2016 they took the decision to sell fruit and vegetables out of season. “We’re still 98% Cornish-only produce, but we do now sell non-Cornish produce as long as it is sold by Cornish businesses”.
Cornish Food Box now distribute beyond Cornwall into London and parts of the EU. “Brand Cornwall is such a strong message, so we really capitalise on that and make sure we use this as a selling point in our marketing”.
At Cornish Food Box, the marketing is all done in-house.
“We believe we have great authenticity behind our brand, because it’s just us, talking about our business. For us, it’s about having a good idea, having an eye, and being willing to stand up for what we believe in”.
Customer experience and the feedback they give, whether negative or positive, has always been the most important aspect of the business for Cornish Food Box.
“We get lovely feedback letters from our customers and it’s important that this is shared with the whole team. I always liken bad feedback to actually being really positive feedback – and it’s only from that feedback that we’ll know what our customer experience is, which is ultimately what is important to us”.