Food start-up launches following innovation competition win

A fresh new fruit and vegetable delivery service, called goodbox, has launched in Leeds with the help of grant funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

The local start-up is one of just 900 UK businesses to win the funding, from a record-breaking total of more than 9,000 applicants.

The Government scheme was launched to encourage businesses to find creative solutions to the challenges society is facing in response to Covid-19.

goodbox offers affordable access to fresh, healthy food for whole communities, including those that need it most.

Using community-buying power, goodbox provides fruit, vegetables and other produce sourced from local suppliers, and delivered with no packaging or plastics in a zero-emissions electric van.

By donating a portion of every sale to local food charities, goodbox also enables customers to  support other members of the community by contributing fresh, healthy produce to those most in need.

It has been set-up by the founders of Lean Lunch, an independent Leeds-based healthy food delivery service.

Lean Lunch founder, Sat Mann, is also chairman of FoodWise Leeds, a citywide campaign committed to making Leeds a sustainable food city.

He said: “The idea for goodbox came to us at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when we saw isolated and vulnerable people facing practical and financial barriers to accessing fresh, healthy food.

“At the same time, wholesale distributors and independent producers have suffered a massive reduction in trade from the closure of restaurants, cafes and caterers.

“Our experience with Lean Lunch means we’re ideally placed to connect customers that want great food at reasonable prices to suppliers in Yorkshire that have the best produce on offer.

“We’ve also seen a big rise in people wanting to step up and donate their time or money to charity, so we wanted to make it easy for our customers to give something back.”

Executive chairman of Innovate UK, Dr Ian Campbell, said: “Businesses from all over the UK have answered our call rapidly to meet the challenges we face today and in the future through the power of innovation.

“The ideas we have seen can truly make a significant impact on society, improve the lives of individuals, especially those in vulnerable groups and enable businesses to prosper in challenging circumstances.”