Massive demand fuels major expansion for food delivery business

A food delivery business launched by a Leeds-based private hire company during the first lockdown is expanding rapidly to cope with regional and national demand for its service.

Arrow Fresh was set up by Arrow Cars to deliver locally sourced produce straight to customers’ doors.

From a standing start at the beginning of May last year, the company served 7,000 customers last month alone.

David Richmond, CEO of Arrow Cars, said he was “amazed” by how quickly the venture had taken off, adding he believed it has become the fastest growing online supermarket in the UK.

He explained Arrow Cars has around 750 drivers nationwide and had an annual turnover of more than £15m before the pandemic ravaged its trade, wiping out 90% of its revenues overnight.

“We started Arrow Fresh as a response, using our taxi office in Horsforth as the distribution centre,” he added.

“We began with just a couple of fruit and vegetable boxes but that grew and grew till we were bursting at the seams at our Horsforth office.

“We now have over 3,000 lines, a brand new distribution facility at Brookfield Trading Estate in south Leeds and a fleet of Arrow fresh delivery vans.

He added that it the business which is now a standalone company separate from the private hirefirm now employs 19 staff.

Looking ahead, Richmond said Arrow Fresh’s service uses smaller, artisan type suppliers rather than bigger brands. And he added its expansion is still continuing, with a a turnover of £3m expected in 2021.