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talljasperman's avatar

Is a volunteer fresh fruit delivery service for a small town of 1000 - 5000 people viable?

Asked by talljasperman (19227 points ) June 27th, 2011

I was thinking one day that I would love to have an orange at work…instead of being limited to just fast food delivery. How would you run a healthy food delivery service in a small town? I was thinking of 12 – 4 pm free delivery from volunteers of a small selection of healthy food that is normally not available by fast food delivery in my town; and the service would be meant for people who can’t get to a store easily (like workers and seniors). What do you think… would it work? It is possible that the fruit could be purchased after an order is made from the local store…or I should I keep a small stock of fruit at a location and bring it out for purchase?

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6 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

What about getting in touch with market or better still organic gardeners in your area? What I have seen over here is people buy a box of fruit and veggies but they get what is seasonal. So they pay for the box and get a mixture of whatever is growing at that time. If they hate something (say cauli) they can ask for a substitution though.

These fruit/veggie delivery things work here. Good luck with it!

blueiiznh's avatar

The fact you even have any delivery service in a town of 1000–5000 is amazing to start.
The logistics of how you do this is all market driven. There are so many variables.
Certainly having stock on hand is good, but if you don’t sell it, what then??
Driving to the market for every order will add to your overhead in gas consumption.

I am certain you have thought it all out and hope you find a way to make it happen.
I know I would use this kind of service…...
Good luck…....

roundsquare's avatar

I would see if you could partner up with some other delivery service. They would have the people already around.

However, delivery for something like an orange is not viable without a huge mark up. Note that most delivery places have a minimum order for delivery. This is so that the profits are worth the time/effort (measured in money) of the process of delivering.

creative1's avatar

I know of someone around here that sells fresh cut up fruit what they do is take orders from different people at companies and offer to drop it off. I worked in a city so there were alot of larger companies in a small distance where they could take large orders to drop off at once. The would make it resonably priced and offered a variety of different fruit where you could combine them and have a nice fruit salad. We also have a place called Restaurant Depot which has great prices and you are able to join if you have a business. My friend owns a 7–11 so she gave me a card, they prices are cheaper there so if you have something like that in your area it will keep down your overhead a little. So I think you could make it work if you think of a plan.

mrrich724's avatar

@blueiiznh hit it on the head… it’s market driven. it’s completely feasible if you can find an area where lots of people are dying to have fruit delivered to them!

The problem is, people order fast food because it’s just that, food that’s fast… you can’t just whip up a burger in a matter of 5 minutes (or even 15 minutes).

A fruit however is much more convenient… it’s just a matter of washing (possibly peeling) and eating! So I don’t mean to be a damper on your idea (which I think I’d like), but I just don’t picture many places where there will be a mass who would want to pay extra for fruit, but get nothing extra out of it (saving on buying lots of ingredients and having to prepare it themselves)

Something you can try is an idea I saw at a colleague’s office (but with fruit of course). They put out a large flat basket and filled it with little snack packs of cookies, chips, and even a few fruit… and everything was pretty much a dollar or a buck fifty… People take something, they leave $... I think that would be much more effective than a delivery service…

It would either work on the honor system, or it would be displayed at a moderator’s desk.

Good luck!

6rant6's avatar

The facts that you were the one who wanted this service and don’t want to pay for it is pretty telling. You want it for free? It can’t be done for free, so someone is footing the bill. Even if you got volunteers to staff it (which seems far fetched in your tiny town), you have these costs:

Gas
Spoilage
Administration (even a nonprofit needs to do paperwork and coordinate volunteers)
Insurance

I think your idea is flawed in that you want something (delivery) when you could bring it with you from home for nothing. So you’re not willing to pay for it. Why would volunteers do this?

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