Fresh fruit and veg delivery service literally taking a weight off your shoulders
We’re now several weeks into an effective lockdown here in Australia, and I think some of us are starting to feel the strain. Specifically in my case a strain on my back, as I dare myself to carry more and more back from my precious trips to the supermarket. As regular readers will know, I enjoy exploring supermarkets in new countries, but my visits have gained an extra level of excitement now they’re basically the only reason I leave the house. At the moment they’re almost the only time I talk to real people too! But there is an added stress from these trips too, as I attempt to follow social distancing guidelines carefully. With the best will in the world, it is not always possible to ensure that everyone stays 2 metres away from you: if they see something they want on the shelf next to you, they’ll probably just lean over and take it. Add to this my aim to shop infrequently and the huge Ikea shopping bags I bought on a recent visit (back when it still felt normal to go to a shop), and you have a recipe for a strained back. I can’t seem to resist pushing myself to carry more and more each time, no matter how long the walk home is (because I really don’t want to use a bus right now either, as per guidelines!).
Back home in the UK I totally relied on online shopping and delivery for all my groceries, as I don’t drive. I’d make small top-up trips to the likes of Coop, or local stores like Oxford’s legendary East West Provisions, but that would be it. I’d happily wait at home for my big shop to arrive, delivered by friendly drivers. It sounds a little sad, but it always felt a little bit like Christmas having someone turn up at your door with a crate full of treats. In the time I’ve been in Australia I’ve managed one online delivery, but these have now quite sensibly been prioritised for vulnerable people who are unable to leave the house.
However I may have found a new way to get that Christmas morning feeling: Jim’s Home Fresh. This grocery delivery company based in Mornington, Victoria, is one of the around 4000 franchises that make up Jim’s Group. I had a look at quite a few different delivery companies, but many of them are quite understandably overwhelmed at the moment, and not taking on new customers. Jim’s Group was founded by David ‘Jim’ Penman in 1989, and started out as a single lawn mowing company, but now has franchises in four countries offering numerous services, including cleaning, removals, and of course food delivery. From what I can tell Jim himself is a, shall we say, ‘interesting’ guy, attending a Creationist church and advocating cold showers to ‘promote vigour’. But thankfully you don’t need to have anything to do with him to order from Jim’s Home Fresh!
Jim’s Home Fresh has a simple and easy to navigate website that lets you choose from various subscription boxes or buy individual items. The boxes didn’t quite suit me, as they each had things I knew I wouldn’t use (and I’m loathe to waste food), so I settled for putting together my own order. While some sections were empty, such as the meat one (not that I use that these days!), others had plenty to choose from. On top of fresh fruit and veg you can buy things like eggs, bread and a good range of more high-end pantry products. There was a big selection of free-from milk, including macadamia milk which I’ve never seen before. There is plenty of organic produce, which was even cheaper than the non-organic in some cases. I added quite a lot to my basket including blood oranges (a real favourite), grapefruits, capsicums (red bell peppers), broccoli, nectarines and mushrooms. Some things you add by number and others by weight, which I think I misjudged in some cases. Depending on where you live you choose from different delivery days; I had Wednesday and Friday to choose from.
The day came and I was looking forward to receiving my delivery. It arrived just as I was about to have lunch, and I was delighted to unpack and delve into my box of fresh treats. It can’t be said that the box was packed particularly carefully: the eggs were at an upsettingly jaunty angle, and the fruit was a bit mixed together. But it was all in one piece (even the eggs), so it didn’t really matter. They use biodegradable bags, including to line the big cardboard delivery box. Contained within was a letter explaining that they are dealing with some shortages due to the coronavirus situation (hence the lack of meat on the website), and asking for ‘forgiveness’ for this. But who could really get annoyed with them given the circumstances? I have to say I liked their copy, it had a friendly and sincere tone that many companies could learn from.
I haven’t made my way through the whole delivery yet, but what I’ve eaten so far has been great quality and really tasty. I’m not sure if all the produce is grown in Australia, but at least some of it is, such as the delicious mandarins. Overall it seems pretty decent value. All the produce you can see in the top photo, plus a loaf of bread, some English muffins (which I actually never ate back in England…), twelve eggs and a carton of milks came to about $85. Some items cost a little more than I would normally pay, but I was happy to part with a little extra money to not have to carry it home myself. They lose points at the moment for not having contactless delivery. The parcel had to be signed for, with a pen who know’s how many people had touched that day. But the driver was friendly, and overall it was a great service. If you’re looking to reduce the number of trips you’re making to the supermarket, or simply find a new place to source your fresh produce, I’d definitely recommend giving Jim’s Home Fresh a try!
If you’d like to get $10 off your next order, you can use my referral code: Helen3419 (I’ll get $10 off my next order too!). If you use them, let me know what you think!
Do you shop mostly online or do you prefer going to the store? How are you finding shopping in the age of coronavirus? Please do share your experiences in the comments below!