Fridge of Plenty: My Blue Skies After Lockdown

Fridge of Plenty: My Blue Skies After Lockdown

Jules Kirby-SmithDec 1, '20

Fridge of Plenty evolved from an idea I had at the start of this summer, whilst decompressing in the beautiful Kent countryside after a difficult six months of work and pandemic life. It really is a business born out of lockdown - motivated by my need for a career change away from the intensity of journalism, and a desire to do something focused on food and sustainability.

It had been an insane four months. I was headhunted to a tech startup, worked my arse off while homeschooling two smalls through lockdown, and then got told I (and the entire content team) was being made redundant. I felt burnt out, deflated, anxious about the future. But an idea had been brewing linked to my interest in food and the food system (I'm a Trustee of the food waste charity Feedback) and I couldn't let it go... 

I wanted to create a grocery business that would sell entirely seasonal, sustainable food, and to source everything as locally as possible. Food retail is not my background, but we'd run an online retail business before. Vintage watches and Savoy cabbages aren't that different, right? I was desperate to work closer to home and to have more autonomy over my working life.

Fast-forward to the end of November and we've got the keys to the shop, built the website, placed orders with dozens of amazing suppliers in and around London, and begun getting some sales. More insanity, but now it's on my own terms and doing something I care deeply about: delicious, quality, sustainable food.

I really hope that our urban farm shop (we made up that term, but think it works!) will be a success. In October, a study by the Oxford Martin School showed why major changes in food production are needed if we have any chance of tackling climate change. It gave me an extra boost to think that what we were doing was important and timely. But above all, I know it is going to be so much fun. I can't wait to open the door of our shop, start meeting customers and see where the craziness takes us.