Providing families in the West with access to healthy and organic food.
Upon discovering that her third child had severe food allergies, Brooke decided to make the switch to organic food. Raising a family in Melbourne's West, Brooke found it difficult to access organic food that her family really needed. With three kids in tow, driving around to various markets just wasn't an option. Brooke knew that she wouldn't be the only mum that wanted affordable and organic produce, minus the long-distance driving expeditions. And so, during the late night feeds, Brooke started to transform her idea into a business - The Organic Place. In this interview, get to know more about this small family-run business that is helping families in the West eat fresh, healthy and organic food.
1.Why did you create The Organic Place?
Soon after the birth of our third child we discovered she had severe allergies to eggs, chicken, beef and nuts. As a nurse, I already understood the relationship between food and health but I began to question our food system and what was really happening to our food before it got to our plates. I did some research and really didn’t like what I found, so as a family we decided that when possible, we would eat organic. This was a real challenge for us because we soon discovered that sourcing affordable organic fruit and vegetables in the area we lived (Melbourne’s West) was near impossible! Being that I had three young children I didn’t want to spend hours driving around to different stores and farmers markets and I realised that I couldn’t be the only mum out there feeling like this.
I decided I wanted to provide a service that not only gave families in the West access to healthy, organic food but also a online store with a delivery service to help families gain back their precious time.
2. How did The Organic Place begin?
It started in our lounge room in the middle of the night whilst I was breastfeeding our baby. I watched YouTube videos most nights until 3am in the morning ,learning about how to build a website, how to use social media, how to set up email campaigns and everything else you need to start a business. After about 8 months I finally took the leap and launched our online store from the comfort of our family home.
3. How does The Organic Place make mother’s lives easier, better or brighter?
We help Mum’s to gain back valuable time that would otherwise be spent sourcing, shopping and buying food. At The Organic Place they can shop from the comfort of their own home at any time of the day or night and have everything delivered direct from the market to the door.
Our customers tell us that it makes them feel good to know that they are supporting Aussie farmers and local business whilst also looking after their own families health and we provide them with the support, information and resources to do just that.
4. How does it make you feel when someone buys one from The Organic Place?
It makes me smile….a big smile! I’m so glad that we can help other families with their health and give them few back a few spare hours in the day. I’m glad they are as excited about eating organic and cooking as we are.
5. What is your most popular product?
Our mixed bags. They provide great value for money and are packed full of items that are in the peak of their season. Many of our customers choose to take out a subscription for a mixed bag which saves them money (as you get free shipping) and even more time because there is no need to place an order every week. Our customers love the surprise of what’s in the bags each week and it inspires them to try new foods and recipes.
6. What’s the most common frequently-asked-question about The Organic Place?
When is delivery day? And just so you know it's Thursday! We source all of our produce from the Wholesale Fruit and Veg markets each Thursday morning and deliver it to you the very same day. We have no cold storage so it really is the freshest you can get having just been picked form the farms a day or two before hand.
7. Describe one thing mamas would be surprised about from behind-the-scenes.
Nothing surprises me, because I’m used to our crazy life but I do know that other people are often surprised that Ben (my partner) still works two jobs. He gets up super early every Thursday to do the market run and then heads off to work at his other job. Our kids also play a very big part in the business; they spend a lot of time at the warehouse and in the delivery van…they love it!
8. What aspect about The Organic Place do you love the most?
I love that it allows me the freedom to be able to watch the kids at the athletics day, go to school assemblies and do the school/kinder run every day. I love that it teaches them about work ethic, healthy eating and life skills. I feel so very blessed to have a job that excites me every day and I also love chatting to our customers on delivery day.
9. When you’re not in business mode, what do you love to do?
I’m always in business mode! But I do love Friday family movie night, playing outside in nature with the kids, planting veggies, jumping in muddy puddles and of course cooking!
10. Any exciting plans for the rest of 2017?
We are now also delivering to Geelong and The Surf Coast region.
ABOUT THE ORGANIC PLACE
An online store and deliver fresh, certified organics, fruit, vegetables and other household grocery items.
Biz owner: Brooke Findley
Favourite café: Red Pebble Café- located at the Western BACE (Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence) where our office based.
Coffee order: Super hot coffee with added honey
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Are you a Melbourne mover & shaker? Does your biz make mother's lives easier, better and brighter? We'd love to showcase your dreams and help Melbourne mums on their quest to shop small and support locals. Have a look at our Celebrate Melbourne page for more info.