An Oxfordshire start-up is launching a mobile veg shop that it hopes will fill a gap in the market for local veg and ultimately lead to the creation of a fleet of veg vans around the country.
Cultivate - a social enterprise - has raised £80,000 from 230 local investors, which it will use to rent a plot of land to grow veg. Produce will then be sold to local eateries and to consumers through the veg van.
In June, Cultivate plans to start taking its veg van - which will also sell produce from other local growers - to 10 community hotspots and business locations.
Shoppers will be able to walk into the van and choose their veg from built-in shelving. In time, Cultivate hopes to take the van to train stations, schools and business parks.
The van would appeal to consumers looking for convenience and choice, said co-founder and director Julian Cottee.
“We wanted to expand the market for locally produced veg to people who are not as committed to getting up at 9am on a Saturday and going to their local farmers’ market,” he said. Cottee added he hoped the Cultivate model would be adopted by other groups around the UK.