Foo.go, the quirky name of the convenience food supplier and retailer, actually means 'good food'. Owner and founder George Robinson, who says he is "massively" dyslexic and couldn't spell his own name until the age of 12, named the company himself and says it is his way of writing 'good food'.
"It plays quite well, because it could mean 'good food' or 'food-to-go', but it's actually a joke from the family," he explains.
Dyslexia certainly hasn't held this entrepreneur back. Since starting up Foo.go in 2002, Robinson has ploughed £2m into the business. He supplies WH Smith Travel stores across the UK with sandwiches and other food-to-go products and also has a flagship 3,000 sq ft convenience store in Lincoln.
Last month, Robinson revealed plans to turn Foo.go into a national retail brand by opening 40 new stores in market towns and cathedral cities across the UK in the next few years. He hopes to identify a site for a second store this year.
The Lincoln store, which opened three years ago, will be very much the blueprint for his plans."I'd been selling Foo.go as a PowerPoint
presentation for years, but when the store opened in Lincoln, it came to life and I could simply walk
people in and say 'here it is'," says Robinson.
The ingredients are all sourced locally and products are sold by people who live in the area and are knowledgable about the food they sell.
As customers grab a sandwich, they can find out exactly where their food came from by watching video screens playing short movies about the suppliers and products, or by visiting the demonstration kitchen where resident chef Ellie Wade makes the products.
The store is certainly charming the locals. It has a very high level of repeat business, Robinson says, attracting young and old, from retailers to bankers, and suits to mums.
"The store can be replicated in any market town," says Robinson, adding that he's not planning to rush any openings because they have to be in the right location and the offer has to reflect the region.
Robinson also plans to enter the ready meals market: "We've covered breakfast, lunch and snacking really well but the store has given us the opportunity to cover the third meal of the day," he explains.
Foo.go also has eight manufacturing sites across the UK to fulfil its supply contracts with WH Smith Travel. Foo.go has what Robinson describes as an "Olympic gold medal" logistics service behind it.
To make such contracts work, the company controls all its orders through a web-based software called POPS - Predictive Order Processing System - which uses previous sales data to prepare orders for delivery, relieving the retailer of the burden of ordering.
Freshness is key, says Robinson. Until February its sandwiches reached stores the day after being made, but now more than 30% arrive the same day and Robinson hopes to hit 100% early next year.
"The three-day principle is horrifying," he says. "We hate delay."
"I truly believe that good food is for everyone," he adds. "It is a right, not a privilege, for people to have access to good, local, fresh ingredients - products that are made by someone who cares and served by someone informed."n