New firm makes 10,000 landmark

David Lambie of Blackpool who started a Riverford Organic franchise
David Lambie of Blackpool who started a Riverford Organic franchise

A THORNTON couple are celebrating after delivering their 10,000th box of organic vegetables – just two years after going into business.

David and Christine Lambie started a Riverford Organic franchise and have seen their Marsh Road business blossom. It currently turns over £120,000 per year.

The business has increased its deliveries dramatically with sales up by 110 per cent on last year.

Two and a half years ago, with little previous food or retail experience, the Lambies decided that they wanted a dramatic change from the usual nine to five, so took the daunting step of investing in a franchise.

The couple were desk-based workers - David had been a legal officer for five years and previously worked as an archivist and at an engineering firm for 17 years; Christine worked at John Lewis in Cheadle, and before that had roles in the hotel and media sales industries.

Mr Lambie said: “The prospect of starting from scratch was a daunting one, but being a franchise, we were offered a tried and tested formula to work from, with the added bonus of the freedom to grow our business as big as we wanted it to go.”

Over the past few years organic food and vegetable box schemes have become increasingly popular, and that combined with Riverford’s ideology of providing locally-grown organic food persuaded the Lambies to take the plunge.

The franchisee is responsible for marketing activities, delivering boxes, maintaining excellent customer service and managing customers’ accounts and orders.

In their first week, David and Christine delivered just 25 boxes, but local marketing and attendance at relevant food and agricultural shows helped them increase their sales as the region embraces organic fruit and vegetables. Now, they have celebrated their 10,000th delivery.

Mrs Lambie added: “Financing the business was the hardest thing for us, the recession had hit and we were nervous about giving up our full time jobs.

“But once we were committed and put all our energy into the project we never looked back.”

Lambie added: “Our lives have changed a lot.

“We work more hours now than we’ve ever done.

“But the flexibility and job satisfaction of being your own boss outweighs any negatives.”