Our story the journey so far …
The Cambridge Fruit Company’s story began back in 2005, Neil was working for a well known bank in London, and had just been made redundant. Just a few months before, Neil and his wife, Dipika, had started a family with the birth of a lovely little baby daughter Asha. Not knowing what to do next, he decided to take the family to Cyprus on a holiday, where he could take some time to ponder upon their future.
Every day on holiday Neil would look out the window to see a little old man driving a converted milk float come down the street with a beautiful array of fresh fruit and vegetables on the back. All the locals in the neighbouring apartments would come down to pick and choose a selection of fresh produce to feed their families. It seemed such a healthy way of life, and it wasn’t long before Neil and his wife were doing the same, buying fresh broccoli to steam and mush for their weening baby’s lunch, and the freshest strawberries you’d ever seen for her pudding.
This was around the time that there was a lot of talk in the media about processed foods, and Jamie Oliver had started his healthy eating campaign. This sparked an idea and Neil thought, what if I could take the principle of that little old man in his milk float, and bring it to Cambridge with a 21st century twist.
Returning from his holiday he set about using his redundancy money to get a van specially designed and built to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to the people of Cambridge.
Neil started doing a “fruit and vegetable round” on the science and business parks of Cambridge. It wasn’t long before the local businesses saw the long queues of people at the van and they approached Neil and asked him to deliver boxes of fruit to them, because their staff were fed up with the usual spread of biscuits, cakes and chocolates. In no time at all, these boxes were far more popular than the round, and Neil was getting enquiries every day for fruit box deliveries. The round soon stopped and the fruit boxes became the sole focus of the business.
A few years later Neil was overwhelmed with the customer enquiries and working silly hours, which meant he was missing out on spending time with his lovely growing family (now including Jessica and Rishi). So he asked his sister, Nisha, to join him in the business.
Today, Neil and Nisha run the business together. Running a family business is important to them, they share the same values and ethos, and yes, their mum occasionally insists on bringing them lunch.
The Cambridge Fruit Company continues to put it’s customers first, and their mission is to be Cambridge’s favourite supplier of fresh fruit to the workplace.
In Spring 2020, during the Covid pandemic, Neil and Nisha’s world nearly collapsed.