Coles order brings Tweed Heads herb grower back to life
Family-owned Tweed Heads business Pocket Herbs has been thrown a lifeline by Coles after its existing customer base of restaurants dried up as a result of COVID-19 distancing measures.
At a time when businesses are standing down staff, the Tweed Heads grower is recruiting more locals to help supply 40 Coles supermarkets with micro herbs, just months after slumping sales threatened to shutter the small family business.
Coles has put in an order for more than 500 micro herb pots per week, including rocket, lemon balm and purple basil after the family business lost most of its customers, when bars and restaurants closed.
Pocket Herbs founder Iain Reynolds said the partnership had given the business the certainty it needed to keep employing locals at this difficult time.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support Coles has given us over the last couple of months. When COVID-19 first hit we were forced to let go of two-thirds of our staff and had started to lose hope for the future,” Mr Reynolds said.
“Seeing more customers buying and loving our product gives us hope for the future of our business. We were able to hire back four of our staff members and look forward to further developing our relationship with Coles to bring our product to shoppers across Australia.
“This has also been a great opportunity for us to enter the retail market and sell our sustainably-grown micro herbs direct to the consumer, which is very exciting.”
Coles Category Manager Andrew Costa was delighted to see the positive response from customers.
“When we saw the challenges faced by Pocket Herbs brought about by COVID-19, we were keen to do what we could do to support them. The product they produce is outstanding and we were keen to give our customers something different to add to their cooking,” he said.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to stock a fresh Australian product that our customers love and help support a small grower at this difficult time — the herbs are doing really well, and we’ve received some excellent customer feedback.”
The herbs come in 10 different varieties and are available at 2 for $5 at 40 stores across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Armadale and Port Macquarie.