Kent Diversification Award Winner 2021: Foodari
Recipe: Asparagus with poached egg & hollandaise
In March 2020 in response to the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown Foodari saw 80% of its customer base close overnight. We employed 45 brilliant people and had a warehouse of chilled perishable stock, with an uncertain future something had to be done.
Our subsequent diversification followed 3 main routes:
Foodari Home Delivery
We saw local communities that we were so used to serving through commercial outlets struggle to purchase food; supermarkets could not cope with the demand for online shopping nor could its supply chains adapt to the rapid change.
As a result, we launched Foodari Home Delivery to distribute primarily locally sourced produce, to homes across Kent. The speed of development from the team was quite incredible, from conception to launch online within 36 hours, 12 hours later we were making our first deliveries Foodari Home Delivery has made over 35,000 deliveries to date.
Our next development was to explore new larger volume wholesale opportunities and Foodari Wholesale was launched in November.
The proposition is built around the fundamentals that Foodari has been built on – shortening the supply chain to offer better produce at competitive prices rich in provenance.
Our original core sector of food service produce supply has gone through enormous change during the past 12 months. Foodari has continued to evolve and diversify to meet the needs of our customers in providing food in different ways.
From food parcels for vulnerable children, meal kits for students, or diversifying our range to meet the needs of pubs and restaurants who have turned to takeaway. This is an important and often overlooked area of diversification which has encapsulated the innovation and resilience within our sector.
We have added new skills to our existing workforce and safeguarded jobs and are creating new jobs opportunities, we have a healthy supply chain and are looking forward to 2021.
It is enormously gratifying to know the extent to which our diversification supported our suppliers, many of whom saw their traditional markets contract. We know that this has directly saved brilliant produce from being wasted and safeguarded jobs on several Kent farms.
Asparagus with poached egg & hollandaise
To serve four, you will need: 2 x 250g bunches of asparagus, 200g butter, 6 eggs, 2x20ml white wine vinegar
1. Bring 2 pans of water to the boil (one slightly larger than the other). Put 20ml of the vinegar in the larger pan, this will be the one we poach the eggs in later.
2. While waiting for the water to boil, place the butter in a container and melt in the microwave until hot.
3. In a separate narrow container, place two egg yolks, 20ml of the vinegar and salt and pepper. Slowly add the melted butter while blending with a hand blender (the traditional method includes slowly whisking over a bowl but for home cooking this method with a hand blender is quicker and far easier). Once you've incorporated all the butter it should be thick and glossy. Store this in a warm place till we're ready to serve.
4. Now you are going to prep your asparagus. Cut about 2 inches off the bottom of each spear, then place into the boiling water. At the same time poach the eggs by cracking them into the pan with the added vinegar. Poach the eggs for 2 minutes to cook, rest for 1 minute before serving.
5. During the resting time, remove the asparagus from the other pan and place onto your plate. Place the egg on top and cover with sauce. Yum!