Laura and her partner James have a combined 25 years in the food and hospitality industry and always imagined that they'd start their own business one day. Speaking to Peterborough Matters, Laura admitted that she thought it would probably be something more akin to a catering business - but when lockdown came along plans shifted and The Fig & Fox Company was created.
It only took around six weeks to get the business up and running, but it wasn't without its challenges. The couple were shielding because their young son is in the high risk category, and Laura worried that the lack of face-to-face meetings would be an issue in forging connections with suppliers.
She needn't have - prior to the pandemic it may have been harder, but most people were ready and willing to connect over the phone or through social media. Such is the way starting a business without being able to leave the house!
"We wanted to bring small businesses together," Laura said, recalling the reasons that she and James launched the project. "We wanted to advocate for big community, especially as a lot of the talk through lockdown was about finding local suppliers and shopping more locally."
One aspect of The Fig & Fox Company is its subscription box - although one-off gift boxes are also available. Working with local producers and suppliers, Laura and James create a monthly box based around a theme, to introduce local people to some of the food brands in the region that they may not have heard of otherwise.
The area covered is Peterborough and 50 miles around the city, which Laura says is plenty to pick up some real treats. "I've been in Peterborough my whole life and some of these small businesses are ones I didn't know existed! We want to get these brands names out there, to bring the food community together."
Laura added: "I also want to emphasise how eco-friendly our products are, not just because the carbon footprint of delivery is so small because they're from the region, but also because we're plastic-free and our boxes are compostable. We're striving to minimise our environmental impact wherever we can - while hopefully having a big impact in terms of great products and customer service."
To receive October's Fox Box (with a salted caramel theme) people must have placed their order by September 28.
The boxes contain five mystery food and drink items from around the region, with October's box featuring:
- Salted Caramel Heart by Cocoa Cave, Peterborough
- Salted Caramel Brownies by The Brownie Company, Stamford
- Salted Caramel Fudge by Deeping Fudge, Deeping St. James
- Dairy Free Salted Caramel by Janda Foods, Huntingdon
- Sumatran Ground Coffee by Stamford Coffee Company, Stamford
Additionally, the boxes contain recipe product cards and meal plans.
Food producers who want to get in touch to work with The Fig & Fox Company should do so through the website.