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The Gasparro family's FruitDesk stall on Leather Lane Market

What3words keeps veg stall going through Lockdown

WHAT DOES a market stall do during a Coronavirus Lockdown? That was the question FruitDesk – a family run business which has sold fruit from a stall in Leather Lane market, near Farringdon, for over 40 years – asked itself.

The answer for FruitDesk was to start delivering to customers who could no longer come down to the market. They’ve taken to it very well, taking orders for fruit and veg boxes over a straightforward website with an easy-to-follow offer. While other retailers offer a kind of “if it’s a Tuesday and there’s an ‘r’ in the month, there’s a special offer on fennel if you order a pineapple” approach, Fruit Desk is more a kind of “here’s a box, and here’s a bigger one” approach – and very welcome that is.

The other beauty of the way FruitDesk does it is that by offering boxes of mixed, fresh, seasonal fruit and veg, there is a presumption that quality is assured – because it’s the company that is picking out the goods for you, rather than you doing it without being able to see the produce.

How, then, does the company deliver? Here is where the joined up thinking comes in. The company has partnered with what3words to ensure that customers’ addresses can be pinpointed by their van without delay. The what3words website is that one that has divided the world into tiny squares and given each of them a unique combination of three words – helping anyone trying to find you a neat and easy way of tracking your exact location down.

Michael Gasparro, Owner of FruitDesk, explained how he uses this new technology. “I’ve always dealt with the commodity of fruit and vegetables,” he said. “But it’s like a brand new job… Now it’s literally working out of a van, having to drive around London and it’s very difficult… I think what3words is really good because it’s just a very, very clever way of knowing exactly where to go.”

What3words is also used nationwide by services like the AA and over 80% of UK emergency services. As market stalls and many other traders turn to carrying out home deliveries as the lockdown eases off, it may be a technology many more retailers will wish to use.

To find out more about what3words, go to:

To find out more about FruitDesk, go to:

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