Farm to (online) table: Beloved London farmers Ted’s Veg go digital
Ted’s Veg have been committed to providing only the freshest, best quality and most ethically sourced fruits and vegetables since they opened their market stall doors back in 1999. Founder Ted Dawson is no stranger to adapting to circumstances from the very beginning.
“Due to an economic downturn in the farming fraternity we had to diversify, so [we] started selling our products ourselves through the newly established farmer’s markets back in 1999.”
Produce of the world in one place
In addition to their own lovingly grown produce, the folks at Ted’s Veg import exotic produce from around the world, held to the same standards as their domestic wares. Lettuce, tomatoes, and shallots mingle side by side with Cyprus potatoes, pineapples, and peppers from across the Atlantic, to name just a few. They deal with other businesses and restaurants in addition to direct-to-consumer sales.
More than a fruit and vegetable vendor, Ted’s Veg promotes a lifestyle. Their commitment to ethically sourced food and minimised use of waste in their packaging encourages a similar ethos in their clientele.
Since moving online, they’ve started offering recipe boxes loaded full of quality produce ready to be cooked. The variety of spices, marinades, and cooking methods offered make quality, flavourful and interesting meals easy for anyone.
“Delivering online we thought that helping customers understand how fruit and veg could be cooked/eaten differently and not just boiled to death would also help and inspire people to give cooking a go rather than have a pre-made ready-meal.”
Moving the Farmstand
Since the pandemic, Ted’s Veg have transformed. In the span of a year, they transitioned from doing business with “cash and a big old school card machine” to using SumUp to build out their robust online store. Moving online jumpstarted business and enabled Ted’s Veg to expand the services they offer and the markets they cater to. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, farmers and small businesses like Ted’s Veg who relied on customer interaction had a few hurdles to jump, since their stores were forced to close and the usually bustling markets were shut down.
Luckily for Ted’s Veg, they found SumUp. With SumUp’s range of products and features, they had everything they needed to reinvigorate their business and move their classic, locally-sourced farming operation into the 21st century. The word that comes up the most when Ted talks about doing business online is ‘easy’, both for himself and his staff and customers. Processing payments is a breeze and customers know they’ll have their order within a day.
New tools, old values
Shifting to majority-online operations and growing their customer base (because as they say, “today youngsters want everything online”) hasn’t changed how Ted’s Veg feel about the work they do. All their products–fruit, vegetables, dairy, nuts, jams, eggs, chutneys–are ethically and ecologically grown, whether produced themselves or by one of their partner farms.
Ted’s favourite part of the business remains the fact that, “we can grow what we like how we like and don’t have to answer to any big corporate organisation”. And even though their operations have scaled, they still ship all their products with as little waste as they can. Their website shows off their impressive selection of products as well as the nutritional values of each, and some ideas for using them.
Thanks to their experience with SumUp, Ted’s Veg sings the praises of moving a business online.
“Give it a go, but not fruit and veg - leave that to us professionals!"
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