The Disruptors: Organic grocery helps people shop local, eat healthier and go green

Goodery organic vegetable box

Goodery delivers fresh organic groceries in a weekly round across Norfolk in electric vans powered by solar and wind - Credit: Goodery/Sam Harrons

The Disruptors tells the stories of start-ups across East Anglia turning revolutionary ideas into reality. Co-founder Matthew St John explains how Goodery combines organic food with technology and renewable energy for a more sustainable future.  

Tell us about Goodery.   

Goodery is a new kind of grocery store that actually cares for people and the planet. We’re on a mission to create thriving local economies by connecting conscious consumers to local producers.  

We deliver fresh organic groceries in a weekly round across Norfolk in electric vans powered by solar and wind. Goodery is committed to community and organic agriculture as a pathway to create a more sustainable future – helping people eat healthy, support local and reduce their impact.  

What business opportunities have you identified? 

The supermarket model is fundamentally unsustainable. It puts pressure on small businesses, squeezes margins for farmers and produces millions of tons of waste each year.  

The pandemic has accelerated a seismic shift in consumer consciousness and now people are looking to do the good thing with their weekly shop. The UK grocery market will be worth £211 billion by 2022. We want to capture the growth in this market while shifting to a more sustainable model of feeding humanity to take care of the earth. 

Matthew St John, co-founder of Goodery

Matthew St John, co-founder of Goodery - Credit: Goodery/Sam Harrons

How do you use invention and innovation to disrupt the market?  

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Goodery leverages technology, renewable energy and behavioural economics to make it easier for people to shop local, eat healthier and support the earth. With a mobile-first approach to shopping, we want to create a simple and sustainable alternative to supermarket shopping. 

We’re exploring new models of ownership and governance inspired by the likes of Suma Wholefoods and Riverford Organic Farmers to create stronger connections between consumers, suppliers and our employees.  

What challenges have you faced?  

As a start-up, you are constantly reacting to change and uncertainty. It involves a lot of learning, unlearning and relearning. You can’t build a house in a day. It takes time to set foundations. Whether it is software engineering, website management, raising capital or delighting customers, you’ll never be perfect.  

Goodery employees with their electric van

A grant from Business Energy Efficiency (BEE) Anglia enabled Goodery to purchase an electric vehicle - Credit: Goodery/Sam Harrons  

If you were starting all over again, what would you do differently? 

Take more time to enjoy the process of learning and figuring things out. It’s easy to get lost in vision, excitement and new beginnings. The temptation is always to run before you can walk. 

What are you most proud of?  

Relationships. We are proud of our team and the friendships we have built with our lovely customers and the amazing growers and makers who call Norfolk home. We’re also proud of the way we have handled failure and success. 

What advice do you have for someone launching a disruptive start-up?  

Make relationships your priority; kindness your default.  

What are your plans for the future?  

We are committed to people. We want to support local businesses and grow strong communities. We’re also committed to the planet. We want to support the next generation of organic agriculture and help people reduce their impact. We can do this by growing our weekly delivery service, deepening the connections between local businesses and conscious consumers.  

We’re also working on opening a physical store in Norwich in the coming months. This will help us encourage business development with local food producers to support the next generation of organic farming.  

For more information, please visit goodery.co.uk 

The Disruptors video series is produced in association with the University of East Anglia and the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor

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