Fair-Well 2560 1707 Karishma Puri

Between the quiet back doubles of NW5 you may have caught sight of what looks to be an antiquated scene, neighbours clamouring and chatting around an old milk float. This float, however, has been decked out and re-fitted to include not just milk and orange juice, but all the essentials; cereal, rice, fruit, grains, even dog food.

The business is the brainchild of Claire Marchais. In her native France, the boulangerie vans that roam village squares every morning are still a typical sight. Today, sadly, it’s British cousin– the old milk float is seldom seen. For Claire this presented an opportunity to bring the high street to people’s front doors in a more traditional and environmentally friendly fashion in the form of mobile grocers. “We started three years ago and initially we wanted to create a new business model to help people go towards zero waste, the milk float was for us, a great image of what used to work well in the past, both electric and waste-free. “We found that people are really keen to reduce waste, even our first clients are still our clients today.”

“The van really invites people to come out, and have an opportunity to be around each other”

Claire Marchais

Woman standing in front of food van
Food van with someone standing in front of it looking at the produce

In an age of immediate home delivery Fair-Well takes a slower approach, “With all these apps promoting five minute grocery delivery, we embrace slow life” Claire tells us “For me, slow means seasonal products, it means lower waste, but it’s still going to be convenient, delivered to your home!”

One added benefit the float has brought to NW5 is the sense of community interaction. “The van really invites people to come out and have an opportunity to be around each other” Claire proudly tells us, “It’s a way for neighbours to start talking, to slow down a bit and really just realise how much they have in common.”

Find out more

To see what else your Highstreet has to offer visit myvirtualneighbourhood.com

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