Guelph, Ontario – Subscription boxes became a hot commodity in 2020, especially with the restrictions due to COVID-19. It has never been easier to get everything you need to be delivered right to your doorstep. You can get a ready-made box for pretty much anything, from beauty to food and meal prep. FabFitFun and HelloFresh are some popular options. These boxes are also an excellent opportunity for local community small businesses to come together to make a curated box of everyone’s favorite things. Many communities have picked up on this trend already. Emma Mitro spoke to Genevieve Sutherns, co-founder of Guelph Box, to learn more about Guelph’s very own local subscription box.
What is Guelph Box?
My boyfriend Josh Gray and I started Guelph Box together in response to the government announcing restrictions for small businesses back in March 2020. We wanted to help create a way that our local neighborhood businesses could still get their products out of the door and into consumers’ hands while ensuring it was safe.
Why do you think it’s essential to support locals, especially now, more than ever?
Supporting locals should always be our primary goal. It is so crucial now that many larger companies have resources to sustain themselves for an extended period before they are forced to close; small businesses typically do not. Small businesses are a crucial part of building a healthy and flourishing community, and if they aren’t supported, they won’t exist.
Some of the top reasons why Josh and Genevieve think it’s important to support local include:
- It feeds families in your community (not only feed mouths but fuel dreams)
- It is way more sustainable (less travel for products).
- It contributes to a thriving local community.
Have you seen an increase in-support and boxes purchased since the beginning of Covid-19?
Our sales fluctuate depending on how locked down Guelph is as per government regulations. When we are locked down, our sales go up and vice versa. This reflects consumers going for in-person shopping to small businesses when the city is open and then turning to us to get their local products when they don’t feel comfortable going out. Overall, the support has grown tremendously, and we are so thankful for everyone who has supported us since day one and those who have just recently started following along.”
What does Guelph Box consist of? Is it a one-time purchase or subscription box
Every box we sell is different from the last. Typically, our packages contain a mix of perishable and non-perishable food items. We also include some artisan items or offer them as an add-on option. It is a one-time purchase, as we are not currently operating on a set schedule. We do try to keep it current and also produce some exclusive one-off boxes that contain a wider variety of products to be able to support a more extensive spread of local businesses.
Can Supporters pick and choose what they want in their box?
Again, this depends on the box. We have offered customization options for some of our packages, and others have been set boxes with no choice. We love both for different reasons.
How was the support by the community during the last Holiday seasons?
It was incredible. We are indeed still in awe of our community and could not be more thankful for their support over the Christmas season. We loved exploring corporate boxes, and that was a huge success. It allowed businesses to gift their employees/clients with a box of local products that also gave back to charity. We look forward to doing more corporate boxes in the future.
What is your most popular season?
As of right now, Christmas would be our busiest season. Since we’ve only been operating for ten months, I can’t speak for sure what will be our most active month in the future but would expect it would remain over the holidays.”
How can local businesses participate in contributing to the box?
The best way to get involved is to email us at [email protected]. We always love hearing from new small businesses. We are currently only working with companies within our shipping area (can be found on our website and continuously updated) as we have a saying that ‘we source from where we deliver’ and stick to that to ensure we are remaining as local as possible for our consumers.
Guelph Box donates 5% of all sales to a local charity. You can also support local businesses and benefit the local community in all aspects. Guelph Box recently introduced their ‘Winter Box’ that includes your favorite local treats.
Order here: https://guelphbox.ca/
Author: Emma Mitro, Lifestyle, Content Writer for The Onside Media, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: – [email protected]