Coles has closed a deal with Tweed Heads herb grower Pocket Herbs, providing a lifeline after Covid-19 forced its restaurant clients to close.
The business was facing the risk of shutting down when its customer base virtually disappeared overnight in the face of lockdowns.
But the deal with Coles, which guarantees to buy more than 500 micro herb pots per week, has given the business the certainty it needs to keep employing locals at this difficult time, according to Iain Reynolds, the founder of Pocket Herbs.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support Coles has given us over the last couple of months. When Covid-19 first hit we were forced to let go of two-thirds of our staff and had started to lose hope for the future,” he said.
“This has also been a great opportunity for us to enter the retail market and sell our sustainably-grown micro herbs direct to the consumer, which is very exciting.”
The business will supply to 40 Coles supermarkets across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Armadale and Port Macquarie, with 10 different varieties including rocket, lemon balm and purple basil.
“When we saw the challenges faced by Pocket Herbs brought about by Covid-19, we were keen to do what we could do to support them,” said Andrew Costa, category manager at Coles.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to stock a fresh Australian product that our customers love and help support a small grower at this difficult time,” Costa said.