Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Fruit Box featured in the Yorkshire Post

The past few week's have been very busy here at Fruit Box HQ, meaning I haven't had the chance to upload this great feature on The Fruit Box until now. The story of The Fruit Box was featured in the Yorkshire Post on 28th January 2010. The feature can be found here

Bramley man's fruit idea no joke

Published Date: 28 January 2010

A Bramley man who sells apples may sound like a quaint joke, but for Jonathan Russell it is a serious business.

Mr Russell, 23, set up Fruitbox nine months ago and has since won repeat business with Leeds employers, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sky and hair-styling products firm ghd.

The Leeds Metropolitan University graduate came up with the idea after taking fruit into the office for his colleagues in his previous job in sales and marketing.

Now Mr Russell delivers 350kg of fresh fruit across Leeds every week.

The business will turn over £100,000 this year and he hopes to double this in year two.

He said: "I always wanted to run my own business but when I finished university, I thought I should get some experience first. "However, having studied business and marketing I had a good background, and once I'd spoken with the mentors at the Sharing the Success programme – it gave me the confidence to take the plunge and launch the company."

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Pink Lady - The perfect apple

There are some things you just can’t rush. Pink Lady apples are left on the tree longer than any other apple. This allows them to develop their characteristic pink blush and pack a sweet, crisp, champagne-like burst.

Simply stated they are one of the best apples out there. We love them! And our customers sure do. As far as we know we are the ONLY office fruit supplier in the UK that regularly includes Pink Lady apples in our fruit boxes.

Pink Lady Background
Pink Lady was developed in the 1970s by John Cripps in Western Australia, and is a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. Lady Williams is not a particularly well known apple variety in Europe, but has been quite widely grown in Australia, having been discovered as a chance seedling in the 1930s. It is probably from Lady Williams that Pink Lady gets its distinct colouring.

Pink Lady requires a very long growing period and a hot climate, and hence is only grown in the warmer apple-growing regions of South Africa, USA, southern Europe - and of course Australia. Strong sunlight in autumn is vital for the pink coloration to develop and growers may remove the top-most leaves of the trees to allow light to penetrate. Pink Lady is a vigorous tree and hangs on to its leaves well into winter. It also shares a characteristic found in some other apple varieties in that the quality of fruit in the early years of the tree is not good.

The Pink Lady is a true premium apple. You will find them in your local supermarkets, but they are often very expensive and more likely to be closer to the Cripps Pink weaker variety. We only include the best Pink Lady apples in our fruit boxes. Like every other fruit we provide in our boxes it is handpicked to ensure you only receive your fruit in perfect condition.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Cherries in season and tasting great!

New season new fruit!

This mornings Cherries tasted particurlarly lovely and looked great. Cherries are typically only available for 2 months, June and July, so it's time to enjoy them while you can.

Cherries are currently been packed into all our fruit box selections. Nectarines and Peaches are right in season as well, so it's a great time to start recieving a fruit box.

Friday, 5 June 2009

The Fruit Box story and an introduction to me!

The Fruit Box and me in a Leeds office

The idea for The Fruit Box came to me while I was working in a business last year a few months after graduating from university. Having been a (reasonably) active student participating in several sports I was finding the adjustment to the office lifestyle a little difficult. The long hours spent in the office chair and the tearoom snacks were taking their toll! I decided I had to do something about my waning health so a colleague and I started buying fruit for the office every Monday from the city centre supermarket. We were a little disappointed by what we got for our money and on top of that we were exhausted by the time we returned to the office! Never the less everyone loved having fresh fruit in the office.

After a bit of research I discovered the success of specialist office fruit suppliers in Australia and Norway. In these countries employers would give their staff free fruit as a visible employee wellbeing benefit. I decided that this business could be a success here in Leeds.

The most important aspect in developing the idea was finding a quality supply of fresh fruit that could be provided to businesses on a cost effective basis. This is where I had a chance meeting with Richard Thompson of the famous Yorkshire Produce Centre. When I tasted that first juicy apple I knew that the workplaces of Leeds would be as hooked as I was!

After the assistance of The Princes Trust and Leeds Metropolitan University I decided it was time to get drastic and quit my job and start The Fruit Box. This allowed me to concentrate 100% on developing a service to provide the highest quality fruit to offices in Leeds. The Fruit Box was off the ground.

The Fruit Box business model has been built on a foundation of friendly and reliable customer service. I’m 100% committed to making The Fruit Box experience as rewarding and hassle free as possible for businesses. I source only the highest quality and freshest produce for my customers.

Over the coming months I will be working hard to develop The Fruit Box’s CSR strategy. At the moment I donate the fruit which has not quite made the stringent quality checks to a local homeless charity called Emmaus. The charity helps homeless people in Leeds and the surrounding area to help themselves by providing a home and work in a supportive environment. It’s a great charity and they really do a great job in giving people a chance to support themselves. Visit them here for further information on this great charity.

The Fruit Box provides employers with Wellbeing in a box - a cost effective way to boost employee wellbeing and keep staff performing at their best.

I hope you enjoy eating Leeds’ finest fruit.

Jonathan Russell
The Fruit Box founder

Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Fruit Box is now 5-a-day approved!

We have been awarded a license to use the government's 5-a-day logo on all our products and marketing material!

The government body that license use of the logo made investigations into the services we offer and granted our license application, allowing us full use of the 5-a-day logo!

For further information on how the different fruits can positively affect your health click here.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Eat Fruit and Prevent Cancer!

Did you know that April is bowel cancer awareness month? This type of cancer can affect both men and women and although the exact cause is unknown, research has shown that an inactive lifestyle and a low fibre diet can increase your risk! Red and processed meat, insufficient amounts of fruit and vegetables, smoking and excess alcohol are also contributory factors. However although we can’t motivate you to go to the gym, you will be pleased to know that fruit contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will not only improve your immune system, but prevent cell damage which may lead to cells becoming cancerous. Eating plenty of fruit and veg, whole grains and nuts can supply all the antioxidants your body needs. Here are some examples of fruit high in cancer preventing antioxidants:

An apple a day does keep the doctor away! Apples have a rich fibre content and research has shown that the antioxidant polyphenol present in an apple can help significantly in protecting against the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Apricots are one of the richest sources of the antioxidant lycopene that can help your body to defend against the risk of prostate cancer. They are also very rich in vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that can help you improve your vision and stay away from eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Blueberries contain pterostilbene, a natural antioxidant that mops up highly reactive molecules called free radicals that can trigger cancer growth. This antioxidant has been found to reduce inflammation and the rate of cell division in the bowel, which are both considered to be cancer risk factors. Grapes have also been found to contain pterostilbene.

Kiwi fruit
Kiwis contain a high level of vitamin C which has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma and for protecting against conditions such as colon cancer, and heart disease.
You can view some more fruity facts on our website at

Snack attack!

You’re sat at your desk, it’s been a long and stressful day and your stomach is rumbling. You could indulge yourself with a snack but you think it’s best to wait. However, although you may feel guilty about a mid morning or afternoon treat, snacking doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact a healthy snack, such as fruit, can provide you with that little boost of energy you need to get you through the day!

Fruit contains different types of natural sugars, some giving you a burst of energy while others offer a more slow and sustained release. For example, grapes release sugar much faster than cherries even though they contain about the same amount of sugar and energy overall. Eating a banana is also quick and effective way of lifting your energy levels. Bananas can give you the kind of immediate energy rush or sugar hit that you might get from chocolate but in this case it’s a healthy one, which is why this fruit is often the snack of choice for people participating in sports or training.

If you find tempted to snack because you’re bored (at work surely not!) or are effected the “3pm slump” resulting in feelings of tiredness and de-motivation, it may be because you are dehydrated. Fruits like watermelons and oranges are great at providing much needed fluids for your body.

So the next time you find yourself slaving away at work and hunger strikes, a fruit box will provide you with a healthful choice of snacks just a few steps away!