Three weeks ago, I was watching the news and seeing the impact of COVID-19 across the world, and I knew as a leader I was going to have to start making some pretty tough decisions.
At Laneway Greens we were just finalising the Winter menu, reviewing an idea of something called the @home box, and I had just hired a senior management team to propel us forward.
Two weeks ago, watching New Zealand go into total lockdown, seeing how the supply chain and people were affected, I sent out a detailed plan of action to our Board of Directors and senior leaders with a phased approach to how we would handle the change that was about to happen. We closed stores temporarily, let the majority of our staff go, and went fully digital, all while innovating a new product offering that would support the community (and our business!) in these challenging times. Just when I thought last year was a little hectic, 2020 happened! I felt I may have been reacting too fast, but I’ve failed in business before and it’s about minimising risk and the impact on others – the staff, landlords, suppliers, and the community. My heart literally sank with every phone call I had to make.
One week ago, we decided we were 100% going to launch what we now call the Wholefood @ Homebox. We partnered with our co-manufacturer and an accredited logistics partner for the state of Victoria. Saying it's been a week of ups and down would be an understatement! What I can say is this; the Laneway Greens team and partners are fully committed to taking a huge risk to launch a new product amidst a global pandemic. 23 jobs were rehired to support this launch, and the Laneway Greens team kept the majority of the senior managers to support the initiative to come to life.
Today, we launched our Wholefood @ Homebox. We are happy to be able to serve the community with something we all need more of right now – clean, healthy, affordable food. We have all been affected massively – whether it be standing in line at Centrelink, or watching your business change overnight. It’s been an interesting time, and I am so grateful to have had so many amazing people around me. And big thanks to the team at Laneway Greens for choosing to see this crisis as a way to unite us together.
Laneway Greens is only a small company but we want to do what we can to help those in the community that are more vulnerable and need support to find easier food solutions – a friend, family member, neighbour. We are gifting 5 boxes for every 100 sold to those that need more love and support in this challenging time. If you know someone, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay well and safe everyone,
CEO - Laneway Greens