Cambridge Fruit Company
Fourteen years ago, as Neil Bharadwa sat in his car in a layby weeping – he‘d just been made redundant from his job in a bank; it was his first day back from paternity leave – a prescient friend said to him, “This could be the best thing that ever happens to you.” He didn’t understand it then but he does now.
The Cambridge Fruit Company does what it says on the sides of one of its three colourful vans: it delivers fresh fruit boxes into workplaces across Cambridge; the staff eat the fruit and the company pays the bill. Simple, effective and good news all round for employers and staff and the wellbeing agenda.
It’s a family business. Neil’s sister Nisha joined about three years in and the pair make a great team. Mum and Dad live just around the corner and Mum regularly drops in with samosas for lunch. Neil and Nisha credit their parents for the ethics they live and work by. “They taught us to work hard, show respect, and remember that people are more important than things,” says Nisha.
Neil started selling fruit and veg round the streets of Cambridge from a specially built van but it was a challenging way to run the business. His wise old friend suggested he try selling to workers in Cambridge’s science and business parks. Now the Cambridge Fruit company delivers to 150 corporate companies, a handful of primary schools and nurseries, and some pubs, restaurants and cafes. They have three vans, two pick-up trucks and four staff who are as much members of this extended family as Neil and Nisha themselves.
Neil laughingly puts his early success down to his habit of sweet talking the receptionists with a bag of clementines. When he started delivering fruit boxes into workplaces, nobody else was doing it. Which makes Neil a pioneer and the Cambridge Fruit Company the number one fruit company in Cambridge right now. As the receptionists would say: “The fruit man’s here!”
14 Robert Davies Court, Nuffield Road
Tel: 01223 425308