We’ve been preaching this gospel for the last 4 months but local businesses require the support of consumers more so now than ever before. If it is within your power to make a difference then we urge you to do so.
Jason and Megan at Koen – the faces behind Koen’s Veg – are two entrepreneurs that thought on their feet after being retrenched and unable to work during lockdown.
Guided by the motto of “Eat fresh – be healthy”, they started a business that delivers organically grown vegetables, from farm, to plate, directly to your doorstep for convenience.
Custard X: Tell us more about yourselves?
Megan Koen: I have been in the Sales and Marketing industry for the last 2 years and I am currently studying for my Diploma in Marketing Management. I obtained my diploma in Culinary Arts, so cooking pre-lockdown has and always will be my passion.
Jason Koen: I was and still currently am in the sports and fitness industry as a hockey coach/sports conditioner. I then did a couple of online courses pre lockdown, securing my business plan diploma, sports psychology diploma and I am currently doing my sports nutrition diploma.
CX: What exactly led you two to get to this point?
KV: We are both go-getters or “hustlers” and are not the type of people to sit at home 7 days a week – extremely extroverted types. But unfortunately, lockdown had forced that upon us, and in both our minds we were like, shit, how are we going to generate extra income during this time? That’s what sparked us to think outside of the box on what would be an essential need for people, while adding that convenience factor.
CX: How did this opportunity come about?
KV: I was hustling everything I could get my hands on at the time during lockdown, and of course, met various people along the way. I then got to chatting to a guy who happened to be involved with a farm in Phillipi and there lay the opportunity that we had been waiting for, handed on a plate right in front of us. We grabbed it with both hands and we both knew, this was it.
CX: Give us a breakdown on what this business is all about.
KV: We supply organically grown vegetables straight from the farm to your plate and have added in delivery for your convenience. Our main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle while supporting/sustaining our local farmers during this time and beyond it. Adding veg to a meal can definitely spruce it up. Through starting this business, one of our friends randomly tagged someone in our Facebook status. This lady is currently running a feeding scheme called “The daily bread project (Parow)”… she feeds the homeless and relies solely on donations from the public. (Jason) is also involved with an organization called “Won life” and worked closely with them pre-lockdown – we saw this as an opportunity to give back and serve our community. We look forward to moving this business to an online platform by building an app as well as an e-commerce website which is currently being built. Our vision is to have big warehouses holding veg whereby creating jobs for hundreds of people – ultimately, being part of rebuilding the economy.
CX: What are some of the pros and cons with working with family?
KV: There is definitely a comfortability factor within working together, we know each other’s tricks, traits, strengths and weaknesses. We also know which buttons not to push with one another. We feed off of each with ideas and marketing tactics which makes decision-making for the business a lot easier.
CX: How has the support been so far?
KV: We have been inundated with support from friends and family who have graciously donated some cash towards the start-up which we used to give to two charitable organizations (all donations received will go toward this cause). Our parents have supported this from the very beginning, even before it’s birth, just like us, and for allowing us to use our own surname to hold the family name up high. Also, to our graphic designer, Marcel Kritzinger over at Luna Owl Digital agency who has taken on our portfolio of design work and helps us with concepts.
CX: How have you guys been coping, as a business, through the Covid-19 pandemic?
KV: With starting up a business during this season, it is always risky. Just as we are passionate about keeping you healthy, we are equally as passionate about people’s safety. We ensure the strictest safety measures and provide non-contactable payment options as well as the option to “drop at door”. We also sanitise all the packaging prior to delivery and follow the guidelines which have been made available by our government. As they say, “Safety first.”
Email Jason@Koensveg.co.za or Megan@koensveg.co.za to order.
Feature pic by Closure.