Until February, online orders and home deliveries were around 80 per month. Then, in March, they reached almost 1600 and then decreased slightly in April and May. This was the case of the company L'Orto di Famiglia, based in San Mauro Pascoli (Forlì-Cesena), and managed by the partners Francesco Ventrucci and Athos Muratori.
In the middle, Francesco Ventrucci with two collaborators from the area where online orders are processed
"We activated this service two years ago," - explained Ventrucci - "but there weren't many requests. People always preferred to go directly to the point of sale and the number of orders online did not reach 100 per month. However, this investment allowed us to withstand the impact of the lockdown, when requests skyrocketed. In March we received 1545 orders which then dropped to 1488 in April."
The interior of the store
In June, online orders dropped again, but are likely to be 700 per month, which would be almost 10 times more than pre-Covid. The customer places the order either online from the website or from the purpose-built App, and home delivery is provided over a large area, as far as the border with the Marche region southwards and beyond Cesena northwards.
Trasp-Orto was founded by Simone Ferrara, as well as the the App. "The idea was born in 2017 - explained Ferrara - and it was maintained until last February, and then became a success in March. The App is free and has been downloaded a lot of times since it was launched. In the field of fruit and vegetable sales it is an innovation." Ferrara is the owner of the brand and the person in charge of the home delivery.
"Our business is diversified - pointed out Ventrucci - since we have a farm, consisting of property and rentals, of about 50 hectares, where we grow horticultural crops that we partially sell to retailers or wholesalers. We are partners in Agribologna and serve as a hub for other farmers. Furthermore, we are a reference point for the Ho.Re.Ca activities of the Riviera."
Our strength is the freshness of the product. For example, the lettuces are harvested at 6 a.m. and at 8 a.m. they are already available in the store. In addition, the owners try to enhance the value of the less than perfect product, offering for sale a "second choice" which costs lower than the first quality, as it has some aesthetic defects, but is perfect for its organoleptic qualities.
The Ho.Re.Ca sector represents a serious problem, because there are very few hotels open at the moment and the restaurants that are open are working at a reduced capacity. Generally, by June, the company used to supply 80 hotels, but at the moment only 10 hotels are supplied.
"Because of the difficulties of the Ho.Re.Ca sector - concluded Ventrucci - there is a great deal of product available. The hope is that tourism will restart as soon as possible, as well as the activity of the restaurants."