A WHOLESALE food distribution company has “completely changed” its business model to accommodate those in need during the coronavirus crisis.

Sun Harvest Ltd in Elder Place, Brighton, has been servicing the restaurant and pub industry for the past 12 years, but is now offering home deliveries to households across Sussex.

Allen Paget, operations manager, said: “We took it upon ourselves to put it out to customers that we would do home deliveries, especially to those who are isolated.

“Within two days of Boris Johnson’s announcement that all restaurants and pubs would have to close, we had set up an online shopping facility on our website.

“It’s really taken off. Today I think we’ve done 120 deliveries already.

“It’s a good service as there are many people who just can’t get out.”

Sun Harvest can supply fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, cheeses, a range of olives, tinned goods and other cooking essentials.

The Argus: Allen Paget, centre, with staff at Sun HarvestAllen Paget, centre, with staff at Sun Harvest

Allen said the company is prioritising key workers such as NHS staff, carers and police who make orders.

He said: “Normally we would deliver on the next day, but we are asking people to allow three to four days due to the volume of orders.

“Unfortunately the supermarkets are unable to process deliveries quickly at the moment.

“We are prioritising NHS workers and carers, and people who work in the public sector, and we are trying to get their orders out on the next day.

“A lot of people follow us on our Facebook page and they place orders through the new website.

“Most of our orders come through online but elderly people or anyone without web access can call us to place orders too.”

Allen said his team are working extra hard to manage the high number of deliveries in Brighton, as well as other parts of Sussex including Arundel, Horsham and Worthing.

He said: “It’s difficult and we are all doing long hours, but that’s what it’s all about.

“We have a brilliant team.

“They are quite committed to the company anyway but during this crisis they are working especially hard to deliver fresh fruit and veg, cooking items and even loo roll.

“All our staff are fully prepared with protective masks.

“They are leaving deliveries on household doorsteps and stepping back to keep a safe distance, and will wait to make sure the customers are happy.”

Sun Harvest has also been a sponsor of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club for ten years and normally supplies food for the training ground.

The company has recently been delivering orders to Albion players, including Martin Montoya.

Allen added: “We have a good relationship with Albion and will always make an effort to help them out. The response from all our customers has been fantastic.”

To place an order through Sun Harvest, visit www.sunharvestltd.co.uk or call 01273 77 77 68, but be advised the company is receiving a high number of calls at the moment.

  • At The Argus, we are championing the work of traders during the coronavirus pandemic as part of our #BackingSussexBusiness campaign. We are always interested to hear how the community is coming together in this crisis. If you know of a local business battling to do all it can in these tough times and/or offering support to the local community, please get in touch at laurie.churchman@theargus.co.uk and rose.lock@theargus.co.uk.