Creating ‘community through food’ has been the dream for Reuben Brand and his wife Anita. Last year they started Ploughmans cafe, picklery and providore. Now with Upstock, he’s had more time to invest into making the dream come true.
“Before Upstock my mental headspace was jam-packed with the daily running of the business and then you don't have time for much else. So anything, like literally anything that will save me time is really, really good”
Reuben loves making everything he can from scratch and draws inspiration from all the fresh produce his customers and local growers bring into the cafe. But good things take time and Reuben needed something to take away the day-to-day ordering hassles to give him back the hours he needed to connect and create.
“I love how with Upstock I’m able to just ‘tap tap tap’ and I’m done. It gives me more space to create new product lines and get to know my customers. I don't have to stop work and jump on my laptop and log into something. It's just on my phone and it's easy.”
Reuben is now working on their plans to grow the business and start supplying other cafes and stores with their signature pickles and fermented products. He can already see how Upstock will be the perfect channel for reaching new customers.
“We only sell our pickles at the cafe for now, but we're working towards supplying them wholesale. So to sell our stuff on Upstock would be ideal. It's such a great platform”
More from our chat with Ploughmans owner Reuben Brand:
How did you work before Upstock?
We got onto Upstock pretty quickly. Before that we placed orders with suppliers through emails, calls, texts, and their own internal platforms. Whatever the producer preferred, we'd just go with that. But with Upstock there's one app and that just makes my life so much easier. It’s also helped us create a bit more of a routine around when we do our regular orders which helps with managing our time.
How did you discover Upstock?
One of our local suppliers, Sixpence Coffee Roastery said: “look, we're migrating to this platform to make ordering and shipping way easier”. So we just started using it to get our coffee and then another of our local suppliers This is Frankies, jumped on board. We're telling everyone to get on Upstock because it's just great not having to log in to other systems. We also discovered Prana Chai and Altina thanks to Upstock who we're now stocking.
How does Upstock fit in with your business ethos?
We use a Zero waste methodology – including not wasting food, supplies and even time on mistakes and errors. With Upstock, nothing’s lost in translation over the phone, or through email, or text. It definitely minimises both time wastage and product waste.
What would you say to someone considering using Upstock?
Actually one of our producers got in touch with me when they heard about Upstock and was like, “Is this legit? Is this a scam? What's going on?” I said, “No, no, it’s fantastic. Get on board”. So yeah, we've recommended it to a few people so far because it’s made our life so much easier not having to use multiple different methods of getting our stuff delivered.
Has your accounting improved since using Xero and Upstock together?
In terms of getting our invoices from suppliers, it's just way easier. It auto-generates, so the invoices come straight to us, which is cool. We don't have to chase up invoices or anything like that. So it's just automatically emailed to us. We just get it and I move on.
What are your plans for the future?
We really want to grow the product list and start supplying externally. We'd love to see Ploughman's on shelves in other places, and obviously on Upstock, which would be really cool. Yeah, just to see the business grow and reach new customers.