How often do you think of the ethics behind the food that goes into your shopping basket?
When was the last time you checked to see if the food you were selecting was seasonal? Was it organically grown, without the use of chemicals or pesticides? Was it sourced from local farmers who received a fair price for their produce?
Most of us hardly consider these factors as in our current 9-to-5 existences, balancing a shopping budget with with healthy food selection is hard enough. But what if there was a service that not only took the busywork out of shopping, but also made sure that your food selections were as ethical as they were healthy?
The Munching Mongoose is the brainchild of entrepreneur Brad Meiring, and it was borne out of a passion for food. The company sources healthy, organically grown vegetables and artisanal food and delivers straight to its customers’ doors.
“The Munching Mongoose and the entire operation was self-funded and properly bootstrapped from inception [in 2014] until today,” says Meiring.
“It has not always been easy and working initially on a very tight shoestring budget has meant that growth was probably a little slower than we would have liked and challenges weren’t always very easy to overcome. As some money came in, we would grow, develop and adjust.”
The Munching Mongoose currently services around 250 customers in Johannesburg but is always looking to expand its consumer base. To become a customer, one simply heads over to The Munching Mongoose website registers their details and chooses the delivery option that suits them the best. Each option has differing volumes of produce, but is essentially made up of a variety of seasonal and organic fruit and vegetables, free range eggs, organic milk, artisan bread, local gourmet cheese and a surprise artisan product.
“Our offering is all online and we have implemented a pretty neat back end system that gives customers full control over their account, from managing their delivery schedule up to 12 weeks ahead of time, and being able to fully customise their order each week based on the seasonal produce that is available,” says Meiring.
“Each week we “build the box” based on what is available from the local producers. Customers can also add other products like our free range meat packs, dairy packs with yoghurts, cream and butter, our breakfast packs made up of granolas and muesli or perhaps some of the individual items like organic coffee, honey or locally produced nut butters.”
There are no contracts for the service so customers can opt out at any point.
Beyond delivering tasty treats to their customers, The Munching Mongoose takes an ethical approach in how the company sources its food. Meiring says they work a network of small scale farmers, producers and artisans, most of whom are local to Johannesburg, but some food sources may surprise potential customers.
“We partner with some really great local farmers who are able to grow such delicious and healthy produce in the most unlikely of places. From Soweto and Alexandra to reclaimed parks and bowling greens that have been converted into inner city organic gardens,” says Meiring. ”
“All the fresh produce is grown naturally and following organic principals so there are no chemicals and pesticides, no hormones or routine antibiotics in any of the dairy or animal products. We offer complete transparency and are more than happy to let people know each week exactly where the produce has come from.”