East London power couple Emile and Razia Samson have taken on a new challenge by starting up a fresh produce home-delivery service, The Fresh Box.
The couple were initially based in Johannesburg but moved back to East London earlier this year due to the national lockdown.
“I ran a recruitment business from home in Johannesburg, mostly for the fashion industry.
“When lockdown started, clothing and retail [stores] were not allowed to trade, only the essential items stores were open,” Razia said.
This brought her business to a halt and, combined with Emile resigning from his job around the same time, put them in a precarious position.
“[The lockdown] ripped the floor from under us,” said Emile.
Once back in East London, the couple decided to start up The Fresh Box.
“It had a social welfare element to it all the time because our desire was to prevent people from being exposed during Covid-19. We take that risk and in exchange , [people] buy vegetables and fruit from us,” said Emile.
Once an order has been placed, Emile and Razia purchase the goods from the Buffalo City Fresh Produce Market and deliver it to the customer’s home.
The couple also donate food to local schools through an associated project, Fresh Opportunity.
“We saw the needs at the schools. I think it was one of our customers who said that her daughter, who was preparing for matric finals, came home in tears because they said that one of their friends only had taxi fare to get to school and if they used it to buy food, they had to walk home,” Razia said.
“We had to do something.”
They donated a box of food to Qhasana Secondary School in Potsdam Village on November 27, and have plans to partner with a number of other schools in the area.
“Our intent is to look after these kids, but we need community support.”
Emile and Razia first made a name for themselves in 2015 after they won the Power Couple SA competition, as reported by the Daily Dispatch (‘Prayer helps couple triumph’, December 15, 2015).
For more information, visit the Fresh Box and Fresh Opportunity Facebook pages or contact Emile at 068-821-6964. Donations can be made to the following account:
Bank: Standard Bank
Account number: 101 364 81203
Branch code 050416
EFT Code: 051001
SWIFT ADDRESS: SBZAZAJJ