Riverford Organic Franchise

Through 'Baptism Of Fire' Riverford Organicís Newest Franchisee Stays Cool as a Cucumber

3rd June 2011

33-year-old, dad-to-be, Jim Harbridge has stepped into a new life with Riverford Organic.

33-year-old, dad-to-be, Jim Harbridge has stepped into a new life with Riverford Organic.

Riverford Organic Vegetables FranchiseOne made up of vans, veg boxes and organic food. Just three weeks into his ‘fledgling’ business (a fully developed franchise bought from his predecessors), he has to complete no less than 13 delivery rounds in a week, learn the names of streets he never knew existed, and greet hundreds of people he’s never met before – his customers.

“It’s a big change from working in marketing and PR, and certainly hectic at the moment,” says Jim. “But it won’t always be like this. It’s just that all of my drivers decided to go on holiday at the same time…just when I started! The great thing is, I’m getting to know the rounds. And although that means working from dawn to dusk, I’m out and about and learning fast.”

Jim, who has never run his own business before, and who didn’t know anything about franchising either, considered buying the Riverford Organic Portsmouth territory when he heard that the previous franchisees were ready to sell.

“Paul and Sue had been running the business for seven years before I took over,” says Jim.For five of those years, my wife Anna and I were loyal customers, getting our weekly veg boxes delivered by them. We loved the quality and taste of the food, and we’d found Riverford to be a forward-thinking company – always introducing new products and services, including my favourite…the barbecue box with organic cider and burgers! “We’ve always loved Riverford’s products and excellent delivery service, but never dreamt we’d end up investing in the company. And when we found out that Paul and Sue were selling up and going travelling, we were presented with an opportunity that was too good to miss.”

Since negotiating a price for the franchise with Paul, Jim has been through a comprehensive training programme at Riverford’s head office in Devon to learn about running his organic food delivery business from the ground up. He also went out on the road with Paul to get to grips with the rounds and meet some of the customers.

“It’s been a year since we first talked to Riverford about our interest in the Portsmouth area,” adds Jim. “And now, here I am, three weeks in, bombing about, making hundreds of deliveries and waiting for my drivers to come back from their holidays. And when they do, I can start taking things to the next level. “It’s been a major transition from working in an office full-time, for somebody else, to being out and about on my own. But I’m excited about the future and enjoying the flexibility of being my own boss. Jim also feels that when things settle down, it will mean more quality time with his family.

“Anna and I have our first baby due in August,” he says.It’s been a lot for us to take on in relatively short period of time. For us, buying this business takes us one step closer to achieving the work-life balance we desire.

“Now, instead of being stuck in the same office all day, leaving home at 7am and getting back at 7pm – which is what my life used to be like – I’m able to drive around, meet different people, and nip home when I want without having to ask permission. It’s true that I’m working longer hours than ever at the moment, but things will improve once I settle into a steady flow. “One thing I can say is that I’m looking forward to running a family business, doing something I’m passionate about, and being a key figure in my local community.”

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Riverford Organic Franchise Case Studies

Tim and Jacqui Rix Run Their Riverford Organic Business in South Buckinghamshire
22nd May 2017
Tim and Jacqui Rix bought their Riverford Organic franchise in South Buckinghamshire in 2011 and havenít looked back.

A successful relocation for Matthew & Sabrina Carter
25th October 2016
Matthew & Sabrina Carter purchased the Hereford & Worcester Riverford Home Delivery franchise in September 2015.

Jim & Anna Harbridge run their Riverford Organic franchise in Portsmouth
24th June 2016
Jim Harbridge talks about why he and his wife Anna chose a Riverford franchise and what his daily life as a Riverford franchisee entails.

Gareth and Gill Rossiter are Flying High with Riverford
22nd July 2015
Gareth and Gill Rossiter talk about their trajectory from a world of jets and planes to running their own Riverford Organic veg box...

David & Josie Yems run their Riverford Organic business in Royal Tunbridge Wells
23rd April 2015
David & Josie Yems talks to us about why they started their Riverford Organic business and the day to day running of the business.

A year on with Iain and Liz Pocklington
5th March 2015
Iain and Liz Pocklington own a Riverford Home delivery business covering Darlington & the Dales.

How does your franchise grow? - Steve and Lynn Allen, A Riverford Organic Case Study
29th October 2012
Riverford Organic customers Steve and Lynn Allen decided the time had come for change and started their own Riverford Organic business

Mush-room for Improvement
11th January 2012
An Interview with Riverford Organic Franchisee, Hayley Dwyer

Riverford Organic Franchise

Further Information

Franchise Information

BFA Membership Status
UK Years Established
30 years
Current UK Coverage
Franchisee Support Staff
Personal Investment Req.
Total Startup Cost
Home-based business location Home-based business location
Business to consumer services Business to consumer services
Franchisee operates individually Franchisee operates individually

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