Foodtogether, a New Zealand-based social enterprise, collaborates with various organisations, including NGOs, churches, community groups and schools.
Their mission is to bring communities together through affordable, accessible fresh food while creating jobs, empowering local collectives and making healthy food more accessible for everyone.
We interviewed Sophie Bond, their communications manager, who shared their remarkable journey.
Tell us about your business
“Foodtogether Aotearoa is a social enterprise dedicated to connecting communities with high-quality, fresh kai. What started out as an individual fruit and vegetable co-op in Christchurch and has grown to become a small team that empowers other groups to operate their own Foodtogether Co-Ops and Pop-Ups,” explained Sophie.
Foodtogether Aotearoa provides easy market access, logistics, website presence, training and ongoing support to help all kinds of groups in their quest to increase food security within their communities.
What was your experience looking for EFTPOS for your business like?
Sophie mentioned, “This year we launched Foodtogether Pop-Ups, which differs from the traditional Food Co-Operative model. A Pop-Up allows customers to shop from a small range of fresh fruit and vegetables, in-person. They can bring their own bag and fill it up for just $15,” said Sophie.
While online orders had previously been the norm for their co-ops, the need arose to provide pop-up customers with the option to pay by EFTPOS on-site. Foodtogether required compact, rechargeable and user-friendly EFTPOS terminals to accommodate their widely dispersed network of hubs across New Zealand, streamlining payment processing and sales tracking.
Presently, they have 18 Pop-Ups, each equipped with their own Smartpay EFTPOS terminal. Some of these Pop-Ups process up to 250 payments within a brief 2-hour timeframe.
“Most people spend under $30, and EFTPOS, especially paywave, is their preferred payment option. We love how easy Smartpay makes it for our customers to shop our pop-ups,” said a delighted Sophie.
Among the options you considered, what prompted you to choose Smartpay?
“We were really excited about the first-year free rental offer – it meant a whole year of saving money right from the start, which is a big deal for any business, especially ours,” Sophie explained.
She added, “Libby from the sales team was awesome; she quickly gave us the info we needed and made the whole process super easy with a friendly attitude.”
How easy was it for you to get set up with EFTPOS from Smartpay?
“The setup process with Smartpay has been exceptionally straightforward. We didn’t have much knowledge of EFTPOS initially, but Smartpay’s guidance and ongoing support made the whole process easy for us. The responsive and friendly sales representative has been so helpful and accommodating. We appreciate the ongoing support as we find our feet with this new business model,” said Sophie with a smile.
What features did you find most useful in the EFTPOS solution we provide?
“We love that the Smartpay machines have a SIM card and can work anywhere! That’s a really important feature for an operation like ours,” exclaimed Sophie. This feature is vital, as many of their Pop-Ups operate outdoors on trestle tables without access to power outlets.
These machines are designed to be user-friendly, with their volunteers quickly grasping their functionality. The ability to accept WINZ cards, along with the ease of use for both staff and volunteers, has streamlined their operations. Additionally, the charging cradle is a convenient feature for both charging and extending battery life.
What are you most pleased with in regard to your Smartpay solution?
“Smartpay is very reliable. A few times, we have found ourselves needing a new EFTPOS machine for a new site at short notice, and Smartpay comes through every time. We find the whole process very reliable, convenient and efficient,” explained Sophie.
With a seamless process, prompt service and quick dispatch, Smartpay has been able to support the growing needs of Foodtogether Pop-Ups ensuring they’re equipped with EFTPOS machines that can be quickly logged on and ready to take payments at newer sites in a matter of days.
What would your advice be to other businesses looking to accept payments for their business?
“With a whole year of free EFTPOS rental, we felt that we could afford to give it a try, and we’re glad we did. The Smartpay machines are so easy to use that even our less tech-savvy volunteers can take payments. The ongoing support is really valuable too. We say, go for it!” advised Sophie.
This wholehearted recommendation brightens our day!
A partnership with purpose
Smartpay takes immense pride in partnering with businesses like Foodtogether, enabling them to operate seamlessly and facilitate smooth payment transactions. Our commitment to providing reliable EFTPOS solutions, exceptional 24/7 customer support and significant savings is reinforced by our collaboration with remarkable enterprises dedicated to fostering positive community impact.
Foodtogether’s mission to enhance food accessibility and affordability aligns perfectly with our values, and we are honored to support them in their journey to create better, more nourished communities .
You can follow their Facebook and Instagram pages to keep updated with new events, products and locations. Their website is regularly updated with new details and is open to pre-orders that can be collected from pop-up locations.
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