Happy birthday to Cambridge Juice Company and an updated market tradition
Cambridge Juice Company, which runs a distribution service for snacks and drinks, including its own juice range, is celebrating its 20th birthday today (May 1).
Founded by Matt Gray in 2000, the service operates in a 50-mile radius around Cambridge and is run by Kelly Richardson.
“The business was started by my father-in-law, Matt Gray,” says Kelly. “He used to have a fruit and veg stall on the market, and as the market trade was slowing down a bit he was looking for something to develop and he couldn’t find any premium drinks.”
Matt’s family had at that point already been part of market’s lore for more than a century.
“Our family has been providing local produce to Cambridge and the local areas since the early 1900s when our great grandfather had a garden market stall on Cambridge market square,” says Kelly.
At first, Cambridge Juice Company built up its range and gradually added extra product lines.
“We have our own range of six juices but we are a wholesaler so we stock other drinks, snacks and smoothies,” says Kelly.
When the pandemic arrived, Kelly and the other three staff at the company shifted from being a wholesaler to selling to the public.
“We have over 200 products available, from juices, water, cordials, oat drink, cereals, crisps, flapjacks, olives and more, delivered direct to your door – a no-contact delivery to the public,” says Kelly. “Like many other businesses at the moment, we have turned our business from trade to public to help people stay at home and also keep our staff working, having lost 95 per cent of our usual trade overnight.
“We work hard to promote a local food economy and are passionate about low food miles and delivering products, not found in supermarkets, and using local where possible, and working with a number of local farmers to provide our local juices.
“We also distribute for other local farmers such as Glebe Farm, Huntingdon and Fairfields Farm in Colchester.”
Another supplier is Breckland Orchard, which makes sparkling soft drinks and is run by founder Claire Martinsen from her farm estate in Babraham.
“We love Breckland Orchard,” says Kelly.
“We’ve been with Claire since she started 10 years ago, and we’ve been distributing for her since the beginning – we’re the sole distributor for Cambridge.”
With prices that are incredible value – a case of 24 own-brand juices is £19.50 plus VAT – Cambridge Juice Company is rising to the challenge of troubled times and, like all good market folk, they know how to look after their customers, who can make a donation to Jimmy’s Cambridge or Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust as they place their order.
Many happy returns!
More by this authorMike Scialom