It’s hard to believe that WellBox has existed for less than a year. We’ve had quite a journey in the last few months.
Several clients have asked how WellBox began, so we thought we’d share our story with you. Like a lot of businesses in the last year, we’ve had to make some big changes to ensure our survival in the Covid era.
In March 2021, we’re all marking 1 year since lockdown began in the UK. For our team here, it marked the day that we, along with many others, went home not knowing when we’d return to our workplace.
South started in 2006, as a corporate catering platform servicing Greater Manchester and Cheshire. We outlived many similar companies primarily through building a great team, and having the ability to harness technology to make us efficient and provide a great customer experience.
In the run-up to the first lockdown, demand for our services plummeted as office workers were told to work from home and events were cancelled. By the 23rd March 2020, demand had disappeared. We had to pivot quickly to survive.
While many workers were enjoying the flexibility of virtual working, it felt short-lived. Once people got past the novelty of wearing leggings on Zoom calls and watching Tiger King on their lunch break, many would experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression, and anxiety without the usual perks and team activities from a pre-pandemic era.
In mid 2020 we launched WellBox, initially selling just healthy snacks to employers who had employees working from home.
At the core of our mission was finding a way to do good while helping our clients and creating a sustainable and profitable company.
We’d seen many of the outreach charities who we had previously worked with severely affected by the pandemic on all fronts. Donations had ceased, their capacity was being halved due to social distancing and now companies were no longer holding their usually fundraising events.
The service resonated well with large employers who had yet to find a way to tackle the problem of morale, mental wellbeing, and motivation for staff being forced to work from home.
Each box we sold resulted in 1 meal being donated to a local homeless shelter (we lated added the option of a donation to mental health charity MIND too). While companies were helping their staff, they were also doing good in their local community.
In November 2020, our service went from an MVP to full offering as we expanded into food, drink, and wellbeing-based gifts for virtual events and work-from-home staff.
The demand we’ve had for WellBoxes have surpassed any of our expectations. We’re currently on track to be one of the UK’s largest suppliers of corporate gifts, and we’ve donated thousands of meals to those who need them the most. We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received and continue to receive in 2021.
We’re always working on new gifts to add to or refresh our range.
Watch this space for new wellbeing gifts being added soon.
South will continue to provide corporate hospitality for those customers who have started to return to their workplace. We’re happy to speak to customers we haven’t spoken to in over a year and hopefully as restrictions are lifted, we’ll start to hear from more & more of you.