The past six weeks have been a whirlwind, and our hearts are so full of gratitude for this community. You’ve supported us so enthusiastically in our journey of helping small businesses. Now we are excited to share with you the stories that you are supporting, Guelph, and to remind you that this is so much more than a box.
On March 15, I was flying home from Paris unexpectedly and Josh was driving home from school in Ottawa. I had no idea what the next part of my life had in store for me as I had planned to be in France then Amsterdam then Malawi… not Guelph. Josh was coming home to online university classes and uncertainty of what was to come beyond that. The Guelph Box story officially started later that week, but it really started years ago.
We both grew up walking to the Guelph Farmers’ Market, getting Polestar bread dropped on our front porch and waiting in line to get cinnamon buns on a Saturday morning from With the Grain. That’s where the Guelph Box story began. It was here we began to learn the importance of supporting local.
Fast forward 18ish years, and I’m sitting in the Montreal airport waiting for my connecting flight to Toronto when Josh messages me to “help him build a website to help get elderly people groceries during this pandemic.”. With nothing better to do on my layover, we started brainstorming ideas of ways we could help in these uncertain times. Once I was home and no longer jet lagged, we decided to get serious about an idea and it quickly evolved from a grocery service for those who couldn’t leave their house to a box of products carefully selected from struggling local vendors. Less than 36 hours later, we launched Guelph Box.
To be honest, I thought we would sell 10 boxes (Josh thought 50, so he was a little closer). That first weekend of selling was so fun -- we would squeal any time someone bought a box and were overwhelmed by the offers of help we received from various people in our community. I was still in my two weeks of quarantine after travelling, so our plan was for Josh to assemble and deliver the boxes all by himself.. Except that we sold over 80. Thankfully, we had people step up to help pack and deliver, and the support hasn’t ceased since!
Seeing Guelph come together and support local small businesses and charities has been so incredible to witness. We could not be doing what we are without the support of every single person who purchases a box, volunteers their time or tells their friends about us. The ripple effects of Guelph Box have been far too numerous to count, but we look forward to sharing with you some of the moments that make us exclaim “We LOVE Guelph!” Because trust me, there are lots!