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FOODWeLove: the Woodstock deli mixing good food with social savvy

As a willing slave to technology, I couldn’t bear go without my smartphone for more than ten minutes. It’s the de facto centre of my world, and a device that I’d probably be well lost without. But on the list of bare human necessities, I’d probably say that food comes a close second.

When you combine these two things though — that is, technology and things to cram down your throat — some businesses begin to emerge.

Now, that’s not to say the little deli-cum-food delivery company FOODWeLove was unknown before, but if you’ve ever drove through Woodstock’s main street, you would’ve likely passed right by it.

What is FOODWeLove?

The deli/food-on-demand service, founded by foodies Christina Thomas and Stephanie Schwatlo in 2016, aims to combine healthy, organic and sustainably-sourced foodstuffs with some of the more recent tech niceties of the modern world.

Effectively, FOODWeLove operates on a you-pay-we-feed model. Offices can apply to have lunch delivered weekly. You can pick the lunch you want, and it will be delivered at the relevant time each day. Ultimately, the founders believe that feeding staff is beneficial to the smooth running of business activities, and the convenience of the service they offer adds to its appeal.

“FOODWelove is constantly creating a wide range of affordable meals that are not only delicious but also balanced, healthy and free from preservatives, artificial additives and refined sugar.

“We produce every meal fresh from scratch every morning, supported by our local suppliers,” Schwatlo tells Memeburn.

foodwelove founders

FOODWeLove’s founders, Christina Thomas (left) and Stephanie Schwatlo

Prior to 2016, FOODWeLove was a simple deli, only catering for patrons in-house. But the recent uptick from the likes of UberEATS and other delivery services has helped the five-staff company expand.

“[Independent transport companies] makes it easier for us as we can outsource the delivery part and now everyone can enjoy our healthy office lunches, even if you are only one person in the office or working from home,” Schwatlo explains.

“The industry is constantly changing and we are trying to use the new opportunities to make our clients experience with FOODwelove as convenient as possible.”

Through UberEATS the deli’s food is now available to all interested clients during the week.

Food and social media: sweet and salty

Beyond the mechanics of deliveries, Schwatlo also recognises the role the likes of social media has for businesses. Especially businesses in the congested food industry.

“Social media has changed the whole game. Everyone, everything is exposed,” she notes.

“[It] doesn’t matter which platform you open, there is always a food related post/picture/tweet. You get to know about new places that are opening in your neighbourhood. New service provider. New trends, you name it. It’s fast and changes every day.”

FOODwelove Office Lunch 3

She adds that the advantages of social media includes reaching a much wider but more concentrated audience, in addition to real-time interaction with patrons.

FOODWeLove: social media has changed the whole game

“You have an immediate interaction with your customer although you don’t have them in front of you sometimes. This gives us a great opportunity to show a big audience how important our customers are to us,” she adds.

“The world of social media is endless, getting inspiration for new recipes, I know Christina is a big fan of Pinterest, new products worldwide, discovering new food suppliers and so forth.”

And, let’s be honest, photogenic industries like cuisine are a match made in heaven for services like Instagram and Facebook.

Cape Town: the foodies’ paradise?

While they personally enjoy homemade pea soup or the odd mustard egg, the two founders believe that keeping things fresh (both literally and figuratively) is important. Especially in Cape Town.

“Cape Town’s food industry is very much up to date and even leading when it comes to new trends,” Thomas notes.

A post shared by FOODwelove (@foodwelovesa) on

“The cuisine here is influenced by so many cultures which contributes to food variety and constant improvement and change.”

This in turn inspires FOODWeLove to regularly switch cuisines and experiment with new flavours.

“As the influence of other cultures and cuisines is very big in Cape Town it makes people more open minded when it comes to trying out new food trends,” Schwatlo adds.

“We love Woodstock for its creativity and artistic vibe. It gets never boring and there is so much happening.”

FOODWeLove: expansion plans

We also asked Thomas and Schwatlo, who currently employ five women from Cape Town, about future plans for the business. It involves more food, and an app.

“We are seriously looking into an app,” Thomas reveals.

“We constantly work on making our service more convenient to our clients and ordering via an app is definitely the way to go in the future.”

Disclosure: Andy was sent a complimentary lunch box from FOODWeLove prior to the publishing of this article.

Author | Andy Walker: Editor

Andy Walker: Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone and game reviews over on Gearburn. More