A Hawke's Bay food box delivery that promises 100 per cent of its produce is from the region's growers and farmers has doubled its orders since lockdown began.
On Your Plate, a subscription-based food delivery business specialising in exclusively Hawke's Bay-based produce, is now delivering 120 boxes a week.
Kate Lester, who founded the business back in September 2016 alongside Napier-born local butcher Paul Greaney, said orders have skyrocketed.
"It has been busy; really busy," she said. "As soon as the lockdown was announced, people didn't want to leave their homes so customer numbers shot up – probably doubled.
"We've gone up to about 120 boxes delivered each week, with the first week of lockdown almost reaching 180."
Kate added: "It was a shock to the system, but a good one."
The Maraekakaho-based entrepreneur said the increase in numbers was a mixture of new and returning customers, as well as those who made the move from other food delivery services.
"A lot of customers that used to be with us came back again, while others swapped from Hello Fresh and My Food Bag, which is good," she said. "They probably were wanting to go local."
On Your Plate changed their methods of delivery, with drivers tooting their horn to signal when the parcel had been delivered.
No boxes or ice packs are collected either, to eliminate the chances of cross-contamination.
Kate said while she has ended up working more hours than usual during lockdown, the negative implications of the business have been limited.
"There was uncertainly in the beginning about what we could get, but that has all come right," she said. "For example, canned tomatoes were hard to come by at the start.
"And with deliveries, we are pretty contactless anyway – it was more changing to beeping and leaving the boxes, instead of having a long chat to our customers like our delivery drivers used to."
Kate added: "It has simply been a different way of working."
Kate and Greaney, the former owner of The Village Butcher in Havelock North, promise 100 per cent Hawke's Bay produce from local growers and farmers.
Mike Lester, Kate's father, said he is proud of what his daughter has achieved so far.
"They use nothing but Hawke's Bay produce – be it meat or vegetables or pasta and all the rest of it," he said. "They always have and always will.
"I had 15 years on council, so I know what it means to be looking out for our local people."
On Your Plate offer a Classic Box, Family Box, Express Box and a Weekend Meat Box, with a range of locally sourced products and locally inspired recipes.
Kate said many people have suffered during the pandemic, and a giveaway of two boxes to families in need was the least they could do.
"A lot of our suppliers normally supply restaurants, so that avenue of income has disappeared," she said.
"This has been a bad time for a lot of people, and this was just a way of giving back."
Kate added: "There's been boxes that we've given away to others who we know have been struggling that haven't been part of a promotion, too. And I've dropped off leftover vegetables to people in my area in Maraekakaho."