The Fruit (and Veg) of Hard Work: Paul “Nudie” Hughes on Nudiefoods
Orange you glad Nudiefoods is at your office’s door? Not just with actual oranges, but with plenty of other fresh fruit and veggies to ensure you and your team get your 5 a day while surviving your 9 to 5. Now, joke aside, Paul “Nudie” Hughes and his brothers Brian and Andrew work really hard and have been able to successfully innovate with their cheerful looking van filled with healthy produce which they distribute across over the offices of over 100 companies every week.
They created Nudiefoods back in 2014, “with an aim to offer a convenient way of delivering fresh fruit and vegetables to the people of Dublin”, Paul explains. After leaving college and working for a couple in Dublin’s Fruit & Veg Market with Keeling’s Fruit, Paul and his brothers set up Nudiefoods as a home and office delivery service. In the beginning, they turned to friends and family to get their first few customers.
They started delivering to 15 homes and worked to get the word out that they wanted to take on a few corporate clients. “Before long we had a corporate delivery run together. Now we focus solely on the corporate sector.”
All of our produce comes from the Dublin Corporation Market in Dublin City Centre. We travel in every day and handpick the freshest, tastiest and juiciest fruit.”
They work with a variety of suppliers who assist them in making sure to get the best in-season produce. Paul points out that they have “a preference to buy Irish produce but quality always comes first.”
A Winning Team
The team behind Nudiefoods is small but very energetic. It “currently consists of Paul ‘Nudie’, Frank, Grainne, Aoife and John”, says Paul. His bothers Brian and Andrew are back in college “but they’re always dragged in for an extra hand every now and then.”
Our team is the most important reason for the success of the company. All the guys work hard to maintain a high level of produce and service. We have a lot of fun too.
Paul points out that they have very little waste and remove most packaging from their produce to recycle it. Working with standing orders allows them to be very efficient so they only purchase what’s needed to fill their orders, successfully avoiding having produce perishing in the warehouse.
For the small surplus they might have, Paul proudly points out that they have partnered up with Foodcloud, “an amazing organisation that connects companies with surplus food to local charities.”
Each week we donate all of our surplus food to a local homeless charity so it is not wasted. We also support many other charities and organisations throughout the year through donations and sponsorship. This is very important to us.
Why to draw the line at fruit and veg?
“This is where our expertise is. It is what we are best at. We wanted to focus on one thing and do it right. Now that we have a regular customer base we are looking to introduce a few new complimentary products in 2017 such as milk and other healthy snacks for the office.”
Do you think the “snack culture” in most offices is healthy?
“Every workplace is different depending on who is employed there but usually if there is a health-conscious manager you will see a much healthier culture within the office. It is very important for companies to encourage healthy living in and out of work.”
Paul points out that when trying to eat healthy while at work, “one of the easiest ways to fall off the wagon is by not having the right food nearby, making it more convenient to reach out for the wrong choice.” As an example of a company that promotes a healthy workplace, Paul mentions Fenero Contractor Solutions, an 11 people team specialising in tax solutions, whose approach has been featured as a case study by the Nutrition and Health Foundation.
How can companies get in touch?
“We are normally contacted by the management or HR department of a company, but we also have customers who decide among a group of staff or department to get fruit delivered themselves.”
Nudiefoods cater for orders as small as 5 people to companies with over 5,000 employees. Each customer has different requirements so they’re happy to customise each order. While the fruit arrives ready to eat upon delivery, Paul advises to wash them first. “We can alter the fruit depending on how often we are delivering too: if a customer is getting a daily delivery we need to make sure we’re not delivering green bananas and if a customer is ordering weekly they want to make sure most of the order lasts until Friday.”
Plans for the new year are clear and simple: “to continue to improve the service and expand the company by taking on new customers and introducing new products.”
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.