A Year of Wins for LunchFox
This time last year, it was ‘All Systems GO’ at LunchFox HQ! We were getting ready to launch in our first school: squeezing in a final few days’ worth of user testing, tweaking our menus, choosing eco-friendly delivery bags, crunching numbers …!
It’s been quite a year. So, as we approach this exciting anniversary, it seems apt that we stop, take note and reflect on an incredible first year of business.
As well as the small matter of launching our start up, April brought a whole heap of other excitement our way, too …
The LunchFox team were named as finalists in the Kingston Council New Small Business of the Year Awards. For us, this was the most amazing way to begin our start up journey. If nothing else, it validated our business idea! A group of experts had looked at LunchFox, judged it and deemed it to have great potential (which, for a start up Founder, is possibly the most reassuring thing anyone can do!) We even got to film a short interview about LunchFox, which I loved! The only downside? It was school holidays so, being the epitome of my own target demographic, I juggled work and life by dragging the kids along with iPads and snacks while I tried to keep my cool! If you listen hard enough, you can even hear my youngest calling “mummy” mid-way through the interview!
We didn’t win the award, but we were top three and felt so proud to be among such mighty local businesses.
Around the same time, I was finishing up a fantastic pre-accelerator course called Start Now. The participants were asked to pitch their business idea, with the best three pitches going through to the final. It was about this time that I caught COVID! It took over 15 takes to record my pitch without coughing! Maybe it was the slow and steady nature of my ‘please-don’t-cough-your-guts-up-pitch’, but I not only made it to the final three, but I ended up winning the entire pitch event (and a very welcomed prize package!)
June saw another exciting event for the LunchFox team. We used the money from the pitch win to secure a booth at The National Education Expo in Melbourne. As well as providing us with the opportunity to speak to industry experts and start developing a bit more brand awareness, it was a great bonding experience for the team. We came together over two days to speak passionately about our business. We even bought a crate of apples, fresh from Victoria Markets at 7am, and stuck LunchFox apple stickers on them! They looked so darn cute and were definite show stealers when people walked past our booth!
Another momentous month, as we launched in a brand-new state! Foxy was now up and running in two Australian states, VIC and NSW, with double the number of users and four times the number of cafes on board since Term Two. With the success starting to sink in, Team Fox went on a residential weekend away, with all our extended foxes in tow! We planned Version Two of the app, came up with future wish lists and captured photos that made us look so “Tech Start Up” it hurt!
With another school confirmed as coming on board in the new year, it had already been a pretty special year. But it was about to get even more exciting!
LunchFox was nominated for a prestigious business innovation award, identifying the most ambitious and forward thinking companies in Australia: The Pause Award for Excellence. We were in a category called I Wish I’d Done That, recognising a company’s “sheer brilliance” and celebrating their “simple and clever idea in a niche market”.
It was a black tie event, so babysitters were booked, dresses and ties were donned and we headed into the city. We didn’t want to get our hopes up and honestly assumed that we wouldn’t win. In fact, most of the LunchFox team stayed at home! However, when we arrived and realised the only wine being served was from Foxy’s Hangout, we felt a little twinge of fateful hope!
Now, I would love to be able to share the string of messages between us and the team, but quite frankly most of the words used would not be appropriate to share on a public platform. But what a night! What a way to end the year.
The present day!
With a new school from the ACT securing their cafes as we speak, it fills me with pride and enthusiasm to be starting the year with four schools across three states and nine potential cafes. We see a high percentage of returning customers: parents who rely on and trust the LunchFox service day after day, week after week.
With our strong commitment towards community and our innovative solution for making healthy school lunches easy and convenient, we see our most recent “pinch yourself” moment: a nomination for the Kingston Women of the Year Award.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind and overwhelming nature of running a start up, that you often forget to stop and remind yourself of all the amazing wins. One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was from Kristina Karlsson, founder of Kiki K, and was something to the effect of, ‘tell everyone and anyone about your business: apply for all the awards you can, because it builds such notoriety and helps to spread the message of who you are and what you are trying to do’. So, for any early stage founders reading this, steal this! Do this. It will lead to so many wins. I promise.
The LunchFox app is designed specifically for schools, enabling busy parents to order healthy lunchboxes, prepared by local cafes and delivered to your children at school.