Explore Reliance ‘Meet the Locals’ Blog Series celebrating local heroes and fostering pride in our communities. Learn about Fruit2Work’s empowering journey from inception to a multi-award-winning for-purpose business. Join us in making a positive change.
Empowering Change: The Fruit2Work (F2W) Story
Fruit2Work (F2W) was established in 2016 after a psychologist grew tired of the revolving door of reoffending inmates, whilst involved in the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and during his time working at Barwon Prison in Victoria. Together, with his fellow FYA participant, they designed a social enterprise to help reintroduce returning citizens to the workforce.
Fruit2Work creates opportunities for those impacted by the justice system, providing meaningful, transitional employment opportunities, to allow them to reintegrate with society.
F2W does this by providing a Business to Business (B2B) service, delivering fruit, milk, and pantry items to the workplace. F2W also runs a complementary vending business, which services organisations that require 24/7 availability for their teams.
In 2017, Fruit2Work joined Whitelion, a charity that supports highly disadvantaged young people. In 2019, Whitelion’s Enterprise Manager, Rob Brown, had the opportunity to purchase the impressive Fruit2Work concept from their portfolio, becoming F2W’s Chief Chance Creator and CEO, setting it up as an independent certified Not for Profit organisation, which now has reached charity status and has grown into multi-award-winning business it is today.
Strategic Location Choices: The Heart of Fruit2Work’s Operations
Fruit2Work’s flagship warehouse is located in Laverton North. This location was selected based on its size, chilled storage capability, accessibility to suppliers, and proximity to the CDB, Greater and Western Regions of Melbourne, and Geelong. Housing the warehouse and offices under one roof has allowed for open and instant communication, one of the company’s core values and key to their culture. Having a dedicated support system on site, and a safe and secure team environment, ensures staff can have fun while getting the job done.
As F2W continues to grow, the team are excited to be opening a new warehouse in Hallam, on 1st December 2023. This location will allow them to further expand their services throughout the Southeastern suburbs of Melbourne and Gippsland region.
Celebrating Success: Fruit2Work’s Awards and Impact
In 2020 F2W was recognised as the Social Enterprise of the year by their peers, and customers. This year, Fruit2Work was recognised at the Wyndham Business Awards for their outstanding contribution to the community.
This year F2W took home the Business of the Year 2023 and Not for Profit/Social Enterprise 2023 awards for the second year, with pride, proving that purpose and profit can coexist.
F2W were recently nominated by WISE, with whom they have a strong and ongoing partnership, for Champion Employer of the Year at the 2023 NESA (National Employment Services Association) Awards for Excellence. Winning this prestigious honour is a tribute to their commitment to supporting disadvantaged job seekers to find sustainable employment.
Empowering Through Employment: Fruit2Work’s Community Impact
Teams truly enjoy what they do, as they connect to their customers and deliver their favourite healthy fruit, pantry items and milk directly to their workplace. They believe in spreading positivity and leading by example.
To date, Fruit2Work has created 130 opportunities for returning citizens to get back on their feet, gain employment, reconnect with family and contribute back to society in a meaningful way. That is a cost avoidance for the community of over $29,400,000 and counting. In the 7 years of its existence, Fruit2Work’s unique approach to transitional and meaningful employment has produced results amongst the best in the world. Their unprecedented record stands at zero recidivism, against a Victorian state record of almost one in two people returning to the system within two years.
Fruit2Work has been granted charity status (DGR1), in recognition of the support they provide to vulnerable and disadvantaged people, and their unique approach to reducing recidivism in society. Fruit2Work can now accept (and supply tax deductible receipts for) charitable grants, philanthropic funds, and donations, to further their social purposes.
Click here to donate: https://fruit2work.com.au/donate/
Fruit2Work’s Expansion Journey: New Horizons and Exciting Plan
Fruit2work is opening a new site in Hallam, 1st Dec 2023. This site will service the Southeastern region of Melbourne through to Gippsland. Having created a dynamic and successful branch in Laverton North, they have seen the potential to expand not only here in Victoria but also interstate. Queensland and New South Wales sites are on the horizon, with additional locations being scouted.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Finding Your ‘Why’ and Building Your Support Network
A Fruit2Work representative states: “The best advice we can give is to understand your ‘Why.’ Why do you want to create your own business? Why will your business get you out of bed each day and drive you to create change in your chosen field.”
“Secondly, surround yourself with people who understand your ‘Why.’ This doesn’t necessarily mean employing the most skilled person for the role. Surrounding yourself with people who support and believe in your ‘Why’ are the ones that will show up every day and embrace your ethos to succeed.”
Building Strong Connections and Promoting Communities Where We Live and Work
Our connections run deep within our company culture; we are active and passionate about celebrating and promoting the communities where we live and work. Reliance ‘Meet the Locals’ series, celebrates the unique qualities of our community, a showcase of local business heroes where we foster a sense of pride and inspire with a shine of spotlight.
Follow Their Journey
Follow Fruit2Work’s journey online and don’t forget to place your order today.
@fruit2work on Instagram
Find Fruit2Work at: 100-104 Pipe Rd, Laverton North VIC 3026
Read and share other Meet the Locals blog series here.