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Say cheese: Perth delicatessen launches first-ever subscription boxes

An example of one of the subscription boxes.
An example of one of the subscription boxes.

After offering up 3,000 of their products through their online store, Provender Brown is now allowing customers to purchase their favourite cheeses in the form of a one-off or monthly subscription box.

One of Perth’s longest-standing independent retailers, Provender Brown Delicatessen first opened its doors in 2005, to offer up its full range of speciality food and drink from across Perthshire, Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Fast forward 15 years and owner Diane Brown decided in October 2020 to put all 3,000 of the deli’s items online.

Now, the business is to start its own cheese club and will offer subscription boxes, meaning anyone can enjoy the deli’s offerings from the comfort of their own home.

Boxes

After a friend passed on to Diane an idea he’d seen in another deli, she set about making it happen for her own.

Diane Brown.

Diane said: “The cheese box idea has been rumbling along in a very low-key way for quite a few years but we’ve never really tried to move it forward until now. It’s very typical of us that we tend to hide one’s light under a bushel a bit and do all sorts of things but don’t really tell anyone that we’re doing them.

“So it’s only really now that we’ve decided to try and spend a bit of time and effort and do it properly and tell the world that we’re doing it.

“Initially, it came about as a friend sent me a photograph of a notice he’d seen in another deli, saying that they had a monthly cheese club, but that was quite a while ago now, and we’ve just sort of trundled along with it since then.”

Online

With all of Diane’s stock now also available on the Provender Brown website, she realised that there was an appetite for subscription boxes as many began buying their favourite treats online.

Cheese from Provender Brown.

Diane added: “Everything’s just changed so much in the last year and we’re starting to do a lot more online. The whole subscription thing has just exploded, so it seems to be the sort of thing that people are looking for and seems like the right time to move it on to the next level.

“I’m keen to build up the subscription boxes quite slowly and organically. The cheese box subscriptions won’t be our core business – what I’m trying to do is just to let it roll out gradually and then gradually build it up that way – to let more people know that we’re doing it and to give ourselves time to iron out any issues and get it set up properly.”

Loyal following

Cheese has always been at the heart of Provender Brown and they’ve built up a loyal following of cheese lovers from across Perthshire and beyond. So, being able to offer up their popular products in this way is likely to delight customers – but what can they expect?

Inside the deli.

Diane continues: “Customers who sign up to the subscription boxes will get four kinds of cheese that are each 150g, a box of crackers and some accompaniment to complement the cheese, whether that’s a dark chutney or a fruit jelly of some sort.

“It all comes in a lovely branded Provender Brown box with an ice pack to keep everything chilled. We’re also developing cards to go in the boxes as well that will have information on each cheese.

“People can sign up for a one-time box or do any period they want, really. It doesn’t have to be monthly, they could have them every other month or every quarter. We’re very flexible about it all and we’re able to deliver across the UK.”

Priced from £25, the cheese subscription boxes can be purchased on the deli’s website here.


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