Meet the Stockists: The Float

When lockdown hit in 2020, Liv and Molly, the sister partnership behind the sustainable catering company Planted, had to adapt in order to stay afloat. They responded to the surge in demand for high quality, locally-sourced and environmentally sustainable produce by delivering homemade meals, baked goods, veg boxes and other essentials across London and the idea of The Float was born. The Float is a beautifully restored, zero-emissions milk float repurposed as a mobile shop.

The Float delivers a range of refillable dried produce, cupboard essentials and baked goods around South East London, all sourced from local independent small businesses and suppliers who share their values. We are delighted that The Float have chosen to stock Husk & Honey granola, so we decided to catch up with Liv and Molly to find out more about their experience of starting the Float, and what the future holds…

At what point did you decide to pivot from Planted to The Float, and how did you feel about this big change?
Being predominantly wedding and crew catering, Planted was hit hard by the initial lockdown. We are lucky enough to have gained a loyal and supportive following over the past 5 years who really got behind us with our ‘cook at home’ offerings. However, towards the end of summer 2020 it was clear that we needed a more permanent solution that could sustain us through the uncertainty of future restrictions surrounding events and celebrations. We always loved the idea of a mobile unit so after a lot of thought and planning – The Float was born!

How did Planted prepare you for The Float, and what was the biggest learning curve when making the transition?
With Planted, we had already done a lot to connect with suppliers who matched our values, so having this part taken care of was a big time saver. The logistics of planning delivery routes, however has been a huge learning curve, and we’ve lost count of the amount of times we have tweaked our booking system to make things more efficient! At last we think we’ve finally cracked it!

How did you go about selecting which products to stock?
As we’ve been in the industry for a little while now, we were able to get some great recommendations from peers and friends for brilliant local, independent and small businesses offering delicious produce. It was a real treat to be on the other end of sampling the products before we became the ones delivering them!

Husk & Honey was recommended to us by a good friend of ours, Michael Thompson (@teatimetee), who in our opinion is one of London’s most exciting young chefs – he has big things ahead of him.

What is your favourite Husk & Honey product and how do you like to eat your granola?
We love (and stock) Husk & Honey’s Apricot, Date & Millet granola; the texture and taste is like no other! We also love the fact that this particular blend is vegan, making it an even more inclusive product! We eat ours simply with a very big dollop of coconut yoghurt and seasonal fresh fruit.

Finish this sentence: If you like Husk & Honey, we think you will also love…
...City Bees London honey. This is one of The Float’s best sellers, produced from a few hives in Lettsom allotments by the wonderful Giovanni. The flavour is out of this world. When he isn’t beekeeping Giovanni also spends his time at the allotment sharing his green fingered knowledge with asylum seekers, who are learning to grow food which can be used at the local support centre in Peckham. What a guy!

What does the future hold for The Float, and also Planted?
We are working towards establishing a regular monthly timetable to bring The Float to the people of South East London, and fingers crossed, in the future, there will be a fleet capable of having an even greater impact. Planted is jam packed with weddings this summer and we only hope to see that continue! We love being a part of the special day and we think these occasions will feel all the more special after the year we have just had.

How have you seen COVID change consumer habits around food?
Conscious consumption and sustainability-led shopping has definitely become more widespread over the past year. When the pandemic hit, the fragility of supermarket giants’ supply chains were exposed almost immediately. People realised that it is not only more reliable to shop small, but that they love seeing their money go directly back into the local community and the impact that this makes.

We’ve also noticed a big shift in awareness around seasonality, with people finally realising we can’t expect to eat strawberries with our granola all year round! Now that people are discovering the variety of delicious produce available on our doorsteps, consumer habits are definitely changing for the better.

What do you wish you could have told yourself this time last year?
Call your nan and breathe; you’ll have a milk float called Fillis next year who will be bringing joy to communities all over South East London (Or to have had the idea back then would have been ideal!)!

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Written by Emma Louise Pudge | @emmahitsthespot