Digital Solutions Success Story: Precycle Pantry

September 7, 2023

Caro Felton has always wanted to do her part for the planet.

The Yarraville local loved the experience of visiting wholefood stores and shopping plastic-free, but realised she wasn’t making the most sustainable choices for her home and pantry essentials if it involved having to visit an extra location. So, when COVID-19 forced the world to a grinding halt and supermarket visits became even harder - Caro decided to remove the barrier to sustainable choices.

Enter: Precycle Pantry, Melbourne’s first zero-waste grocery shop on wheels.

Groceries with conscious

“Precycle Pantry was born during the pandemic in August 2021 to help people stock up their household essentials minus the single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging,” Caro explains.

“We offer refillable household essentials like wholefoods, snacks, home-cleaning and personal care products.”

If you’re impressed by the ‘what’, wait until you hear the ‘how’. “Precycle Pantry’s value proposition is our hero ‘Pablo the Refill Van’ that goes to people’s homes so they can shop from the comfort of their doorstep,” Caro continues.

“Pablo the Van is stocked up as a mobile shop and has all the products you need. To shop with us, you can either shop online or book Pablo the Van to visit your home or community and remove the effort of having to visit an extra shop to get your plastic-free home essentials.”

Supporting Caro's digital journey

Digital marketing has been an important priority for Precycle Pantry throughout the whole journey.

“[We’ve] had an online presence since the moment we started operating as I come from the tech industry for most of my professional career and I know how important ecommerce is,” Caro explains.

“I also want to reach as many people as possible so we can help them shop with less waste. I want to be able to offer as many options as possible to shop with us, which in our case are: booking Pablo our Refill Van, make an online order or find us at events or markets.”

Caro’s digital strategy is ever-evolving, as they continue to adapt and listen to what their customers are saying. Though Caro loves running her own business - for the ‘freedom… and the feeling of building something you truly believe in that is your own’, she acknowledges its challenges.

“It can be overwhelming, especially if you are running it on your own as you are the one doing all sides of the business and sometimes you need to ask for help,” she says.

“I joined the Digital Solutions Program to get an experienced mentor who could share their knowledge and advice to help me grow Precycle Pantry and help me find the best areas to put my energy into.”

Fortunately, the program delivered.

“I had an amazing mentor who is not only experienced in running her own business but also very passionate about sustainability. She has pointed me in the right direction when I was a bit overwhelmed.”

In addition to the mentoring, Caro says the video workshops were extremely beneficial for helping to improve Precycle Pantry’s strategy. She has also set up a pitch deck to help with competition entry, gain funding and new business.

“I would definitely recommend the Digital Solutions Program to anyone looking to grow their business.”

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