Interview with Loraine White of Allotinabox

By / Jun 30th, 2014 / , , , , / No comments

The simple pleasures in life are often the best! 

And what could be simpler and more fulfilling than growing your own grub, plucking it from the vine and cooking it up? This is the idea behind pro gardening allotment advocator Allotinabox. Selling beautiful Grow-Your-Own boxes, this is a company that puts you on the path to having your own allotment in your backyard. 

As well as a wonderfully literal name, Allotinabox is also the perfect marriage between design and gardening. Its packaging and branding is fun, design-aware and has a beautiful simplicity to it, just like the simple but ethical premise behind its products. 

We can’t get enough of this green-thumbed spectacular and we stock Allotinabox‘s Urban Rooftop Box on our site HERE. If you’ve always wished for a garden, but don’t have a green space to call your own, then this little beaut could change that. Ideal for Urbanites, this magical little ‘allotment in a box’ can turn your rooftop, balcony, window box, pot, or maybe even just an empty milk carton you have lying around, into a (yummy) green sanctuary. 

With the aim of getting people growing, these gorgeous  lil boxes, which are jam-packed with seeds, are perfect for growing your own nosh, no matter how much space you have available. Whether you’re a seasoned pro with many a veg under your belt, or you’re a first time grower, these little packs are the perfect way to spice up your life with some homegrown 5 a day. Some of these pretty sets even contain a ‘grow wheel’ to help you get to grips with your greens. 

We spoke to Allotinabox co-founder Loraine White about seeing the glass of tomato juice as half full, as well as ‘allot’ of other stuff: 

How did you come up with the idea for Allotinabox?

Allotinabox was created on the back of a paper napkin in Covent Garden Market early one morning. My partner Gavin and I have backgrounds in food (Gavin was a Michelin star chef for 10 years) and I had my own Garden design business so the idea of food / provenance and the desire to create something beautiful simple but practical resulted in Allotinabox.

What’s in a typical box?

We have tried to balance each box so that there is always 5 different packets of heritage seeds, plant tags so that you can mark up your seedlings, growing information either in the form of our famous grow wheel or small publication of growing tips, we also have produced our own hand made soap, there is a Dibblet and jute twine; so different augmented products to help make growing an enjoyable thing to do, even in the heart of the city.

Were you always sure that sustainability should be an integral part of the brand?

Sustainability is the forefront of our ethos at Allotinabox, everything we do is based on this. We feel it is so important in this day and age and if we can help and encourage a small percentage of people to think about this then that makes us happy.

How did starting during a recession affect launching your business?

The only major effect was that it made us more determined to make it a success as there wasn’t any funding or help in the way of money from any of the major banks available. I think you have to be 110% committed to what you are wanting to achieve and be willing to make sacrifices along the way….but I’m a great believer in the saying that hard work pays off in the end!

What’s your favourite seed?

The Broad Bean has to be my favourite, I think it’s because you can actually relate to it being a bean if you see what I mean…and once harvested they taste great in a natural pasta recipe.

How do products differ by season?

The seeds that we supply have been carefully chosen to reflect the seasons, therefore encouraging people to grow harvest and eat in line with the rhythm of nature.

Where is your Shedquarters?

Shedquarters started out literally at the bottom of our garden, but we soon out grew it (sorry for the pun) so were lucky enough to re-locate to a new development of eco offices in a converted farm building near to Chichester. We are at the foot of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, so very apt for our line of work; surrounded by fields, countryside and nature which is very inspiring but a little challenging in the winter months!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I’m definitely a ‘the glass is half full’ type of person and always try to have a positive attitude and outlook. I love life in general and admire people who work hard to achieve their goals. Alongside gardening and horticulture I really enjoy architecture, interior design, and my passion is ‘colour’. Creating and bringing to life Allotinabox from scratch with my partner Gavin has been one of my proudest achievements to date.

You can buy Allotinabox products on our website HERE and find out more about Allotinabox on its site

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