The word ‘mouthwatering’ is an understatement for Fresh.ooo’s pickles!
Belonging to a family with roots in business for over 6 decades, Joboy Lawrence is no stranger to the field. His father P P Lawrence is the founder of the Changanacherry Industrial Estate set up in 1967 in Kerala. It transformed the village into a prominent industrial hub with 60+ functioning factories. His father was also the owner of the first factory set up there- Ashok Rubber Works, which Joboy now runs. Though they faced a few road bumps in the initial years, his strong belief and goal to serve the people of Kerala led him to continue the operations in his home village to this very day- with varied products and portfolios.
Joboy has worked with several other establishments across India, the Middle East and the Far East in MNCs, garnering years of experience and building his network. He has worked as an international negotiator too. He moved to India permanently after the death of his father in 2006 and took over the family business. In 2012, he was felicitated with the Indian Chamber of Commerce Award in the agricultural category and also went on to become the first exporter of branded Indian Natural Rubber from India. His own brand, Ashok India Super Power Cement, was then launched supplying to various African Countries.
Joboy is an extremely passionate cook- he loves stepping into the kitchen and creating his own special medley of flavours and it was out of this passion that Fresh.ooo was born. He shares this passion with a close childhood friend, Siby Joseph who went onto become his partner, and they decided to carve out a niche for themselves in the premium homemade pickles market.
They believe in a simple concept for the Fresh.ooo pickles- no use of frozen items! There are some rare circumstances where this may not be the case but 99% of the time, freezing is a process that does not exist on their agenda. Fresh white tuna, fresh or dried anchovy and prawns, buffalo meats, chicken breasts are sourced at a higher rate than the market price to ensure supreme quality and taste. As per availability and on-demand, speciality mutton, mussels, squid, baby octopus or mixed seafood pickles are also available.
Everything is made in-house including the vinegar, spice powders and pastes used in the pickles from high-quality ingredients. No artificial colours, MSGs or harsh preservatives are added to the products to produce delicious food! The pickles use only Class II preservatives which are approved by the UK and American Health Board. If one places a spoonful of store-bought pickle on their tongue, the first taste you feel is salt, followed closely by vinegar; but that isn’t the case for Fresh.ooo pickles as they use Himalayan Pink Salt or Black Salt along with normal iodised salts to reduce the saltiness and to increase the health factor.
The Fresh.ooo pickles’ secret preparation lends an undeniable richness to the very last drop. This trade secret is used especially in non-veg pickles- if scooped out of the bottle onto a plate, it appears to have a thick curry appearance.
All of the processes in the packaging of the pickles are manual. However, they ensure that the measurement of meat and its proportion to the gravy in the pickles is consistent by weighing it out- such is the eagle-eye precision with which Fresh.ooo works.
One of Fresh.ooo’s fastest-moving vegetarian pickles is a unique blend of nature’s taste – made of garlic, honey and bird’s eye chilli. A close second is their special dates pickle made of dates, raisins and a specially roasted chilli blend.
They are the only pickle manufacturers who engage in experiential marketing by providing samples during food fests and exhibitions. Fresh.ooo’s success is a testament to the unique marketing system adopted by them to showcase their credibility.
Fresh.ooo’s portfolio is not restricted to pickles, though. Fresh.ooo’s special spicy vinegar is the perfect garnish or seasoning to all foods and is an amazing accompaniment to raw vegetable salads too! They also deal in honey products including multi-pollen honey which is sourced from trusted villagers who stay near the forest. Dry fruits and nuts are part of Fresh.ooo’s offerings too. They also sell products which are age-old home remedies to several ailments such as a blend of pepper, curcumin, lime & ginger.
The 2018 flood direly affected the factory and on restart, the goal of the company was diverted to the poor working-class women living close to the factory. Both Joboy and Siby took it upon themselves to train and hire the women to empower and protect them after the devastating floods had left them unemployed. In a world where even the biggest of companies have been consistently reluctant to provide work from home to its employees, this small enterprise has understood and acknowledged the daily hardships of the common people and let these women take home vegetables and other ingredients to clean from home and get paid. The older women living in the villages cook like they would for their own children. It is an astonishing feat what these two men have accomplished in the past few years, winning the hearts of villagers and customers alike.
Fresh.ooo is on the lookout for district-wise distributors and export opportunities too for people who see value in the quality of their premium products. The duo is confident that the flavours of all of Fresh.ooo’s products are at a level incomparable to even the present market leaders. He says that customers who purchase even just a jar of their pickles tend to become regulars and have even given 2-3 tier referrals. Their assurance is so strong because they trust giving these Fresh.ooo’s products to their own family and friends for regular use.
They are members of BNI (Business Network International) giving them a wide range of support for marketing their unique premium products. The term ‘mouthwatering’ would be an understatement for this emerging brand!
This article has been written by Neha Nambiar.