Stories

Mar 13, 2022
Changemakers of Tomorrow Series: Inspiring Change in the Business of Fine Foods

PayPalCulture

PayPal’s Changemakers of Tomorrow series pays tribute to everyday heroes in Singapore who impact society and bring purpose into the lives of Singaporeans. Sasha’s Fine Foods is a Changemaker that is raising the bar for the entire food industry, connecting conscious consumers to traceable fine foods around the world. The online-only grocer is committed to being an ethical and sustainable business for good and is constantly innovating to deliver the future of foods to fine food lovers in Singapore.
 

Big dreams, humble beginnings

Sasha's Fine Foods
Sasha's Fine Foods

Sasha’s Fine Foods entered Singapore’s grocery industry as the first online-only grocer back in 2011, when the mindset and behavior of consumers in Singapore were markedly different. For one, consumers were not as digitally savvy as they are today. Online shopping was also a new concept for many. In-person shopping, especially for groceries, was still a deeply rooted habit, as many preferred to personally assess the freshness of their own meat and produce.

Faced with big obstacles, Sasha Conlan dreamed bigger about her mission to encourage more people in Singapore to be conscious of the foods they consume. From humble beginnings, Sasha’s Fine Foods was built with the personal touch of Sasha’s thoughtful intentions and fierce determination. Sasha personally met with and investigated each food supplier and farmer to assess their supply chain and farming practices to ensure she could be confident to market their meat and produce in Singapore.
 

A local grocer for the local community

Sasha's Fine Foods
Sasha's Fine Foods

Today, Sasha’s Fine Foods is ahead of the game in delivering high-quality foods to their customers. They aim to always be the first in the market to introduce innovative food products from all over the world to Singapore, such as meat and dairy alternatives. Their foods are also guaranteed to be fully traceable, farmed in an environment that prioritizes animal welfare, and tended by farmers who are paid fairly. Shoppers with the online-only grocer also enjoy the power-packed conveniences of a seamless and secure checkout process with PayPal, impeccable customer service, and same-day deliveries.

As part of reducing its carbon footprint, Sasha’s Fine Foods partnered with a local brewery that churns leftover foods into sustainable craft beer, as well as local beneficiaries such as Willing Hearts and It’s Raining Raincoats to receive unsold foods well before expiry. This is in addition to Sasha’s Fine Foods maintaining a 100% carbon-neutral fleet, as part of its commitment to being Singapore’s first and only planet-positive grocer.

The company’s commitment to being a business for good also extends to providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and former prisoners. They also partnered with PayPal on its Give Back campaign to empower customers to give back while they shop. For every purchase made with PayPal at Sasha’s Fine Foods, PayPal donated 3% of the payment amount to Lions Befrienders, a social service agency dedicated to providing services to older adults in Singapore.
 

The unprecedented push

Sasha's Fine Foods
Sasha's Fine Foods

Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as disruptions to the international supply of foods while flights were canceled, an unprecedented outcome was that Singaporeans were catapulted to quickly adopt digital ways of living and shopping. It also encouraged more consumers to overcome the barriers to online grocery shopping. As shelves in physical stores were wiped out, Sasha’s Fine Foods was racing to meet demand that had surged overnight by 300%.

Scrambling to fulfill orders, the company quickly tapped on digital modes of communications and payments to ensure the continuity of equitable partnerships, and stringent sourcing processes with overseas suppliers. The practice of personally inspecting farms and interviewing farmers was also brought online through virtual video tours to uphold transparency.

During this period, trust was a crucial asset for shoppers to checkout with Sasha’s Fine Foods for the first time. As a trusted payments gateway, PayPal gave first-time shoppers the confidence to check out securely and swiftly online. Most of Sasha’s Fine Foods’ new customers during this period came through PayPal, more so than any other payment channel. The seamless, yet safe process of logging in to pay with PayPal also offered the speed and ease that enhanced the consumer experience.
 

Innovating for consumers of the future

Sasha's Fine Foods
Sasha's Fine Foods

This shift to catering to the needs of shoppers conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchases is enabling merchants like Sasha’s Fine Foods to drive social good. This is exciting for the local grocer whose innovation pipeline includes plans to continue encouraging Singaporeans to be more conscious about the food they eat.

With digitalization here to stay and with PayPal’s support of merchants like Sasha’s Fine Foods, the grocer hopes to organize more innovative, tech-enabled events for their customers, such as virtual webinars, workshops, and tours of overseas farms with their partners and suppliers, as part of their commitment to education and transparency.

On the local grocer’s take on innovation, Mike Pearson, General Manager at Sasha’s Fine Foods, shared that the opportunities are endless, saying, “We are limited by the number of hours in a day, not the number of ideas.”

 
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