In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Balsam Hill, a Redwood City, Calif.-based retailer of realistic artificial Christmas trees and all-season home décor items, has introduced Balsam Provisions, a service enabling consumers to shop directly for nonperishable food and household supplies in bulk.
The company repurposed its existing e-commerce infrastructure at warehouses, teamed up with restaurant suppliers, and leveraged its strong relationship with FedEx to create the service. Any profits from Balsam Provisions sales is earmarked for food banks such as Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.
Balsam Provisions is offering 7-pound cans of baked beans, two packs of 50-ounce cans of chicken noodle soup, 12-packs of paper towels, 25-pound bags of all-purpose white flour, 10-pound bags of various pastas and 60-roll packs of toilet paper. Prices include product cost and FedEx shipping and handling charges to the contiguous 48 states.
“Shopping at Balsam Provisions puts food that was supposed to go to now-closed restaurants to good use while taking the pressure off strained grocery stores,” noted Balsam Hill CEO Mac Harman. “It’s also another option to get food into the homes of people who, due to age or health conditions, should not go out.”
Since the holiday season is Balsam Hill’s busiest time of year, the company has extra capacity in spring and summer, allowing it to temporarily use its existing warehouses and delivery infrastructure to deliver household staples directly to customers.
The company's Balsam Provisions service is just one innovative e-commerce solutions launched during the coronavirus outbreak. Others moving into grocery delivery have included eateries Panera and Subway, restaurant/foodservice wholesaler Baldor Specialty Foods, and drug store chain Walgreens, while business-to-business tech company Frayt has joined forces with 21 Kroger Marketplace stores to bring home furnishings to consumers.