Project Description

Society’s biggest challenges won’t be solved by government, not-for-profits or communities alone. Successfully addressing these complex social, environmental and economic challenges requires an ecosystem approach that enables key stakeholders, whole communities, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators to come together and cocreate replicable and scalable solutions.

In 2016, Doing Something Good ran a 10 week accelerator program for ventures and community projects aimed at making Melbourne’s food system healthy, sustainable, secure, resilient and socially inclusive. Building on a program of events that started with the EcoCity Food Forum in 2013, the second Local Food Launchpad program in 2016 worked with 15 participants to develop 11 concepts that hold the potential to improve our food system and build a better food future for the people of Melbourne. This is one of them.

Learn more about the 2016 Local Food Launchpad here. Discover other Local Food Launchpad projects here.

How might we provide a pathway for asylum seekers and refugees to gain employment and business experience that enables and empowers them to achieve future successes?

Rolling Oasis Grocers Melbourne

Delivering good, delivering good food for all.

The big issue

According to the United Nations refugee agency the number of displaced people is at its highest ever — surpassing even post-World War II numbers. At the end of 2015 that number peaked at 65.3 million people — or one out of every 113 people on Earth. Subsequently, the influx of people from across the globe are settling in foreign countries seeking safety, opportunity, and a fair go.

At Rolling Oasis Grocers, we hope to give  refugees and asylum seekers a fair go and establish themselves in Melbourne, while tackling another issue – healthy food for time-poor professionals. Our customer research uncovered that the longer hours our workforce continues to commit to, the worse their diet becomes. Our aim is to offer jobs to refugees and asylum seekers and connect them with time-poor professionals who want to help in some way, but don’t know how.

At Rolling Oasis Grocers, we provide that vehicle that connects large world issues in a local and relationship building way.

Shopping that helps someone in need

With an increasing workplace that fosters longer work hours, our vision is to bring innovation to grocery services by delivering wholesome, healthy fresh produce direct to workplaces to eliminate stressors and the need for supermarket shopping, all while providing much needed employment opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers.

Fresh produce direct to you

Our solution tackles the growing issue of professional having limited time to buy wholesome, healthy produce through an innovative business and social enterprise model that seeks to enable willing and enthusiastic workers from the asylum seeker and refugee community who currently find gainful employment in Australia challenging.

Where we started

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What we learned

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What’s next

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What we need

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A little about us

Peter Mercouriou studied a Bachelor of Natural Resource Management and a Masters of Environmental Policy from The University of Melbourne.  After dabbling in solar panel installation and environmental impact assessment, he became an energy efficiency consultant and launched his business – A Couple of Fruits in Portland, Oregon. A Couple of Fruits is Portland’s first and premier office fruit delivery service acting as a change agent as to how Americans snack at work. Four years later, Peter continues to dabble in energy efficiency consulting and is happy to say that A Couple of Fruits remains strong.

Additionally, Peter co-developed and helped launch Rolling Oasis Grocers Portland – A produce delivery service to low-income earners and residences located in Food Deserts delivered by disenfranchised youth and people from low-socio economic backgrounds. The pilot program was launched in one neighborhood and has since moved into two more, and with some minor tweaking to the business plan, Peter is focused on bringing Rolling Oasis Grocers to Melbourne.

Like to know more or want to work with us? Please get in touch.

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Email Pete at p.mercouriou@gmail.com

Phone Pete on 0474 585 878