A former University of Salford student has set up a supermarket delivery service after completing a business course in 2018.

Carlos Tamale, 23, born in Uganda and raised in Salford, founded Joppaa Foods in April 2020 alongside friend and business partner Sebastian Nwosu, following a degree in BSc (Hons) Business and Management at Salford University.

Joppaa foods works in collaboration with Aldi, Tesco, Asda and Ades Foods to deliver food to the doors of customers across Salford and Greater Manchester.

Carlos said: “The company was originally set up in 2019 and we were ready to open in February, but then lockdown happened in March so there was a slight delay to opening. Lockdown did actually help us though, as we saw lots of customers really getting interested.

“The second lockdown did make it difficult though to get engaged with new customers, as not everyone can leave their house. But we have bounced back over the Christmas period. We deliver all over Manchester, Salford, and Stockport. Basically, if you are living within 12 miles from our head office at The Digital World Centre in Salford Quays, then you can use our service.

Carlos Tamale. Photo Credit: Carlos Tamale

“We first came up with the idea when I was with my friends at University. I realised that there was a gap in the market.

“I went to visit my friends in Leeds and I discovered that shops there were shutting early. So my friends and I got our heads together and thought, how can we come up with something where we can get things delivered up until a certain time, but not by just buying a takeaway. That is where the idea really started.

“We soon got lots of feedback from different students during my time at University which really helped us to form the business model and I was quick to realise that there was no way to get groceries delivered other than your usual supermarket delivery services.

“There was such a limited range and the wait time was crazy – having to wait like two days for your deliveries.

“From there, the idea was born. I wanted to make it easier for people who normally shop at the big supermarkets, to get their shopping delivered more locally. I found that a lot of elderly people especially, have really benefitted.”

The name ‘Joppaa’ came from the concept of goods being moved from one place to another.

“The name actually originates from Jaffa, which is a seaport city in Israel. It is the first place where they go to put goods onto a ship and then ship products to different locations. Jaffa was one of the first places where they had a seaport. The link to this historical place played a key role in coming up with the name for my company.”

“I am hoping to lower our delivery prices so people can order small items at a time, as opposed to being pressured into doing one big shop. We want to make it more accessible to order online, with a small subscription fee.”

Photo Credit: Joppaa Foods

“I am so proud of how far we have come and I am really looking forward to the future. Our vision is to look into developing a shopping centre style warehouse, where we can deliver to all different types of businesses and companies around the UK.

Carlos says lockdown and Covid regulations may have made trading tough for many businesses, but has created opportunities for others.

“Any advice that I would have for any budding entrepreneurs is to make sure that your business can survive not only during lockdown, but also beyond the pandemic.

“In terms of marketing, I would advise anyone to really focus on the video advertising side of things. Try to communicate as much as possible online. Lots more people are on their phones all of the time. Really focus on your digital platform. You need to put an image of your face on the business page because that is where you start building the trust with customers.”

Photo Credit: Joppaa Foods

Image Credits: Carlos Tamale, Joppaa Foods.

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