Coronavirus Pandemic: Your Insight: SmartBox sales suffer with workers sent home

Owner Brandon Stallings says the healthy snack box and vending business is making a third of what it usually does, but some companies are reaching out to feed their employees at home.

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  • | 5:20 a.m. April 1, 2020
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A chunk of Brandon Stallings’ SmartBox business relies on his customers’ employees being in their offices. 

In addition to snack box subscriptions, SmartBox installs vending machines and kiosks stocked with healthy, organic snacks in office buildings throughout the city.

Stallings said while customers continue to order snack boxes, the SmartBox vending machines and GoMarket sales are down because many employees are working from home. 

“We’re probably only making a third of what we would usually make,” he said March 27. “It’s definitely impacted.”

Stallings said his snack box subscriptions could help people, especially those working remotely or have children home from school. 

Some companies have reached out to him looking for ways to feed their employees at home.

Others are finding unique ways to use the snack boxes.

“I just saw an order come in yesterday, people are quarantining so someone sent a birthday box with a happy birthday card to one of their relatives,” Stallings said.

He, along with other small business owners he’s spoken to, are applying for SBA loans and the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Stallings said that when the virus subsides, they’re hoping for an economic boom to help out.

“We are all looking into these finance options,” he said. “I think everyone is affected in some kind of way.”

Stallings, 29, started the company at college in 2012.

He said all of his six employees are still working. Those with administrative roles are at home, but employees on the fulfillment and warehouse teams are at the facility at 8188 Baymeadows Way.  

Although business is slower, Stallings said he is finding ways to keep his employees working. He said it’s been a good time to catch up on tasks he had been too busy to do.

“You want to come out as a fine-tuned business that has been able to make some changes under the hood, do some cleanup work,” he said. “That’s how you continue to keep your employees in it, keep your team in it.”

SmartBox CEO Brandon Stallings said all of his six employees are still working.
SmartBox CEO Brandon Stallings said all of his six employees are still working.