Online marketplace to help Aussie farmers and small businesses launched

A new online marketplace, described as being the “Etsy” for food, has been introduced to the public, with a formal launch set for September.

The Artisans Bend marketplace is envisioned to help farmers and small businesses in marketing their products and reach a wider market online.

Artisans Bend is the brainchild of Sam Penny and Helen Shadforth who saw the opportunity for expansion in the wake of the unprecedented success they have had with their artisan cheese retail business Cheese Therapy. Penny and Shadforth are hoping to bring their combined experience, infrastructure, and marketing expertise that have contributed to Cheese Therapy’s growth across to the online marketplace.

“We are so excited to be launching this new online collective for all Australian rural and regional food, wine, coffee, condiments, and artisan producers,” Penny said. “It’s a new shopping experience where Australians get to explore and support producers and where artisans get to share their passions and stories.”

More than 70 artisan producers have already asked to join Artisans Bend, with more businesses slated to come onboard in the days leading to the official launch.

“Cheese Therapy is a family run business, and we know most artisan producers are small mum and dad businesses, so Artisans Bend is a way for us to help mentor them and find a market for their products,” Penny said.

Penny and Shadforth have engaged the Melbourne-based global technology company, Marketplacer, to deliver the new platform, and it’s co-founder Sam Salter is excited to be part of the venture.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Cheese Therapy journey in supporting their mission to see Australia’s traditional makers, often from small fire and pandemic-impacted communities, transacting with Australia’s cheese-lovers in the one marketplace,” Salter said.