A few weeks ago, I had a chat on Twitter with the guys over at @Tastemakr_ about my favourite British foods (Tigg’s original dressing, Dips’ lemon chutney and Smith & Sinclair’s cocktail sweets, in case you’re wondering).
I followed the team, since it looked like they were about to launch something interesting, and four days ago, they did just that.
What the team has done is create an online marketplace and destination for independent food & drink, direct from food artisans and makers. And over the next four weeks, they’re running an online ‘pop-up shop’, where you’ll be able to purchase a new collection of products every day in limited numbers.
Every day, they’re sending out an email to subscribers, profiling a new ‘Maker’.
Day one was Hackney-based baker, Vicky’s Donuts, day two was OHAYO Tomorrow (which means “Good Morning” in Japanese) – a drink you take after drinking, before bed, and will cure you of your hangover. Yesterday was Soda Folk’s Root Beer and Cream Soda, created by Ken Graham – a life-long root beer obsessive – after moving to London from Colorado and finding it impossible to find his favourite childhood drink.
Today’s offering is Koko & Tree’s Macadamia Nut Oil. As Tastemaker says; “When Ilana Botha discovered Macadamia nuts on her brother-in-law’s farm in South Africa she knew she had stumbled across something great. After pressing the oil with her sister they discovered the richness and diversity of Macadamia Nut Oil. Now sourcing Macadamia nuts from her brother-in-law’s farm, Ilana is on a mission to bring small batch Macadamia Nut Oil to tables across the UK.”
Tastemakr was conceived in response to a lack of channels empowering independent food makers to sell direct to consumers, and consumers to discover quality food and drink from independent food makers. While at a food and culture festival in 2014, Anthony O-Thomas, founder, observed the frustration and how difficult it was for both parties.
“On one side, it’s a make or break for these food entrepreneurs and makers to strike a deal with these large retail stores. On the other hand there are very few places you know where you can get handmade almond peanut butter unless you know the person who makes it”
He found that consumers were often searching for ways to remove the middleman and gain direct access to quality food and drink. At the same time, it’s ideal for makers to be able to sell their products to consumers and move away from the idea of big chain retail supermarkets. When successful, this type of trade ultimately creates more room for independent food businesses, artisans and producers on local, national and even international scale.
As you can see from the above, the emails are beautiful, and the products are unusual and high quality. This is a fantastic way to discover and purchase new makers, which 20 whole days left to take advantage. The first three days’ products are sold out, but you can sign up here and get involved from today.