The online Bristol Farm Shop – a city-wide delivery service aiming to make food from the wider South West region more accessible to consumers – has been launched this week.
Co-owners Tom Smart and Martin Hiscox started developing the project in late 2011, after realising that many areas of the city are underserved by independent retailers and markets.
The online store currently has over 20 producers listed on its site, from Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire and Dorset. A range of Bristol-based producers are also represented, including Castellano’s, Bristol Beer Factory and Mark’s Bread. The pair plan to increase this number to 100 producers by 2013.
Customers can choose from a range of “essentials” (bread, milk, eggs and butter), along with various alcoholic drinks, oils, meats, sauces and more. Deliveries within Bristol are free for orders of £5 or more, and are made on a Tuesday – details here.
Says Tom Smart, “This marks the beginning of an ambitious project to make regional groceries more accessible than ever before. By uniting independent food and drink producers, we’re building a service that not only supports local businesses, but gives consumers a refreshing alternative to supermarket convenience.
“We have a primary aim of making South West food and drink more accessible, by any means. Running a physical shop, an online store and exhibiting at events is just the start. We have several exciting ideas to really build Bristol Farm Shop as a hub for regional produce.”
The “physical shop” that Tom mentions is at Windmill Hill City Farm, and open from Tuesday through to Sunday. Steve Sayers, Chief Executive at Windmill Hill City Farm, has been working with the team towards launch.
“We’re really excited at the Farm to be hosting Bristol Farm Shop. Their arrival continues to build on the facilities and services that we can offer to local people. Alongside their selected products from local suppliers, we’re aiming to develop a whole new range of items produced on the Farm ranging from bird?hangers to pies; hanging baskets to burgers.”