LoveYourLarder, which soft-launched late last year, is pitching itself as an “Etsy-for-foodies”. It’s an apt reference since the site offers users a way to discover and buy hard-to-find ingredients or “artisan” food and drink from independent producers in the UK.
Like Etsy, it’s also a classic long tail play in that it aggregates the products of those who might not otherwise sell online. A web version of a farmer’s market, perhaps. In fact, LoveYourLarder founder Tristan Watson says he was inspired to start the site after seeing a friend who ran a bakery trying to sell online and being “really disappointed with the results”. What was needed, he says, was a single site “where it was really easy for customers to find and buy from great producers”.
To that end, LoveYourLarder, which received seed funding from The Difference Engine accelerator program, has signed up 70 producers who have over 500 products on sale. These include things like “artisan chocolates” to wild boar burgers, although the product range and depth is a little sparse.
But it is early days and the concept is sound, while Watson says that they are bringing new producers on-stream every week. To give you more of an idea, Womersley Foods based in Yorkshire are selling their range of fruit and herb vinegars online for the very first time.
But perhaps it’s the future potential of LoveYourLarder and similar services that’s worth considering, which could include location-based and mobile search as well as potentially a tie-in with broadcasters, says the Sunderland, UK-based startup. The latter idea is that if a TV chef is cooking something using a local or independently produced ingredient it should be easy to source that product online. In fact, the site already features recipes.