Why we started a gourmet online farmers market

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This is a good question which I am often asked and one I’m only too happy to expand on. 

Why did we start Edesia Online Farmers Market? The truth be told, the idea and business developed, in part, out of my own frustration with the current New Zealand food market and food shopping in general. But also through my belief that everyone in New Zealand, regardless of where you live, should have access to excellent, world-class, high quality, New Zealand produced food and even more than that, getting these foods should be fast, easy, convenient and cost effective. 

The momentum began when I returned home to New Zealand after a somewhat extended stay abroad; returning with a new and open perspective on how food availability should be.

 My main frustrations (once home) included the inefficiencies in getting to and from the stores, in-store congestion, the quality of food, the amount of imported food which was replacing New Zealand produced products and the time, plus financial costs attributed to many of these areas of concern.

Online farmers market

Traditional food shopping vs online food shopping

The concept of having to physically go to a store to get your food for the week, weekend or day brings with it a number of costs, some of which we are openly conscious of, others we don’t tend to factor in. Like for example (and speaking from personal experience) potential damage to your car whilst parked at the store and our personal contribution to growing environmental costs. Why don’t we attempt to reduce our environmental impact and alleviate things like traffic congestion and pollution? 

If you ask most people to describe their shopping routine or experience it very rarely comes with a glowing recommendation and more often than not, referred to as a chore with bouts of trolley rage and wasted time thrown in for good measure. 

We opted to forgo all this drama and instead be an online entity with convenience and ‘a new way of doing things’ firmly embedded at our core.

Fresh blueberries

The growing number of artisan food producers

Food quality in the conventional shopping system was possibly what disappointed me the most. I wanted real, tasty and lovingly produced fruit and vegetables so began to look for Organic produce that was reliable in terms of origin and ongoing supply. This led me to discover a growing number of artisan producers at local farmers markets - people who really cared about and had an amazing passion for producing quality, tasty and wholesome foods. 

In this path of discovery I also learned that for these artisans, developing a balance between the time to produce food and the time spent selling at farmers markets was an activity that at times, became difficult to maintain.

Farmers market image

A move toward the hand made and the lovingly made

Why couldn’t we help them promote their wares - without telling them how to run their business or how to grow their food? After all, these skilled people are astoundingly good at what they do, their passion and understanding of their craft is immense and my knowledge pales in comparison. In my mind I wanted an online marketplace that operated in the opposite way to conventional and corporate supermarkets or food chains – ours is a partnership and collaboration. 

In this collaborative frame of mind it makes sense to do what you are good at and partner with people who share a common perspective. The business idea became fully solidified at this point.

We are good at selling, distribution, logistics and marketing, let us take care of that and let the artisan, continue to infuse produce with the passion and authenticity people throughout the country are gravitating towards in droves.

Life today is seeing a growing trend towards the homemade, the hand made and the lovingly made. Why? Life is not all about material gains; it’s about simple pleasures that are perfectly executed. And getting this “perfect simplicity” requires a huge amount of dedication and knowledge and it's this crafted input, this care, this skill and this holistic approach that we are all latching onto – in nothing but the best way.

Preparing vegetables

The Edesia story

With that in mind, I am proud of what we have achieved so far. Two and a half years on, we feel as though we are contributing in a meaningful way. 

We do our best to impact as little as possible on the environment, to find and supply great New Zealand gourmet foods and produce and do our best to show we really care. 

We are always looking to grow our collaborative, collective and caring family of suppliers. New Zealanders are hungry for a growing, seasonal range of quality products and we welcome any suggestions whether it’s ideas on new products we should stock or enquiries on how to become a supplier. Whatever it maybe, we want to hear from you and we value your input. 

We are fortunate to have a great team here doing what we love to do. For that we are thankful. 

From this point on… here’s to useful posts to follow, good food, good health and of course good company.

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  • Craig Hopkins