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A world-first online marketplace has launched from Leithfield.
Maker2u online farmers’ market allows New Zealand makers of boutique food, drink and health products to sell directly to retail and wholesale buyers via their own online store within the Maker2u website.
Maker2u Chief Operating Officer Suzy Hutton says she believes the model is unique. “While some websites have features in common, we’re not aware of anything exactly like Maker2u in the world.
“Makers can set up a store for free and orders placed through the website are fulfilled directly by the maker. This allows 86.5% of the price to go back to the maker’s business to help them grow and create jobs in our communities. Out of the 13.5% commission charged by Maker2u we pay the credit card fees, web hosting, customer support and marketing.”
The business began when Suzy’s husband, and Managing Director of Maker2u, Hamish Hutton saw the difficulties involved in marketing for a small wine producer. “The winery was giving away all its margins for distribution in supermarkets,” explains Suzy. “Efforts to make better margins on the internet failed because costs were too high. Hamish saw an opportunity for small producers across New Zealand to sell cooperatively through one high quality marketplace.”
Already, Maker2u has over 140 stores on its platform, selling nearly 1,000 products ranging from grocery items to health and beauty products and alcoholic beverages, which are sold on the licensed Maker2u Cellar site. To be included on the Maker2u site, products must be made in New Zealand by a Kiwi-owned artisan business.
Business Support Officer at Enterprise North Canterbury, Guy Graham, says the launch of Maker2u is an exciting development for local food producers.
“There are some amazing food and beverage producers in the North Canterbury region, and seeing this local platform available for those producers to join and share their products is a very exciting step in the right direction,” he said.
“There are a number of agencies currently exploring ways for North Canterbury food producers to work together, sharing ideas and expertise to make their development, marketing and sales stronger and easier. What Suzy and Hamish have created here with Maker2u is exactly the kind of thing that will greatly assist North Canterbury food producers promote and sell their goods in a cost-effective and collaborative way.”
Although only in the launch stage, Sally and Hamish already have development plans for Maker2u including expansion of the platform with apps to allow semi-automated wholesale ordering, aggregated export to allow New Zealand-based makers to sell more efficiently to buyers offshore and, eventually, taking the Maker2u model into other countries.
“Maker2u is driven by the ambition to help small regional producers succeed and create stronger regional communities,” explains Sally. “We are very privileged to be working with an inspiring community of Kiwi entrepreneurs and we can’t wait to share their beautiful products with thousands of new shoppers.”
Visit Maker2u.com to purchase from the website or find out more about setting up a store.
If you’re interested to find out more about ENC’s work to connect local food and beverage producers for mutual benefit, contact Guy Graham on 027 733 2199 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.