FOUNDERS OF CHEESE THERAPY LAUNCH FOOD EQUIVALENT OF ‘ETSY’ TO HELP AUSSIE FARMERS AND SMALL BUSINESS
- Author Jane Henschke
- Published September 10, 2021
- Word count 518
Following 18 months of record sales, Australia’s leading artisan cheese retailer, Cheese Therapy, is expanding to launch a new online marketplace described as being the ‘Etsy’ for food.
Cheese Therapy has one million store visits a year and has experienced 2,400 per cent growth in online sales.
Co-Founders Sam Penny and Helen Shadforth, said Cheese Therapy proved to be a lifeline for cheesemakers and now we’re using our experience, infrastructure, and marketing expertise to launch a new online food destination, Artisans Bend.
“It’s a new shopping experience where Australians get to explore and support producers and where artisans get to share their passions and stories,” Mr Penny said.
Artisans Bend will officially launch in September while more than 70 artisan producers have already asked to come onboard.
“We are so excited to be launching this new online collective for all Australian rural and regional food, wine, coffee, condiments, and artisan producers,” Mr Penny said.
Cheese Therapy had 23.4X growth in sales revenue for FY20 and FY21. The online gourmet hamper business saved Milawa Cheese Co after the bushfires and went on to support a further 17 cheesemakers during the pandemic, including Apostle Whey Cheese, which recorded 52 per cent sales growth last financial year.
“During last year’s pandemic, Cheese Therapy sold two years’ worth of cheese in one month, equating to 2,400 per cent sales growth,” Mr Penny said.
Cheese Therapy is partnering with Melbourne-based global technology company, Marketplacer to deliver the new platform.
“Cheese Therapy is a family run business, and we know most artisan producers are small mum and dad businesses, so Artisans Bend is a way for us to help mentor them and find a market for their products,” Mr Penny said.
Marketplacer Co-Founder Sam Salter said: We’re thrilled to be a part of the Cheese Therapy journey in supporting their mission to see Australia’s traditional makers, often from small fire and pandemic-impacted communities, transacting with Australia’s cheese-lovers in the one marketplace.
CASE STUDIES OF BUSINESSES HELPED BY CHEESE THERAPY
SILVER TONGUE FOODS
Kristina Kucan lost her ten-year construction job during last year’s pandemic and began making sourdough lavosh crackers in her kitchen as a hobby. Cheese Therapy created a supply chain for Kristina, who now owns her own small business.
Silver Tongue Foods’ lavosh crackers are stocked in 130 retail stores and Kristina expects to be selling 12,000 crackers a month by Christmas.
APOSTLE WHEY CHEESE
Julian and Dianne Bensen had previously struggled to sell their Apostle Whey Cheeses beyond their cellar door in Victoria. After seeing a news story about Cheese Therapy, they reached out to Sam and Cheese Therapy has been selling their cheeses ever since.
Their produce is now sold all over Australia. Sales growth last financial year was up 52 per cent.
TARAGO RIVER CHEESE
Tarago River Cheese has completely changed its business strategy after losing all of their airline contracts as well as a large amount of food service sales due to COVID-19.
After partnering with Cheese Therapy, demand for Tarago River Cheese has risen eight per cent, allowing them to increase their product range.
More case studies are available.
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