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Maker2u Is A Lifeline For Small Food And Beverage Producers During Covid-19.

Maker2u, the online farmers market, which launched on Monday the 23rd March, is providing much needed new sales to artisan food and beverage producers that have had other sales channels collapse with Covid-19.

The farmers market now has 220 stores from small producers of food, drinks and other goods. It’s free for approved makers to set up a store. Shoppers buy direct from the maker and goods are sent by courier.

Maker2u was created by Canterbury couple Hamish and Suzy Hutton to help friends with small businesses get more of the final retail price of their products than they were getting from the supermarket duopoly.

“It took two years to build and’ says Hamish ‘we were planning to launch mid 2020, but with COVID-19 hitting our makers’ exports and hospitality sales so hard, we threw everything into launching as soon as possible for them.”

“We felt it was unethical to profit from the Covid crisis’ adds Suzy, ‘so we’ve reduced the marketplace commission to 10% which only covers the credit card fees and costs of operation. We have an amazing team of friends who are helping us to provide customer support”.

The number of stores is growing daily and some amazing producers have come on board. 6,000 shoppers have visited Maker2u “which is high for week one of any new site” says Suzy. “People are clearly loving browsing so many great Kiwi products because the average site visit is well over 4 minutes”.

The marketplace is split into, for NZ made artisan food, health and beauty and other groceries; and, a licensed seller of boutique wines, craft beers, cider, artisan spirits and other drinks. Everything must be made in NZ and all makers receive 90% of the price with no cost of sale.

“We’re excited to already have some of NZ’s finest producers on board.’ says Suzy, ‘Covid is catastrophic for these important regional employers but, with everyone’s support they will survive and keep their communities strong.”

“Maker2u is a highly resilient food supply system too’ says Hamish, ‘it relies on small factories dotted round NZ and the national courier fleet. It doesn’t suffer from the bottlenecks supermarket home delivery has”.

The Maker2u team feel privileged to be working with a growing number of amazing Kiwi entrepreneurs and are very excited about the future post-COVID-19. “Our mission’, says Hamish, ‘is to make it easy for Kiwi families to browse and purchase direct from all of NZ’s incredible boutique makers. In the long run we’re also planning to open the platform up to export orders from target markets offshore.”

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