New website TopFeed to connect P.E.I. food buyers and sellers
'We wanted to create basically a stronger connection between producers and consumers on P.E.I.'
A new website called TopFeed has been launched to help Prince Edward Islanders buy and sell local food.
The site, designed as a one-stop shop for local Island food, lets small business owners and entrepreneurs create online profiles and sell products — from vegetables to baked goods — directly to customers.
"We wanted to create basically a stronger connection between producers and consumers on P.E.I. and by doing that, we feel it's going to strengthen food security issues here," lead marketer Vaughan Murphy told CBC News.
The goal of TopFeed is two-fold, said Murphy: make local food more accessible to Islanders, and help small-scale producers grow their clientele.
"We wanted to offer an opportunity for, you know, the stay-at home or the hobbyist kind of producers who need a platform," explains Murphy.
"For example, they make a delicious apple pie and they don't have a platform other than their friends and close family to actually do anything with the product."
Like Etsy for local food
The website is modeled on popular e-commerce site Etsy, said Murphy, but instead of arts and crafts it will sell things like bacon and brownies.
Murphy and lead developer Rafael Aguirre also want to offer an alternative for sellers who don't want to set up a website or a booth at a farmer's market.
While producers have told Murphy they don't want another middle man that will cut into profits, he said in the beginning the website will likely take about three per cent of each sale. The plan is, as more people sign up, that percentage will go down.
The first phase of the website, for producers to register, was launched late last week and organizers hope to have it open for business by June.
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