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Cheese Therapy founders launch online food destination, Artisans Bend

Sam Penny and Helen Shadforth, the co-founders of online artisan cheese retailer, Cheese Therapy, are launching a new online marketplace to support Australian food makers.

The site, to be called Artisans Bend, will launch next month with 70 vendors already onboarding. The pair behind it describe it as “the Etsy for food” – a reference to the American e-commerce company selling handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. 

“It’s a new shopping experience where Australians get to explore and support producers and where artisans get to share their passions and stories,” said Penny.

The site will offer food, wine, coffee and condiments from artisan producers across rural and regional Australia.

Cheese Therapy has experienced record sales growth of 2400 per cent during the past 18 months as consumers have been in and out of lockdowns in many Australian cities. It now attracts 1 million visits annually.

A gourmet selection from online store Cheese Therapy.

Having an online marketplace during a time when customers could not visit physical stores, traditionally located in rural areas, and with many foodservice clients suspending orders because they could not trade, Cheese Therapy proved a lifeline for many. 

“Now we are using our experience, infrastructure, and marketing expertise to launch a new online food destination.”

“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,” Penny said.

The site is being built in partnership with Melbourne-based technology company, Marketplacer.

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