Following 18 months of record sales, Australia’s artisan cheese retailer, Cheese Therapy, is expanding to launch a new online marketplace described as being the ‘Etsy’ for food.
Cheese Therapy has store visits and has experienced 2,400% growth in online sales.
Cheese Therapy launches Artisans Bend
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 launch in September with more than 70 artisan producers already 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.
Cheese Therapy saved Milawa Cheese Co after the bush fires and supported other cheese makers in the pandemic like Apostle Whey Cheese, which recorded 52% sales growth.
“During last year’s pandemic, Cheese Therapy sold two years’ worth of cheese in one month, equating to 2,400% sales growth,” Mr Penny said.
Cheese Therapy is partnering with Marketplacer to deliver the new platform.
“Cheese Therapy is a family run business, and most artisans are family businesses, so Artisans Bend is a way for us to help mentor 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 their mission to see Australia’s traditional makers, often from small fire and pandemic-impacted communities, transacting with Australia’s cheese-lovers in one market.”
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%.
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 8%, allowing them to increase their product range.