Independent market traders in Sheffield unite in online shop to beat pandemic
Independent traders at The Moor Market in Sheffield have come together in a groundbreaking online shop to take on the supermarkets and survive the pandemic.
ChefChef.store will offer hundreds of products and aims to meet soaring demand for home delivery from firms which are based in the community, use less packaging and pay local taxes - but are suffering due to coronavirus restrictions.
Next hour, next day and ‘click and collect’ will be available when it launches later this month.
The venture is a collaboration between ex-Tramlines organiser Dave Healy, the city council, City Grab, the delivery app run by City Taxis, and online platform ShopAppy.
Mr Healy said: “This is the biggest collection of local shops in Sheffield with the freshest produce. People of any age remember the energy and atmosphere at markets. We are trying to take that online. This building should be one of the jewels in Sheffield and this new service will take it up a level.
“Everything I have done in my career is about independents. They have the passion, care more and have better ethics. Nothing is secure at the moment, I think everyone should be focused on having a great quality market forever.”
Some 30 of the 70 traders will be on board from day one, including third generation fishmongers Tissington, greengrocers Binghams and Stuarts, butchers Morley and Wateralls, Beer Central and Thai food specialist Lemongrass.
The plan is to build up to offer everything in a full weekly shop by filling ‘gaps’ including an off-licence, breakfast cereals and ready meals made by cafes in the market and local caterer PJ Taste.
The technology has been funded by City Taxis. The firm launched its City Grab delivery app in January which has been a big success during lockdown.
Chief executive Arnie Singh said: "City Taxis and City Grab were both born of a passion for keeping independents independent. It is in our DNA.”
Traders will pay a commission based on turnover to City Grab. Customers pay the fare of the taxi making the delivery.
The partners hope to roll out the service to markets across the country.