How the Artisan Food Club and Central Invoicing works


The Artisan Food Club is an alternative wholesale model which was specifically set up to help retailers access small, artisan food producers, without the game of roulette which comes with not knowing whether a brand is going to be a help or a hindrance to your busy retail operation.  If you have found yourself in a position of not working with small or start up producers, in spite of liking the product but because you just couldn’t justify the risk or time to take them on board, then please read on and we will explain how working with the Artisan Food Club could help your business to access exciting, innovative, independent brands which won’t be found in every farm shop and deli throughout the country. 


Marcus set up the Club in 2012 to enable retailers who couldn’t, or were reluctant to, work directly with small food producers, to be able to access the innovation and stories which happen at the early stages of a brand.  He empathised with the struggle that many retailers had with managing multiple direct accounts with small food brands who tended to be focused on the sheer momentum of making product, rather than the practicalities of running a tight administrative ship.  This mismatch between retailers needing to run efficient, cost effective operations and producers not always being able to meet expectations, was creating a divide in the marketplace and homogenising the offer to retailers through the larger distributors, creating a catch 22 for new brands who were finding it harder and harder to gain a foothold with retailers. 


From the belief that there had to be a better way which nurtured both sides of the relationship, the Artisan Food Club was born, a drop shipping wholesale business which sits between the producer and the retailer, preempting and managing operational issues so that the retailer doesn’t need to be concerned about the producer’s level of ability at looking after the practical relationship.  We receive orders and ensure that the retailer can access multiple small brands whilst only receiving one, consolidated invoice a month.  Meanwhile, behind the scenes, we support brands with practical advice and administrative support so that they can focus on doing what they do well, making their product.  Retailers receive a tailored and personal approach to introducing new brands whilst having the pain of inconsistent administration and subsequent time-consuming interactions removed.  We have found that there is a better way and, through a combination of our knowledge of UK independent retail, our deep connection with the artisan food world and our personal care for all of the businesses who come through the Club, we now have approximately 300 brands and 100+ regular retailers who appreciate the benefits of how the Food Club operates.  We also have entered into an area of ‘personal shopping’ for a few of our retail buyers who appreciate our connection with, and knowledge of, the producer community, and so come to us with regular requests for category gaps.  We find that we are increasingly sought out by innovators, both on the brand and retail side, as we are recognized for being able to provide a unique perspective.  A particularly exciting growth area of the business is in export to the Middle East where we have a couple of high-profile retail chains who regularly approach us for brand recommendations.  They love the fact that we can provide them with a unique offer and are nimble enough to make things happen quickly for them and we love the fact that we are helping small producers access a global market where they can find sales success through their uniqueness. 


As part of our philosophy we actively encourage retailers and brands to talk and, because our producers know exactly who they are sending product to (as they are still fulfilling the deliveries), there is complete transparency in the relationship.  Administration is taken care of so the intention is that these discussions can be more inspiring and instead focused on how to grow sales and a loyal customer base, rather than where the missing box is.  We want our brands to know and understand the shops where they are featured and to take an active interest in their success, as this should also lead to their own success and a healthy, happy producer/retailer relationship.  We have a wide cross section of retailers for whom the Food Club range works; from small family run delis, butcher shops and cafes, to large farm shops and independent retail chains – the commonality is that they all have a great selection of interesting, small, often new to market brands, which are setting them apart from other local retailers.  We take away the risk of trying new products by offering smaller initial minimum orders and we will always respect that shops know what their customers want, so there will be no annoying, repetitive hard sell.   We also have no brochure print time restrictions as our brand brochure is only online and updated frequently with new brands joining the Club.  This gives a freshness to our range which you will find hard to match. 


After a simple on-line account set up process, Click to join you can place an order for delivery within a few working days.  Payment terms are 21 days from the end of the month following delivery.  We are a small team who work from different locations in Bristol, Frome and London, but our retailer coverage is nationwide. All that remains is to browse our brochure click here then pick up the phone, send an email, text or WhatsApp to Marcus on 07971 270 299/  with any questions (or orders) you might have.  Marcus will be in touch shortly to chat further.  

Please click here to join the Artisan Food Club

Cheers and speak soon 

Marcus – 07971 270299 - 

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