Food & Drink

Tabl: 70,000 foodies are bringing the farmers’ market online

By Kitty Knowles 14 November 2017

Tabl is the place to buy, sell - and make plans to eat - craft food.

Bulbous seasonal veggies, lovingly prepared pies and stacks of stinky cheese.

We Brits love a good farmers’ market.

But while these pop-up stalls are a friendly and sustainable alternative to big supermarkets, their physical opening hours don’t always fit into our busy lives, especially when you’re not 100% sure what’ll be on sale.

What’s more, for producers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get a stall in the first place – and independent food businesses need all the help they can get.

“Each day 45 new food and drink products are launched and only five of these products will still exist in two years’ time,” entrepreneur Kimberly Hurd told The Memo.

“Independent and craft food needs a champion and a home for customers to easily discover, buy and experience,” she explains.

Setting up Tabl

It’s with this in mind that, the former CEO of restaurant discovery app Zomato, founded Tabl – an online community and marketplace for people to sell, cook, purchase and experience craft food.

Launched last year, this is now home to 500 sellers – and a 70,000 strong community of food lovers.

“We want people to be inspired by food – to meet the producers behind the products on the site, hear their stories, and connect and learn about the food that inspires them by attending local events and experiences,” says Hurd.

How it works

If you run a food business, becoming a Tabl member gives you an opportunity to start your own one-stop shop and to be part of a community of potential customers, without the distribution costs and margin squeezes of large retailers.

There are no surcharges or processing fees – Tabl only takes a cut when you make a sale on the site.

As a food lover, signing up to Tabl gives you a chance to ‘meet’ the people behind the products you love, to discover new craft brands to buy and try, and to even attend supper clubs and events hosted by liked-minded gourmands.

You might want to test the wares of Brighton’s first gin distillery, or the rich low-cholesterol meat from family farmers Orkney buffalo. You might want to attend a MasterChef pop-up in York, or a micro beekeeping class in London – or simply to learn how to make superb vegan jackfruit burritos from your kitchen at home.

Everyone benefits from an awesome shared recipes section, online features and cool gift ideas – like a luxury truffle hamper from Vorrei (pictured top).

“We believe the best moments in life are discovering, enjoying and sharing incredible food and we want to make it easy for you to do so,” says Hurd

Will you pull up a seat?

Looking forward, Hurd plans to expand the community, launching new features that will make the Tabl experience even more personal.

Smart tools will allow users to connect to each other based on taste, and to enjoy personalised recommendations.

“Our dream is to connect the world through food and truly personalise food online,” says Hurd.

“I don’t believe food in the future will be a pill or a shake – food as a utility will exist, but it will never inspire or satisfy the way real, personalised and authentic food and experiences can.”

If you can’t get to the farmers’ market this weekend, signing up to Tabl could be the next best thing.