New London-based online grocery delivery service Tilia is giving foodies the chance to buy from a range of artisan shops in the capital.
Shoppers in the central London area can select goods from a range of suppliers through a central website for next-day delivery, with the choice of two-hour delivery slots. Suppliers include London’s oldest butcher Allens of Mayfair, French patisserie Belle Époque, Cheeses of Muswell Hill and Islington fishmonger Steve Hatt.
Entrepreneur Rob Ford set up the service to capitalise on rising demand for artisan produce, which he says sets it apart from existing box delivery schemes. “We were looking around for a full grocery range of the best artisan produce that would be delivered to the door at a time that suited us,” he said. “We couldn’t find anything, so created our own to offer to all London foodies”.
The company soft-launched in March 2012 and, following a successful trial over the summer, received investment that enabled it to launch fully last month.
“The feedback so far has been really good, especially regarding the quality of the produce,” added Ford.
Although there was a £4.95 charge for delivery on orders under £60, Ford said customers paid the same price for produce as they would pay in the individual shops, as the stock is bought at wholesale prices from suppliers.
The delivery box scheme is currently dominated by Riverford Organic and Abel & Cole, who focus on the organic market. Tesco launched an organic vegetable box scheme, Soil and Seed, to customers in London in October, six years after trialling organic vegetable veg boxes in store.
The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2012 said that although sales of organic products fell by 3.7% in 2011, sales through box schemes, home delivery and mail order rose 7.2% to £167m. Sales of organic products fell by 3.7%.