Marketing our shopfronts


This topic was inspired by a conversation with Michael - one of the Stroudco management team). Michael has a marketing background and suggested establishing some common bases for marketing strategies among OFN shopfront managers.

This could include working towards consensus on how we see the OFN ‘movement’ representing itself in order to achieve a significant presence in the minds of potential shopfront customers.

We can also:

  1. look for ideas from shopfront managers as to what marketing and promotion activities work in their area.

  2. discuss who are our target market and how we can identify them.

  3. explore what kinds of media are open to us as a collection of enterprises without much finance.

  4. see whether there might be some visual device we all could use to promote the basic concept of what we are trying to achieve in this alternative system for the selling and production of food.


Here is an update from Michael:

Hi Nick,

Below is the latest on our marketing strategy development arranged to amplify the four points you have made:

  1. We will hopefully be testing our monthly joint promotions with the Farmers Market and will be able to comment on how they are received.

  2. In this context our target market are people who think about what they are buying to eat and will agree with our 5 reasons why they should shop from local producers who fulfill our criteria.

  3. We will support our promotions with at least flyers/posters to be put up where we think our target market will see them. We will also go for PR opportunities with local media but ,at this stage I think, no paid advertising.

  4. We have not come up with any ‘key visuals’ as yet although the desirability of having one has been agreed. Any suggestions?



Here is more detail on the Stroudco promotion and the ‘5 reasons’:

Stroudco would like to build on our recent tie in with Stroud Farmers’ Market to run monthly joint promotions highlighting a particular local product category.

A provisional list of the first 6 of these categories is:

  • June - Bread and baked products
  • July - Meat – raw and cooked
  • August - Dairy
  • September - Fruit
  • October - Vegetables
  • November - Drinks

Our objective would be to put together a customer-building offer specific to a particular product group each month backed by ‘5 reasons’ why people should buy local and fresh produce rather than manufactured foods trucked in to the supermarkets and convenience stores.

The promotion would take 2 forms running simultaneously: A monthly stall in the Farmers market displaying the fullest possible range of a product group that is available through the Farmers Market and Stroudco along with a board giving the ‘5 reasons’ e.g. for bread:

  1. Freshness
  2. Better ingredients (no additives/preservatives)
  3. Better for the environment (less road miles, less packaging)
  4. Benefits the local economy (rather than giant corporation shareholders)
  5. Tastes better (producers should be encouraged to have free samples for tasting on their stalls. Voting for the best sourdough taste?)

At the same time Stroudco would promote a special bakery offer for pre-order in advance of the Farmers Market stall and for order/delivery the week after.

The contents of the promotions would have to be worked out with the producers who we would expect to reciprocate our promotional efforts on their behalf with price reductions/special offers we can use.

We think focusing on a single product area at a time would reinvigorate peoples interest in the fresh and local concept of the market and stimulate new users to try these products with the backing of our’ 5 reasons’ why they should do so.


Last weekend we ran a stall at the farmers’ market adjoining our food hub.

We had samples of lots of difference produce on the stall and put up key messages on posters around the stall and collected email addresses of people who wanted to be on our mailing list.

We followed it up with this email:
Thanks for signing up at the stall yesterday for updates on the online Farmers’ Market a.k.a Stroudco Food Hub. We are very pleased that you support our local producers and now you can do so even if you are not in town on a Saturday or don’t want to carry heavy produce. Here are some details of:

· Local Food for Local People: Browse products here from lots of Farmers’ Market producers and many other small-scale growers and producers – many of which are not big enough to justify a stall at the Farmers’ Market but are all contributing to a growing, increasingly resilient local food economy which is independent of the supermarket culture.

· Lots of Producers. Only one payment: Order (in the same basket) from local businesses like Loose – Stroud’s new plastic-free shop and old favourites like Stroud Brewery

· Delivered or Collected: Each week you can choose to collect your produce from the Stroudco shed beside Fawkes Place car park or have it delivered to any address within 3 miles of Stroud centre

If you would like more detail on how the Stroudco system works please click here or email

Thanks for helping to build a fairer food system

Best wishes

The Stroudco team

Stroudco Food Hub – the online shopfront for Stroud Farmers’ Market

01453 840037