|Frequently Asked Questions|
What is the Virtual Farmers Market (VFM)?
The VFM is a virtual take on the traditional farmers market, it’s an interactive online shop. The menu on the left is set up by category then broken down into individual companies. Just like a real farmers market you walk from company to company seeing what they sell. Each company page has a video on the right hand side, where they talk about their company and the idea behind each product they sell. Meeting the person behind the food makes it true artisan food.
The Virtual Farmers Market is a unique place where you can hear stories from the producers’ first-hand, find out their inspiration, and how they make their food & drink so tasty. It’s a place where you can ‘top-up’ your larder with artisan items of food & drink, that you would not be able to find in any supermarket, then get them delivered directly to your door in one box.
The Virtual Farmers Market is set to revolutionise the way you shop for artisan food. It is unique, and stands apart from other online shops. Because it offers products from small producers that can’t be found anywhere else.
The main purpose of the Virtual Farmers Market is to act as a Google type search engine for artisan food online. Google will only tell you about food you are thinking about at the time, and not inspire you just like you would be walking around a real farmers market. You may start shopping for chilli jam and then find some great fudge. Google just does not do that for you as an online shopper.
How does the VFM work?
Most importantly, you will be able to ‘meet’ the producer via a video stream that gives a brief description of the goods for sale, its producer and a link to a virtual shopping basket. This then allows a mixture of items to then be delivered to your home or to your work.
Food producers benefit because it extends the scope of their business, allowing them 24/7 access to the already massive and constantly growing online food shopping market. Shopping locally is very important... the Virtual Farmers Market allows you to support local producers and give consumers the opportunity to support other local producers nationally. (Producer location map at bottom of site) The more we support as many artisan producers as possible the more profitable they are and hence we can all ensure their survival.
Why was it created?
The Virtual Farmers Market was created in order to reconnect you with the people that produce your artisan food & drink. We aim to take the farmers market experience directly to your home. Founder Marcus Carter wanted to be able to offer independent food & drink producers the opportunity to reach new people and new markets without having to go through the multiples.
How easy is it to use?
It’s as easy as pie. The Virtual Farmers Market is as easy and fun as visiting any ‘real-life’ farmers market. But with the Virtual Farmers Market you can visit it 24/7 come rain or shine!
At The Virtual Farmers Market we pre-order all the goods to reduce the food miles and store in a distribution unit in London (SE16). We then consolidate the orders as they come in, and ship out directly to you in one box. There are a few companies we order in on an order by order basis, as they are fresh items and we don’t want to have to freeze them to gain extended life. All the other fresh items I pick up personally from shops or manufacturers in London as we get your order arrives.
What type of products can I find at the VFM?
All categories of products, from meat to jars of preserves and from sauces to alcoholic and non-alcoholic tipples. We also offer special boxes. We are particularly proud to be able to offer an exclusive Saturday Breakfast Box by the legendary Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm in the Lake District. New food & drink producers will only be invited to join us once we have tasted their products, to make sure they have the quality you would expect of thre Virtual Farmers Market.
What about the delivery charge?
The delivery charge is set at a flat rate of £6 across mainland UK. Free delivery over £100.
£6 - Parcelforce standard
£10 Parcelforce delivered by noon
£15 Parcelforce delivered by 9am
£20 Parcelforce Saturday delivery
Once you have made your order and submitted it, the virtual farmer will make contact via email to arrange a suitable delivery date. Some chilled items are picked up from the producers as they are ordered to make sure you get them at their freshest. This can mean a few extra days from order to door.
Last orders taken for normal delivery each week are around noon on Thursdays.
We can deliver to your home or work address. We have an arrangment with Parcelforce for them to leave orders in a safe place if you are not there. Or you can on the last check-out page leave any message for us to instrust the driver if a neighbour can accept it, or something similar. A note will be left to tell you where to find it?
We use temperature controlled boxes (when needed) to ensure your food stays fresh. This can keep the goods cool for in excess of 24 hours but once opened, it will need to go into a refrigerator within 30 minutes.
Pick up in person - The Virtual Farmer is based in London. It is possible to make a prior arrangement for the box to be collected in NW6 or SE16. You can also collect your order from the Farmers Market on the Kings road on a Saturday from 10am-4pm. Please use the feedback form on the “contact us” page to make enquiries about these options, before selecting on the check out page “pick up in person” (£0.00). We can also hand deliver but need this to be a prior arrangement as well.
Or simply email us phone 020 7231 4314
Shipping outside the UK?
Currently we are charging £6 per deliver to mainland UK. If you live out side mainland UK please email for a quote or place your order and we will arrange collection of extra funds needed over the phone. If it is not possible for the order to be shipped we will refund you immediately. All orders outside the UK will only be shipped with ambient goods and no fresh/chilled food can be included. Again fresh/chilled food with be refunded to you immediately.
£12.00 - Jersey & Guernsey (no fresh food)
£15.00 - Northen Ireland & Eire
£15.50 - France, Germany & Denmark (no fresh food)
£26.00 - Spain, Portugal & Greece (no fresh food)
£25.00 - Italy (no fresh food)
£35.00 - Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, San Marino (no fresh food)
£35.00 - Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden & Switzerland (no fresh food)
£14.01 - Belgium, Luxembourg & Netherlands (no fresh food)
£40.00 - Bulgaria, Canary Islands & Gibraltar (no fresh food)
Here at the Virtual Farmers Market we believe in recycling in it's truest sense. So the boxes and packets that your great goodies arrive in, may not be as perfect themselves, because we reuse the boxes from our producers deliveries whenever we can.
Is there a minimum order?
We don’t have a minimum order
I hope this answers most of your questions! Enjoy shopping with us!