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Can't Make a Farmers Market? Service Delivers Local Artisanal Products

By Serena Dai | June 12, 2013 7:18am
 Artizone.com offers delivery for artisanal products in the city.
Artizone.com offers delivery for artisanal products in the city.
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LAKEVIEW — Local artisanal products are no longer restricted to summer neighborhood farmers markets or small stores across the city.

A growing site called Artizone has been working with Chicago artisans — from Black Dog Gelato to Spice House — and building an online grocery store of specialty products.

It's like a small-batch version of Peapod, the online grocery store — except "cool," said Nick Lush, Artizone Chicago's director of marketing, formerly of boutique cheese and meats shop Pastoral

"It's everyday grocery options for people, but the things that we’re carrying are reflective of Chicago area, and the 'cool food movement,'" he said. 

The site, owned by an Israeli software team, now has more than 35 Chicago shops in its repertoire, the product of a year's worth of work building a database. 

The idea is to simplify how people buy the best products in Chicago, Lush said. An average grocery trip doesn't take long, but trying to buy veggies from Green Grocer in West Town, burgers from Gepperth's Meat Market and a pie from Pleasant House Bakery in Bridgeport in one trip go could end up taking hours, Lush said. 

An Artizone user could buy it all at once and have it delivered.

The simplicity does come at a small upcharge: Items on the site cost about 5 percent more than they might in the store to cover shipping and package costs, and there's a $5.95 delivery fee for orders less than $120. 

But people want to buy small batch now, for both the quality of the food and the story behind the products, he said. 

"People are starting to buy into food as making a statement about how you want society to run," he said.