I caught up with Erik Östling, a 32 year old web developer living in Åre with his fiance. Together they are running a startup called Gårdsnära, which is Sweden’s largest site for finding local producers of food and drinks.
Having a father who worked as a chef and growing up in the Swedish country side, food and it’s production has always played a central part in Erik’s life. A few years back, Erik’s brother started a farm in Åre, herding sheep and milking cows. That got him thinking, how could he contribute and what can be done for people who want good quality food . Erik says that he wanted food that he could trust, “food with an identity that I could trust and in turn also take responsibility for”.
Gårdsnära has Sweden’s largest database of local producers with a massive 2135 sources. Using their native iOS app or a website, users can easily browse and discover new local producers nearby.
Erik and Lisa are putting in most of their time in building trust from producers and consumers, which takes a lot of time.
Our financial numbers are still in the reds but that’s no worry to me really – as I mentioned earlier we’ve put almost all of our efforts into building trust, working together with producers and consumers, and in making a good site. In addition, our growth is all organic and built by working in social media, SEO and of course more traditional PR activities such as writing to news papers/magazines and presenting Gårdsnära at food markets and other food events.