MONCTON – Andreas Papaioannou can often be found at the farmers’ markets of the Greater Moncton area. He’s there telling vendors about AllLocal.ca, a platform that promotes local products and services.
“A lot of those [vendors] don’t have their own websites or they live way out of town, and they don’t have another touch point to sell anything unless they come to the farmers’ markets,” he said.
Papaioannou and his business partner Endre Raduly launched AllLocal.ca last December so consumers can find these vendors. It aims to help New Brunswick businesses become more successful primarily by providing a directory of local producers and companies.
Ultimately, the company wants to move 1 per cent of import spending towards local sellers.
So far, 150 vendors from around New Brunswick are listed on the website. Vendors can sign up for free.
“What I believe we’re seeing is people going back to creating things for themselves and others. So, we want to provide an online platform for that in a local community setting,” he said.
AllLocal.ca doesn’t have a head office, with Raduly operating from Fredericton and Papaioannou in Moncton.
“We’re trying to fill gaps in between and out there. But because I’m present [in Moncton] and Endre’s in Fredericton, there’s more activity there,” Papaioannou admits.
However, AllLocal.ca doesn’t aim to be a seller of these local products and services.
“We just want to make the connection. We want to make the platform for people to come and look. You want shoelaces? Here are 10 local options for shoelaces.”
Endre Raduly, a Hungarian electrical engineer who works for the New Brunswick government, came up with the idea more than a year ago. But he only launched the website after meeting Papaioannou, a Vancouver native, on Kijiji.
Papaioannou was a freelance marketer looking to move to Moncton to be closer with his girlfriend. Already a fan of consuming homegrown produce because of his grandfather’s restaurant, Raduly’s idea struck a chord with Papaioannou.
“I just put an ad up and he contacted me. And [Raduly] essentially said you can either work on this for a budget or we can partner on this,” Papaioannou said. “I took a look at what he was doing and I just wanted to be more a part of it.”
Now the pair is looking to hire two marketing associates by taking advantage of the Youth Employment Fund.
“Since we’re a new company, it’s kind of a way for us to test the waters that way,” Papaioannou said. “We’re in the process already. We’d like to get everything done by July.”
For the next steps, AllLocal.ca wants to have more paid advertising partners on their website. It’s also looking for seed investors to raise $100,000, as well as partnerships that align with its values.
“We definitely want to partner with people, but we don’t want to lose our name [on the platform].”