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The coronavirus has made our lives smaller in many ways. We’re seeing friends less, and just travelling beyond our own suburb has become an adventure. But one benefit of this lifestyle shrinkage is that we’re buying local more often; what began as necessity, for many of us has stuck as a good habit well into the eased-restrictions era.
Pierre “Pepe” Issa, co-founder and chief butter maker of Pepe Saya thinks that it’s the perfect time to raise awareness about investing in food security and the benefits of buying local.
Pepe Saya makes the best butter in Sydney. We think so, and so do the city’s best restaurants and bakeries. But just like so many other business in Australia, Pepe Saya struggled during lockdown, especially because restaurants and markets were the company’s primary revenue stream.
Fortunately, thanks to Pepe Saya beefing up its online product range and fans showing up online and en masse, Sydney’s favourite butter has come through on the other side of lockdown looking okay.
Pepe Saya was lucky; it’s a well-established brand with a loyal following. But many of Australia’s best artisans are less well known. Issa and his wife, Pepe Saya CEO Melissa Altman, want to do their bit to showcase these lesser-known makers and create a platform for their work. So it’s launched Aussie Artisan Week – seven days of spotlighting Australian producers, farmers and small businesses. Issa and Altman want to show consumers just how easy (not to mention tasty) it can be to buy local, if you have the information.
The inaugural edition of Aussie Artisan Week will be a virtual one: tune in to Pepe Saya’s Instagram each day between August 17 and 23 to learn about some of Pepe Saya’s favourite businesses. Yarra Valley Caviar, Olssons Sea Salt and Block 11 Organics will all make appearances. Many more are yet to be announced. Pepe Saya is asking you to share your local purchases during the week with the hashtag #AussieArtisanWeek.