DELLI is a virtual food market in your pocket

sector - food & drink
type - big idea
Big Idea
sector - retail
The DELLI app lets users discover local food ‘drops’ and the stories behind their small-scale producers. Founder Simon Beckerman shares his ambitions

Let’s start with some background. Why was DELLI founded and what is it seeking to do in the food and drink sector?

During the pandemic, my wife and I started to notice how many incredible food creatives and food makers were popping up across London. Some were making products at home by hand, with quality ingredients and specific sustainability values. There was a focus on being local, entrepreneurial and creative.

We also noticed that they were selling through Instagram direct messages or via WhatsApp and email. We thought there was an opportunity for us to create a platform that brought this community together in such a way that you have a virtual food market in your pocket. I love building communities and working in the innovation space, and have experience building online platforms, thanks to Depop. So, [after leaving Depop] that was an area I wanted to focus on again.

There are two sides to the platform – you can buy as a customer and sell as a supplier or maker. How do these two types of users interact on DELLI?

The idea is that makers have their own shop on DELLI where users can follow them. They will be able to chat with these makers, comment on their products, like, share and, of course, buy from them. They’re all discoverable under one platform. Some products are for pre-order, so a user can click a ‘notify me’ button to know when the products drop. And some of them are more limited than others – they might be collection only or only delivered in a specific neighbourhood.

Published by:

28 February 2022

Author: Kathryn Bishop

Image: DELLI, London


Left: DELLI by Sophie Davidson, London. Right: DELLI, London.

Sustainable practices are central to the platform’s values. Tell us more about this.

It’s key for DELLI to make sure that we are doing something that is sustainable for the planet – this can translate in different ways. If you are a seller who lives in Hackney in London, for example, do you deliver to Brixton in South London, or if you are in Edinburgh do you ship nationwide? These are difficult questions but we hope to keep trade as local as possible. Another aspect is that we will help sellers to offer eco-packaging or use bicycles for shipping. But in general, the sellers that we bring on board do drops once every week or two, and they only produce based on how much they sell. So, they are limiting waste.

Let’s talk storytelling. The DELLI Instagram is full of candid shots of food suppliers and manufacturers – why is this visual aesthetic important to the platform?

You might have noticed that the pictures on DELLI’s Instagram are unique compared to other platforms. We use direct flash, and we often show moments that are not perfect – there’s flour on people’s shoes or spilt products. The idea is to give it a sense of realness so that people can identify themselves as makers and think ‘maybe I can open a little shop on DELLI’. They might love making lemon cakes on a Sunday and even if they only sell three a month on the app, that’s cool. So, we communicate that through our content but also through the style of the pictures and the language we use – we try to put ourselves on the same level as our community and try to be part of it, too.

With that in mind, who is DELLI’s target audience?

Our goal is to attract curious people who don’t know about [the makers]. We don’t expect the app to be used as a grocery shop. You either buy a product because you are passionate and curious about something or because there is one product that you are willing to spend a little bit more on than usual.

‘We don’t expect the app to be used as a grocery shop. You buy a product on DELLI because you are willing to spend a little bit more than usual’

Key Takeaways

: The brainchild of Depop founder Simon Beckerman, DELLI partners with small-scale food suppliers who use a ‘drop’ model to launch limited runs of products on the app

: Ideated during the pandemic, the community-focused app responds to people who want to shop locally and more sustainably, focusing on local producers and suppliers

: Taking cues from Depop, users can like, share and buy products, place pre-orders and follow local companies for updates, creating more intimate exchanges between customers and makers


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