What About Leo
- What About Who? - Who and what is Leo?
- What About Leo is the online platform where you can buy incredible food directly from the most passionate artisan food producers of Europe.
- Who is Leo?
- The name is inspired by the first producer we met, Leonardo. The “Leo”s are all the artisan producers we work with.
- How did you guys come up with the idea?
The first seeds of the idea were planted when Tom wanted to visit a producer of excellent Parmigiano Reggiano in Italy back in 2014. After a long search he met Leonardo, a devoted artisan producer who had been preparing Parmigiano for the last 27 years. After showing Tom his dairy farm he shared with him his struggle to find customers. Few consumers would come to his farm shop and selling to large distributors would force him to substantially scale his production to decrease prices and quality. And compromising quality has always been something Leonardo was against.
We then travelled through Europe to meet with lots of passionate producers and realised that many of the producers had the same struggle. They all excelled in the preparation of their product but did not have the time, money, and expertise to reach out to food lovers across Europe. We wanted to help and we knew how. This is how our idea was born.
- Who is the team behind What About Leo?
- We are a team of 5 passionate food lovers, Tom, Fede, Jordan, Dominique and Tobi. 4 nationalities (Italian, British, French and German), living in 3 countries (Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland), in the 2nd year of What About Leo, all with 1 dream: becoming the platform in Europe to connect to and buy from amazing artisan food producers! ;)
- Aren’t you just another middle man?
- Our attempt is to link consumers directly to producers, making the connection as transparent as possible. Because of the shipping costs, we need to aggregate orders, and the only way to do this for now is to to be that link. So, yes, technically we are a middle man, but we try to be as thin and as transparent as possible.
- What’s your dream for What About Leo?
- We’d like to be able to connect any passionate food artist in Europe to all food lovers looking for a transparent way to purchase the most delicious products.
What About Producers?
- Where do you find your producers?
To identify potential candidates we start with an extensive research on producers who won awards, received excellent reviews, are part of Slow Food, or were featured by local food blog.
Often we also receive suggestions from members of the What About Leo community! We then narrow down the list by trying to find more information on the story of each producer and getting a feeling of the size of their activity and whether they would need support.
- How do you choose which producers to use?
Once we have a definite list, we do our final selection by travelling to the area of each producer. We talk to local people, often including chefs, which are expert in sourcing local delicacies. Obviously we visit each of the producers and bring back samples.
The whole team, together with a group of selected food lovers helps with the final assessment to decide whether a product has the right wow effect to join our platform.
- Do producers really get a fair share?
We think they do. Firstly, we never negotiate on prices of their product. We firmly believe the only way to maintain the diversity of amazing food in Europe is to support producers by allowing them to sell at their desired price. Any reduction in price would over time affect the quality of their products.
Secondly, we aggregate all orders of one producer so that shipping prices will have the lowest possible impact. This also allows producers to prepare fewer, larger orders, instead of having to pack hundreds of individual packages.
Thirdly, we keep our margins limited to an average of 20%. Of the price you pay on the website, our producers receive directly 60-70% of that and 10-20% is spent on the transportation.
- What sort of certifications do your producers have?
Lots of our producers are part of Slow Food, other ones have a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), some other have Organic products.
Yet other ones do not have any certifications, often because of the high cost and long procedure to obtain one. We tried all of them, and are fully behind the quality.
- I know a producer, can I introduce them to What About Leo?
- Absolutely! It has already happened and we look forward to this happening more and more often! Will any producer you suggest be live automatically be on the website? Not at once, as it will any case need to go through the selection process described in the points above.
What About our Products?
- How do you guarantee the quality of the products?
- We have tested all the products before we add them to our website. And we do not do this only once, it is a continuous process as we use our products to develop recipes and to let members of the community taste them at the events.
- How does the product get from the producer to me?
- We aggregate the orders that all the members of the What About Leo community make each week for each producer. We then optimize as much as possible for shipping. We receive all products from the producers in a central location. Each week we then deliver products to local pick-up points - small businesses we partner with - or, for a small fee, you’ll be able to receive all products at home.
- Are the products really made in a traditional manner?
- Most of the producers use very traditional methods, which have been perfected over generations. Some of the producers merge tradition and innovation to create their own legacy with no compromises.
- Will you also be doing products such as vegetables?
- We are not planning to do this any time soon. We believe there are lots of local initiatives which connect local producers of fresh products directly to consumers which we fully support.
- Why don’t I see any products from the Netherlands?
- We focused first on products which we felt were really missing from the Netherlands. Local producers are often easier to reach. In case you know a producer you’d like us to reach out to, let us know!
- Why are some products not available?
- We are working with very small producers with a limited production and it can happen that their products are temporarily sold out. Some products are seasonal, once this year production has been sold they will only be available next year. And to guarantee you optimal freshness some producers only start preparing your product after you ordered it. But we guarantee it’s worth the wait!
What About becoming a member?
- How do I register?
- That’s pretty easy. You can create an account by either using an existing Facebook user or using an email address and creating a password. There is no fee involved.
- How do I find you on Social Media?
- Please follow these links: - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest
- How can I stay up to date?
When you create an account on our website you will receive sporadic email updates. Obviously you are free to unsubscribe at any time.
The best way to stay up to date is to follow us on Facebook. We also have a Facebook groups dedicated to food: What About Food.
- How can I visit you at events?
- The easiest way is to follow us on Facebook or join the What About Food group. You can also let us know you’d like to be kept up to date about events by writing to email@example.com.
- What do I get for being a member?
First and foremost you’ll be able to get access to the delicious products prepared by incredibly food artisans.
You will be part of a community of passionate food lovers, who share the interest in good food and transparency.
Your help will most importantly support these producers and allow them to continue doing what they worked so hard for.
What About Ordering?
- How can I order your products?
- We have two categories of products. Our "regular" products, which you can order at any moment and our "Crowd Funded" products, which you can get only by joining an open order.
- How does the ordering process for regular products work exactly?
- It's easy! You select all of the products you would wish to buy and add them to your shopping cart. Then you will have the option of whether you would like to collect free of charge from a local collection point (only available in Amsterdam & Eindhoven currently) or whether to pay a small charge and get the items delivered at home (currently only available for orders in the Netherlands and a selected group of EU states - see the Delivery Details page). All that's left to do once you have your products is enjoy!
- How does the ordering process for Crowd Funded products work exactly?
- You can join any of the open orders on this page. During the checkout you will have the option of whether you would like to collect free of charge from a local collection point (only available in Amsterdam & Eindhoven) or whether to pay a small charge and get the items delivered at home (available for orders in the Netherlands and a selected group of EU states - see the Delivery Details page). You will receive an email when the order is successful with more details about the delivery time.
- When and where can I collect my products?
There will be weekly collection spots in our current active cities (Amsterdam & Eindhoven). When you make your order, you will be able to select the collection point that is most convenient for you in regards to both location and date, you might be away this week and want to pick up the week after!
We will deliver the products to the collection point and they will be waiting for you from the date specified! It's as simple as that :)
- I don’t live in any available city - can I still order?
- Sure, we can deliver at your home/office for €6.95 in the Netherlands - see the Delivery Options page for shipping rates and availability towards other EU countries.
- Can I get my order delivered at home and much does it cost?
- Yes - to any location in the Netherlands for €6.95.
- Can I order if I live outside of the Netherlands?
- Yes, we are able to deliver any product except for wine in the countries listed on the Delivery Options page.
- How long will it take to receive any of the regular products?
- We do deliveries the first week of each month. You will see a date during the checkout process.
- How long will it take to receive any of the Crowd Funded products?
- It depends on how quickly an order closes. For example, if an order is still open for 2 weeks, it might take up to 2 weeks for the order to close and then up to 3 weeks for the products to be delivered to us from the producer. You will receive more details by email during the process, and you can always reach out to us if you'd like more information.
What About Quality?
- What happens if I don't like what I bought?
- We select only the very best artisanal products in Europe, this is why we are so confident you will love them too. If you receive something, and, after trying it, you are not in love with the product, we will return the full amount to you.
- How does the refund procedure works?
- You can write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us your experience. We will only ask you to be able to contact you by phone to better understand what you think, so that we can improve over time. At the end of the call, we will make a full refund (including shipping costs) with the same payment method you had used for the order.
What About Using my Products?
- How can I best store my products?
- Please check the “Shelf Life” information on each of the product pages on our website. It will tell you how best to keep your products and how long they will last.
- How long will my products last?
- Please check the “Shelf Life” information on each of the product pages on our website. It will tell you how best to keep your products and how long they will last
- Do you have any inspiration for what I can do with my products?
You can take a look at our Recipes section on the website, which shows many different recipes all inspired by our amazing products!
If you read the individual product pages for the products you have bought, you will find some nice tips and tricks, ways to prepare and some linked recipes!
You can also check out our Facebook page to see what some of the community members have been doing with their products too!
- I want to share something I made, where can I do that?
If you have something nice to share with us, you can always email us at email@example.com, and we might even put it on the website!
Of course you are also more then welcome to upload any recipes, suggestions or questions on our What About Food Facebook Group, where all the members of the What About Leo community will be able to help you!
What About Getting Involved?
- How can I visit you at events?
- Just register on our website or follow us on Facebook and we’ll keep you posted of upcoming events!
- I know a producer, can I introduce them to What About Leo?
- Of course! We would love to hear from you! Please just drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Facebook. We will contact your producer and get him through our selection process
- I would like to become an order pick-up place in my city, how can I do this?
- Great, we’d love to work with you! drop us a mail at email@example.com or contact us on Facebook and let’s have a chat about the process and possibilities.
- I am a producer and my products would be a match for What About Leo - Can I get in touch?
- Yes! You’re very welcome, just drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Facebook. We will contact you and get you through our selection process
- How can I help What About Leo out?
What About Leo can never have enough help! We regularly have events that need hungry mouths to feed and feedback is needed on new choices of producers and products. Even sneak previews / exclusive events for a select few!
We are always on the lookout for new, exciting producers.
We of course would love to expand to new cities and establish ourselves as the platform to connect incredible artisan producers to food lovers in Europe so, if you have exciting opportunities, please get in touch!
Even better, just become an active member of our community! Create and post recipes, answer questions for new and existing members, come to our events, invite your friends and help spread the word! Every little help is really appreciated :)