Emma Pike started Farmer's market because she saw a gap in the market in Hong Kong. Now, the brand has just launched into Singapore and we discuss the secret to her multiple successes as an entrepreneur
If you want to buy the freshest fruit and vegetables online then there are a number of places to do so in Hong Kong. Likewise, if you require urgent wine delivery, it can (thankfully) be sorted post-haste, but shopping for ethically farmed meat in Hong Kong can be tough. Thankfully, Emma Pike from Farmer’s Market has a solution to this problem, and we chatted with her about being an entrepreneur in Hong Kong.
Emma Pike talks about the creation of Farmer’s Market and the keys to its success
When Emma Pike moved to Hong Kong from Sydney twelve years ago, she probably didn’t see ‘online meat delivery entrepreneur’ as a title in her future, but since 2016, her company Farmer’s Market has been supplying hungry Hong Kongers with naturally farmed lamb, beef, salmon, pork and chicken.
“It just started with a conversation at a bar with a farmer! A tourist was asking me what the meat was like in Hong Kong, and I was explaining that it’s quite expensive for the good stuff, and she suggested that we do something together. So then I just really started to look at the industry here.”
Pike is quick to point out that there are some great butchers in Hong Kong, and that there is quite a community around the industry. For her though, it was the traceability side that she believed was missing. “From the beginning, I saw a need in the market to source quality meat that was more expensive than the supermarket but less so than the specialty stores, and I also wanted to be able to tell people where it came from. Each product – be it beef, lamb or whatever – is sourced from one single farm in Australia, and I’ve visited the farms myself to see how they work. It’s just a simple way of doing things; it pretty much sells itself.”
Simple meat delivery makes life easier for everyone
This idea of simplicity is something that Pike has injected into all of her past businesses too, whether that be I.T., squash coaching or even selling swimwear. “With any business I do, I try and simplify things. I don’t want to be a supermarket. I don’t need pasta and other things on the shelf at Farmer’s Market because it makes it more complicated for me, and it makes it too complicated for the buyer, as they have too much choice.”
View this post on Instagram
this is a good guide to making 'foolproof roasted chicken' http://ow.ly/OEuN30hUVHz #farmersmarkethk #onlinebutcherhk #aussiemeat #butcherhk #sustainable #naturallyfarmed #hongkong #butchershop #paleo #protein #healthy #gourmetfood #homedelivered #chicken #aussiechicken #australianchicken #chooks
A lot of the business is also about education. “People will see ‘grass-fed’ on the label and not realise that it doesn’t actually mean that it’s 100% grass-fed. People get tricked by labels, and I do a lot of speaking at events about different grades and qualities so that people can understand what they are actually buying.”
Getting out and meeting people is one of the keys to Pike’s success. She works with a number of charities to donate products and recently co-organised an International Women’s Day event in Hong Kong. “I think for business, people have got to trust you before they buy, especially online, so I try to go and meet as many people as I can. I’ll go to Discovery Bay Market and cook up a free BBQ for everyone and just give away samples. I think by not selling, you’re actually selling.”
And having recently launched into Singapore, this seems to be a winning equation for Farmer’s Market and Emma Pike.
Find out more about Farmer’s Market
Want to learn about more great Hong Kong entrepreneurs? Sarah Lai talks to us about starting her own fashion label, Kaitie Manani sources sustainable products on The Slow Mode and Carol Luk discusses setting up her own ceramics workshop.