Local Made Easy

Photography Courtesy of Coterie Market 

In French, coterie means a gathering of like-minded people, and it’s fitting that a home-delivery business offering wares from local artisans would take its name from the word. “I really liked the meaning behind it,” says founder Chelsea Staires. “It fits this effort to support local businesses and bring together people who are making quality local products.” Looking for some baked-to-order ciabatta from Easy Tiger, a jar of preserves from Confituras or a screen-printed apron from Fisk & Fern?

Coterie Market has you covered, and the beauty is you don’t even have to leave home.

Staires knew that Austin had a large demographic of consumers with the income and desire to buy quality local products, but with limited time. Coterie Market helps connect these buyers with local producers by offering convenient online ordering and a two-business-day delivery turnaround for all merchandise—modeled after the popular Amazon Prime program. But unlike the staggeringly inclusive and often daunting Amazon model, Staires prefers to limit and curate her inventory by hand-selecting the very best options for each category. “I could offer twenty-seven different types of coffee, but I only offer one,” she says. “It’s important to me that I like and would use everything we offer.” And although foodstuffs make up about half of the inventory, the market also offers jewelry and art—everything from photo greeting cards to stamped kitchen towels—as well as candles, soaps and tinctures. The essential thread is that everything is made locally. “I love supporting the local market and buying from artisans where things are one of a kind,” says Staires. “I wanted to make it easier for people to do that without running all over town.”

Coterie Market also acts as an advocate for local artisans—helping them market their products to a customer base. Steve Lawrence of the Chocolate Makers Studio says Staires helped raise the profile of his business by taking care of some of the marketing for him. “She realizes that what we do isn’t mass-produced, that we can’t just pull it off a shelf,” says Lawrence. “She gives me the time and space to work.”

In a marketplace that’s becoming increasingly global, as well as driven by cost and speed of delivery, Coterie Market helps local makers compete. “These are precious things, and things that, in some cases, you can only find here,” says Staires, “like mayhaw jelly or certain types of leather. And that’s beside the fact that they’re great and delicious and fantastic quality.” That’s really what Coterie Market is all about: helping people to support quality local products so that they don’t disappear.
Lauren Walz

Find out more at coteriemarket.com