Attracting food lovers since the 10th century, London’s Borough market has hardly changed with the times: winding passages house independent traders eager to showcase their artisanal produce to the bustling crowds. There is, however, one major change: in past times the adjacent bridge formed the only entrance to the city of London, making a market a necessity rather than an experience. Nowadays, food savvy customers search out the market from all corners of the world, due to its reputation for unique and high quality products.
A perfect example is Marianna Kolokotroni’s ‘Oliveology’, nestled deep within the market. Marianna wanted to showcase the purity and simplicity of Greek cuisine in a different way, showing the world that Greek food is more than just tzatziki and moussaka. Starting 7 years ago with just a table, an umbrella, and a selection of hand picked olive oils from her farm in Sparta, Marianna has transformed Oliveology from an idea into an established store, selling a selection of Greek oils, cheeses, honeys and olives, to name but a few. With a loyal following established through her website and social media, her aspirations are as high as her olives are delicious.
“It really saves you a lot of time and allows you to stay on top of your business..our previous system seems like a century ago now”
Before choosing Lightspeed, Marianna’s team were using pen and paper to manage sales and stock. Human error was inevitably common and she was unable to accurately monitor the stall’s performance. Marianna can now oversee every aspect of her business, from optimal opening hours for sales, to which products are selling better than others.
“I have no idea how some of these traders here manage to cope and reconcile without this technology, I could never go back!”
“I enjoy being able to log in from wherever I am, on my computer or on my phone. It really helps for inventory management”
As a company that imports all of their product from bespoke farms in Greece, and has expanded rapidly in the past year, Oliveology keeps an enormous amount of stock in warehouses. This stock was growing out of control before Marianna chose Lightspeed, and she simply couldn’t keep up. With Lightspeed’s cloud-based system, she can now manage inventory and stock from home, Borough Market, or the warehouse.
“Stock management still takes time and effort, for sure, but it is an awful lot easier”
“The interface was clean and simple, it makes sense”
One of the main factors in Oliveology’s decision to choose Lightspeed was the system’s aesthetic appeal. According to Marianna, the sleek design allows her to simplify running her store, without detracting from the authentic and historic atmosphere of Borough Market. She wants her customers to immerse themselves in the experience of market trading and focus on what’s truly important; the fresh artisanal produce scenting the air and lining the shelves. Staff member Christianna told us how easy the system was to learn and use, which has allowed the team to spend more time with clients, even offering a variety of award-winning raw olives as a taster on arrival!
“It was so useful to come in and attend training with an expert, and being just around the corner is such a bonus”
Every customer who makes the decision to work with Lightspeed can profit from free onboarding and training with a Product Specialist in our London offices, either in person or via videoconference. This experience made Marianna much more confident with the system and its many capabilities. As she admits, the life of a market trader isn’t for everyone, it can be gruelling and tiring. Having access to round-the-clock advice is therefore very reassuring, and one less potential problem to have to consider.
“It’s great that I can pop in to Lightspeed whenever I need to, that we are neighbours. It makes such a difference to have a local provider”