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A stallholder smiles as she exchanges products for cash.
Photograph: Redfish Bluefish Photographic

You can support regional businesses by shopping via this online country market

Take a virtual wander through a country market and buy from affected artists and producers.

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Remember when we could just meander through the markets, browsing regional goodies, sampling treats, and brushing past strangers to our heart’s content? Not only have our casual weekend outings been compromised, but the small businesses that made markets their bread and butter have been hard hit. 

Recognising these challenging times, digital platform One Hour Out has stepped up to help out regional producers and artists with an online marketplace where shoppers can browse and buy their artisan, handmade products. Originally started as a guide to the best food and cultural experiences outside of Melbourne, the website has pivoted and relaunched as a digital market for regional Victorian businesses. One Hour Out is now expanding to take listings from businesses right across Australia.

On the site, you’ll find wares that will prompt you to say “that’s nice, it’s different, it’s unusual” like Nature Hooks, which are earrings designed to bring you closer to nature by encouraging you to find leaves, flowers and little treasures to hook into them; aromatherapy candles from The Grampians Goods Co; striking prints of native birds and flowers from the aptly named Bird & Blossom; and felted necklaces from Sarah Jane Jewelry. 

As far as things you can eat, you’ll find bottles and jars of flavoursome goods from Truffle Paddock, such as the Holy Moly Truffle Aioli; and Pangkarra Wholegrain Pasta from the Clare Valley in South Australia. 

Helping out shoppers as well as sellers, the site offers free shipping when you buy from stallholders in your own state, and flat-fee shipping for interstate purposes. At the end of the checkout process, you can also choose a charity that One Hour Out will donate $1 to, including Foodbank, Greening Australia and Women’s Community Shelters.

Head over to made.onehourout.com.au to start filling your basket (no actual basket required). 

Support bushfire-affected businesses from the Victorian High Country by ordering virtual experiences and gourmet products.

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