<< Back


More posts >>
<< Back




Back end:
Front end:
Core challenge:
eCommerce and logistics

Farmdrop is an online grocer with a focus on food sourced from local farmers, fishermen and other producers.


Experiencing startup growth

While working there, I developed and maintained the full stack of our food marketplace platform, powered by Rails and React/Redux. I joined Farmdrop in a very early stage, where the head count was around 8, by the time I left it was over 50. As a rapidly growing small business, it’s a versatile environment, where I dealt with a great range of tasks including payment processing, adaptive UIs, business automation, recruitment, scaling, product roadmap planning etc.

From Angular 1.3 to Webpack + React

About a year into my time at Farmdrop is when frameworks using the virtual DOM really took off (React in particular). We had a full rewrite of the site, that wasn’t triggered by tech reasons per se, but rather due to a change of business model in how we deal with last mile delivery from collection points to door to door. However, it served as a nice point to jump off Angular and enter the world of store + shadow DOM based architecture that is still industry standard for most complex web apps today.

What’s the biggest challenge with online groceries?

The most critical business problem for an online grocer surround logistics and stock management. At this stage in the Farmdrop business model, the core USP was always that it was a true farm to table service, and perishable items came direct from the producers to a central packing hub, to be delivered to customers the same day. This leads to a reduction of food waste due to not keeping stock. But this means that stock numbers are variable per day, and all availability needs to be tied in to the customer’s selected delivery date. To resolve this we put a lot of emphasis in the UX to always start by selecting a delivery date, and scope the rest of the shopping experience to this. Essentially each product has a key value store with delivery dates and quantities available, that was added to the elastic search index to scope the store to a delivery date in a performant manner.


I spent 3 years with Farmdrop. It was a great place to learn. I believe early stage companies are great for junior developers as it forces you to get involved with every section of a business. As the team grew, procedures and the requirements grew more extensive