Case Study

Tante Hilde - A free virtual marketplace for your local stores

We help searchers by bundling and clearly presenting all online and delivery offers in the Allgäu. We support the small shops and service providers in the Allgäu, which we have become fond of and which we painfully miss in times like these. (Tante Hilde)


In the article, I want to tell you about my time during corona, the lockdown and how we tried to help our local stores.

Tables of Contents

  1. Once upon a time in my home office
  2. Why Tante Hidle?
  3. What is the tech stack?
  4. Do we have competitors, and how do we deal with them?
  5. Can you have your own Tante Hilde?
  6. What’s next?

Once upon a time in my home office

The coronavirus hit us all. Like in many countries we have a total lockdown for most of public life. I am working remotely for many years, so it isn’t a big deal to be productive at home as it may be for many others. Due to that, I had a bit of time during the first week of the lockdown, I thought much about Kempten in the Allgäu, the city I live in. It is not a big city compared to others in Germany, but I like that. It only takes some time until you know the people around your block: the greengrocer, the bakery, flower shop and many more. From the first day of the lockdown, they weren’t able to sell their products the way they used to.

On the same day, I read that Amazon is advertising 100.000 positions. That warned me. Okay, now I have to do something! Can I help them, and what would be the best way? Then I received a phone call. It was from Julia. I have met Julia once before in the Gründervilla where I have my co-working desk.

She said that it maybe sounds stupid, but she thinks we creative people need to do something and if I like to work with her together for free to help our local stores. She probably already knew that none of this was stupid. I accepted right away, and we started thinking about how we can help. At the end of the phone call, we agreed to create a free virtual marketplace for our local region.

The idea was that we have one platform where all the local shops can present their store, how they work during corona, delivery and order conditions, webshop and much more. We ask Tom and his agency to support us for the distribution and started right away.

Why Tante Hidle?

Logo of Tante Hilde

Based on the concept of corner shops - shops that stand for loyalty and personality like no other shopping experience, we created this platform. The historical Hildegard is the eponym for our platform, who, as the third wife of Charlemagne, is of decisive importance for the Allgäu region.
Hava a loook at our Tante Hilde.

What is the tech stack?

Tante Hilde is a blazing fast (😏) GatsbyJs site. We collect the information from our local stores via a Google Form, validate them and finally export them to a CSV file.

With the gatsby-transformer-csv plugin, I transform the csv data to nodes and generate most of the pages. Our Schaufenster is backed by a Wordpress blog, where we request all the post for our Schaufenster (store window). Finally, we host our platform on now.

Aren’t there enough similar platforms?

Yes, there are similar platforms. A couple of days after our first release, we discovered several platforms with the same idea even only in our region. But as we have no economic interests in our platform, we don’t think that we have a competitive relationship with them. In the end, we all want to help the local stores, and if they can be present on multiple platforms, it is even better as long as they are free of charge.


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Can I have my own Tante Hilde?

Yes, and you should! Our code is released under the MIT license. You can fork my repository and create your virtual marketplace, or you can support our platform. As we all work for free, we have many open tasks. Feel free to contact us!

4. What’s next?

You find all the resources for this article on GitHub. Feel free to check it out, try some stuff or fork it.

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Cheers Marc

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