Founded by a classmate who had recently separated from the Navy, The Cottage was to capitalize on the growing market for specialty, homemade foods. After moving to Austin, TX, the founder was astonished at the availability and quality of the craft foods available in the area.
He wanted to make those foods available to customers around the country and allow sellers to expand their market. He approached me with building an online platform to launch his business.
The Cottage Platform
After evaluating the many options, I assembled the application using OpenCart and commercial plugins to enable a multi-seller marketplace.
OpenCart runs on a LAMP based stack and has a strong MVC architecture to support add-ons. I used Bootstrap/LESS for styling and hosted the project on Amazon Web Services using their EC2 (Apache webserver), RDS (MySQL database) and SES (email) services.
The Project End
Fortunately for my classmate, he was unexpectedly offered a job in Austin that was a perfect fit, and he had to leave The Cottage behind while he started at his new company.
We were able to separate on good term and I had only put in under 30 hours to assemble the current version of the site. By finding the right open-source frameworks and carefully shopping for the right commercial add-ons, I was able to keep costs down while putting together a working product.
The site now lives on as demo site highlighting my ability quickly customize existing open-source solutions with low up-front costs.