Thursday, September 10th, 2015

This Company Offers One-Stop Shopping For Artisanal Food (via Entrepreneur.com)

Imagine fresh food from the farmers market delivered to your door any day of the week.  Artizone, a company providing just that service focuses on connecting food artisans with consumers both locally and across the US.  Artizone partners with farmers, craftspeople, fishermen, and local dairies and updates their e-commerce site regularly to reflect the freshest items available.  They also carry pre-packaged grocery items you might find in a local Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

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In 2009, three software engineers, a CFO and an HR exec came up with a savory idea: They would create a platform that lets shoppers make purchases from multiple artisan food producers and have everything delivered in a single order, along with certain big-brand staples.

“To be successful, we knew we had to work with artisans in each city and build an online farmers market filled with local products,” explains Lior Lavy, co-founder and COO of Dallas-based Artizone.

Image credit: Anna Knott

Image credit: Anna Knott

Today the company works with hundreds of purveyors who sell everything from pancake mix to sea salt in three markets. We talked to Lavy about how he’s helping small food businesses expand their reach.

How did Artizone get started?

Our initial conversations were focused on creating an online supermarket. The more we talked about it, the more we fell in love with the idea of helping artisans who wanted an e-commerce site but didn’t have the knowledge or the budget to make it happen. At the same time, we knew that shoppers wanted to connect with these artisan producers without having to go to several stores all over town.

We traveled to Dallas—we picked it because of the demographics and the value of the specialty-food market—to talk to artisans about our idea, and their feedback was positive. We launched Artizone in 2010.

How do you create a seamless shopping experience?

Customers can purchase items from multiple artisans in one virtual shopping basket. All the artisans who work with us have access to the back end of the software to retrieve information about their orders. The makers pick and pack the orders; our driver picks them up and brings them to a centralized warehouse where they are organized and sent out for delivery—often in the same day. If products have a long enough shelf life, we’ll store them in our warehouse, and our staff will do the picking and packing.

Read more here.

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