Considering the enormity of our country, and the hodgepodge of influences on our regional cuisines, experiencing the breadth of American cuisine is virtually impossible. Joe Ariel and his team at Goldbely, a new kind of curated e-commerce marketplace, are making it easy for anyone to experience the best regional food from around the country.
From New York sandwiches to crab cakes from Maryland to biscuits from South Carolina, the online marketplace allows stand-out purveyors of regional and local specialties to market and sell their products to a national audience.
“By using technology to empower small shops and artisans, we are democratizing the gourmet food industry,” Goldbely CEO Joe Ariel tells TechCrunch.
How It Works
Think of it as a kind of virtual food-tourism. Users can browse by region or by state to find quintessential local restaurants, bakeries and artisan purveyors like Zabar’s in New York City, Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington D.C. and Rendezvous BBQ in Memphis. Except for pantry items, Goldbely usually features party-sized or gift-box items. When an order is placed, the company relays the customer information to their purveyor, who then fills the order, packages and ships the item to the customer.
A graduate of startup accelerator Y Combinator, Goldbely recently raised over $3 million in seed funding, led by Intel Capital to help grow its national marketplace.
The company takes a percentage of each marketplace transaction. The average price for one item is between $60-$80, with some products reaching well over $100. The large order bulk purchasing also allows for many items to be free of shipping costs.
Aside from the increase in sales, which Mashable reported amounted to over $100,000 between all 70+ participating companies last spring, the merchants also benefit from the brand recognition of being featured in a national marketplace. For nationally unrecognized, but deserving, local fare, such as Foster’s Market in Jams, North Carolina and Fairytale Brownies, in Phoenix, Arizona, just imagine the impact that having a presence in a “best-of-the-best” online store can have on growing the company’s potential market.