A rapidly growing Colorado Springs start up is making a mark in the mega business of food supply. The company is called Food Maven. The business is applying digital technology in a new way to make a profit while also preventing food waste.
“Food Maven came out of a realization that there is a lot of food that gets lost in the U.S. food system,” said co founder and CEO, Patrick Bultema. Food is produced and moved in mass to give consumers pick of pretty much any food they want. That system often leads to overstock. It is food some companies discard. Food Maven founders are using technology to turn the overstock into a resource for commercial kitchens.
Food Maven is now an on-line ordering resource for items identified as excess from large food suppliers and retailers. Instead of designating it as loss, Food Maven is a resource to offset loss. On the other end the people who run kitchens can go on-line and see what is available at discounted prices. “For us we saw the benefit really early and we suspected there was a great benefit there,” said The Wild Goose café owner, Russ Ware. Commercial kitchens sometimes spot everyday first quality items at a great price, other times a great price inspires a daily or weekly special.
The concept applies digital technology to create a new link the food supply chain. Food Maven has been on-line less than year, but the concept has taken hold in Colorado Springs and expanded to Denver. “We’ve been on a pace of doubling revenue month over month,” said Bultema, “Which is a really hard kind of growth rate to keep up with.” It is not a complaint, instead a challenge from a successful idea. In the next three to five years founders see the potential for this concept to move into every major market in the country.
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