Startup Wants To Prevent Surplus Food From Ending Up At The Dump

By Wayne Heilman
The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Colorado Springs Startup “FoodMaven” acts as a middleman between buyers and sellers, creating an online marketplace and using a fleet of five refrigerated trucks to pick up surplus food from sellers and parcel it out to contract drivers to deliver to buyers.

The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

A Colorado Springs startup wants to become for the food industry what Uber is for the transportation industry.

Colorado Springs-based FoodMaven Corp. hopes to dramatically reduce the surplus food — mostly meat, produce, dairy and baked items — bought by grocery stores and distributors and make a profit at the same time by creating an online marketplace where grocery stores and distributors can sell and deliver that food to restaurants, institutional kitchens and commercial food preparation businesses at a steep discount.

The company started the marketplace in July in Colorado Springs, expanded late last year into the Denver area and now employs 22 people with plans to hire 50 more this summer as it expands to restaurants in Denver. Within five years, FoodMaven plans to operate in up to 100 major cities nationwide with plans to grow to $1 billion in revenue and 8,000 employees, including 800-1,200 in the Springs.

“We want to do to the food industry what Uber did to the taxi industry,” said Patrick Bultema, a longtime local entrepreneur and FoodMaven’s co-founder and CEO. “This is a national rollout to every major metropolitan area. We will raise hundreds of millions of dollars when we are done with this. We have such a compelling economic model that it justifies that level of capital raise. Investors are realizing the food system is the next frontier of innovation, and there are a lot of venture capital funds focusing on that sector including some from major food industry players.”

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