Even as Co-Founders Chris Baggott and Nick Carter Announce their First Food Startup Exit, Plans for the Next Local Food Startup Are Already Cooking.
Indianapolis, IN – January 20, 2016 – Founded in 2013, Greenfield-based food startup Husk has placed its line of locally-grown frozen vegetables in over 300 grocery stores and supermarkets around the Midwest and expanded lines into soups, sauces, and more. That growth made Husk one of the fastest-growing food startups of its kind. Today the company announces that its food brand and processing business have been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Lifeline Farms, which plans to further vertically integrate the business into its existing vegetable production and processing enterprise. Wasting no time, co-founders Chris Baggott and Nick Carter plan to combine their savvy for tech startups with their passion for local food in a new venture: FarmersMarket.com. The mission of FarmersMarket.com is to create endless local markets for local farm and artisan products in an effort to overcome certain obstacles to local food access that existing food systems such as grocery stores inherently present.
“The grocery industry has made great strides in sourcing local food these past few years, and we were excited to be a driving force in that change at Husk,” said Nick Carter, co-founder of Husk, LLC and president of FarmersMarket.com. “But there are still a lot of farmers, artisans, and consumers that are being underserved. I believe the time has come to conceive of a new way—a tech enabled way—that local consumers can connect with local buyers. It’s time to tear down the dehumanizing barriers between ‘agri’ and ‘culture’ that the industrial food complex has created. Technology does just that.”
Chris Baggott, who first conceived of the FarmersMarket.com online model even before Husk was launched, says he was emboldened in his thinking after a recent trip to China. “They buy most of their groceries online, and not from some national brand or factory farm, they’re getting it from local and regional food systems,” recounted Baggott, Co-Founder and Chairman of FarmersMarket.com. “They trust their food sources, not because of packaging or labeling, but because they know where it comes from. I couldn’t deceive myself any longer into thinking that the American way of industrial food was better, somehow. It’s not.”
The concept is simple enough. Local farmers and artisans join as a supplier to one or more local “Market Hosts,” where consumers in an area or neighborhood can browse the local fare online, order, and pick up at their Market Host weekly. Home delivery is a goal for the future, but critical mass is important to make that economical, the co-founders say. And in reaching that critical mass, the first challenge isn’t getting product to consumers, it’s getting product off of the farms. “This is a supply issue, not a demand issue,” Carter says. The single greatest business challenge that traditional food retailers have not been able to overcome is the simple issue of knowing who has what for sale, and how much of it. Local food is, by nature, in limited and ever fluctuating supply. That’s where FarmersMarket.com says they’ve developed an industry-disrupting innovation. Their software is able to bridge the gap and allow vendors to supply countless local markets while keeping orders in line with production capacity.
The pilot markets are already live and accepting orders in Fishers and Zionsville, with more announced to launch in Carmel, Broad Ripple, Plainfield, Greenwood, Westfield, and Kokomo as soon as February.
To learn more about the FarmersMarket.com, visit www.farmersmarket.com or contact Nick Carter at 317-401-9338.
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