A pre-lunch visit to the online marketplace Foodzie is not for the faint of heart: the startup’s efforts to highlight the products of independent food producers includes images and details about cheeses, chocolates, and sauces that will make your mouth water. The artisan product provider earned recognition as one of BusinessWeek’s Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs earlier this year, and the results have been delicious.
While working for a private label market in North Carolina, Emily Olson, one of the three member Foodzie founder team (above in the middle), realized how hard it can be for small producers to get their products in front of retailers. The stories behind the foods and companies weren’t being well conveyed, and she set up shop with Rob LaFave and Nik Bauman to create a marketplace where producers could promote their products easily. “This lets them focus on chocolate or what they’re really good at,” said Olson, whose notable finds since starting the site have included truffle popcorn and almond butter crunch toffee. “We see ourselves as part of a bigger movement around more sustainable and high quality food. And even in a recession, we’ve found that people may not be going for big extravagances but are still buying small luxuries.” Sounds like it’s time for a gourmet pickle party pack.