good eggs alan gastelum

5 Online Food Retailers Looking to Change the Grocery Game

Good Eggs is one of several startups offering online portals to excellent ingredients.

As Jane Black explains in our current issue, the Silicon Valley startup Good Eggs pairs the artisan quality of farmers markets with the convenience of FreshDirect, and now they’ve expanded from the 415 to the 718. Lucky us.

But Good Eggs isn’t the only e-tailer reinventing food shopping with a one-two of digital and delivery. Several other startups offer online portals to excellent ingredients. As the founder of Farmigo said at the Edible Institute, his plan is to put supermarkets out of business. Here are four others working to change the grocery game forever:

good eggs alan gastelum
Good Eggs customers can order items like Kreimheld butter, White Moustache yogurt and Fine & Raw Chocolates.

Quinciple: I love this weekly box. Delivered by bike, it’s a little like a CSA in that its contents are a surprise each time. But rather than going monogamous with one farm and receiving their produce each week (be it pristine mesclun or sandy basil) each delivery holds special gems hand selected from the most interesting producers across the country. Picture Jersey snap peas, Hudson Valley sheep’s cheese, heirloom Carolina rice and wild-caught Alaskan sockeye. Killer recipes included.

Farm to People: This site offers the spectacular handmade ingredients we’re used to stocking up on at shops like BKLYN Larder and Stinky Bklyn, with the convenience of Amazon. No fresh produce or raw meat, but I’ve happily stocked my pantry more than once with their tightly curated selections like Kings County Jerky, Tonjes Farm Ricotta, Squash Seed Drizzling Oil, Caraway Kraut from Crock & Jar, Einkorn Flour from the Vermont Sail Project, McClure Relish, We Rub You Korean BBQ Marinade and Liddabit beer-pretzel carmels. Not to mention beer shampoo. In fact it’s hard to finish this post now; I just want to go on a shopping spree.

Blue Apron: Aiming for an audience beyond the traceability-obsessed, this site lets customers click to order specific meals — like harissa-spiced lamb burgers, maple-glazed salmon with watercress  and seared pork with rhubarb chutney and freekeh — then they deliver all ingredients to make each dish, complete with recipes. For your brother who read Michael Pollan’s Cooked but doesn’t know how.

Farmigo: Another Bay Area biz that’s expanded to the BK, Farmigo is the only one on this list that forgoes delivery. Shoppers click through weekly options including local produce, dairy, seafood and meat. But rather than get that Ithaca yogurt, Long Island scallops, Jersey strawberries and Hudson Valley honey dropped to your door, you pick it up once a week at a host’s home. Which, depending on how you look at it, can be a pretty cool bonus. Because the great conversations you have at farmers market are pretty hard to fit into a box.

Inspired to launch your own startup? Join the club. But first check out our resource guide for Edible-minded entrepreneurs.

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Gabrielle Langholtz is the editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. Her background includes many projects at the intersection of gastronomy and ecology: She ran communications for the Greenmarket office, wrote the teacher's guide to Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire, worked on a Catskills vegetable farm, volunteered at The Edible Schoolyard and taught a food systems course at NYU. Now married to the head livestock farmer at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, she has visited dozens of local farms, milked cows and sheep, played midwife to ewes, castrated piglets, tapped sugar maples, foraged ramps, got in the way of swarming bees, helped slaughter turkeys and has planted and picked more varieties of fruits and vegetables than most Americans eat in a lifetime—which admittedly isn’t saying much. While she wants to change the food system one reader/eater at a time, she prefers using carrots to sticks.

  • Joan Voight

    Why not include prices in this coverage?

    • http://www.melissadanielle.com/ Melissa Danielle

      Prices fluctuate due to seasonal availability and other parameters that come with creating a food system that addresses true food costs. Most of the companies mentioned above give access to the site without requiring a login, so you can browse before you sign up.

  • Joan Voight

    Why not include prices in this coverage?

  • Anna

    We are doing Farmigo at our school- a percentage of sales go back to the school. We started doing it as more of a community service than a fundraiser, but the bonus money is nice. Of course, getting fresh, local food delivered to school is even nicer.

  • greggzuk

    Quinciple partners with revolutionrickshaws.com to deliver its boxes of goodies to NYC homes via RR’s team of deliverists and fleet of freight trikes.