Subscription Service Love With Food Helps Gourmets Discover New Treats

9/27/12Follow @xconomy

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I have data to prove it’s something people want.” But testing showed that people were very willing to sign up for monthly treats.

Now, for $10 a month, subscribers get a taste of about 10 different items. For every sale she makes—whether a subscription or a bag of hemp seeds or Bone Suckin’ Sauce or Earth Family honey—the company donates free meals to people in need. Donations from subscriptions go to the charities Feeding America and Share Our Strength; specialty food makers can choose a local food bank to send the funds to. Since launching publicly in January, Love With Food has provided 13,440 meals to people in need, Ong says.

In July, Love With Food announced the company had raised a seed round of $645,000, led by Justin Kitch, founder of Homestead.com. It’s also grown from Ong’s one-man band to an operation of five and a half employees that’s about to grow by one more.

For Ong, building up Love With Food is a way to disrupt the $56 billion American food market. “When we go to food shows, they really love us,” she says. “The don’t have to go through brokers or distributors anymore. When they hear it’s nationwide, their eyes light up.“

It’s also a great way to prove the single founder naysayers wrong. “Being a single founder was sort of an obstacle,” she says. “But now, no one really brings it up anymore,” she says. “I’m glad people have the faith in me that I can grow the company by myself. And I have a great team building with me.”

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