Good Eggs: The Etsy for Local Food
By Lacy J. Hansen for DietsInReview.com
If you’re like me, you believe buying local is best. However, if you’re also like me, you find that what’s best isn’t always the easiest option. I want my food local, I want it safe, and I want it healthy. I can’t always wait for the limited hours of the farmers market or drive all the way to the farms that offer fresh products. So what’s left?
Thankfully, others with my similar problem have created a solution. Good Eggs is a Bay Area company that has developed a great way to to bring local food and people closer together. It’s being described as “Etsy for local food.” The Good Eggs website describes the program as a “local food marketplace, a guide to eating well, and a set of tools to help local farmers and food makers sell direct.”
Currently Good Eggs only serves the Bay Area but seems to be making traction for a quick expansion into other markets.
CEO and co-founder Rob Spiro took some time to explain more about this exciting new company.
DIR: How is the launch going so far? What’s been the response?
RS: The response has been tremendous! We’re thrilled to hear from so many amazing farmers and food makers all over the world. We’ve really gotten the feeling, from both the feedback and the numbers, that Good Eggs is needed infrastructure for the local food movement, and allows for a better way of eating.
DIR: How did the idea form?
RS: We started with a mission statement and evolved from there. Our product idea is the result of about a year of research and design – including lots of time spent with farmers, ranchers, bakers, cooks, and so many eaters and shoppers. Our goal was to identify the specific problems that we could solve with some kind of software, come up with ideas to address those problems, and very quickly find out which of our ideas worked, and which didn’t. By the end of the design process we had a product that met needs for specific people and ultimately supports our mission.
DIR: What kinds of items are people wanting most?
RS: We’re seeing a huge diversity. Animal proteins like meat, eggs, and dairy are big sellers. The difference (in terms of health, quality, taste) between animal protein from independent, high-integrity producers vs. the stuff you find in chain supermarkets is huge. Prepared foods are doing really well, too. There’s a lot of demand for meals and snacks that are from real high-quality producers, not just takeout. Fresh bread is a big winner, being able to buy direct from some of the best bakers in the Bay Area has been a huge draw.
DIR: I love that it was described as “Etsy for Food.” Were you at all inspired by the success of Etsy?
RS: We’re generally inspired by Etsy, yes, as both a product and a company. They’ve been able to really bring scale and sophisticated tools to a decentralized phenomenon, and in the process they’re supporting independent craft producers in a significant way. We’d love to do the same for food producers.
DIR: I’m all the way out in Wichita, KS. What are the odds I’ll see Good Eggs out here anytime soon?
RS: They’re good! We’re working with farmers and food makers all over the world to set up web stands for them to sell direct, even if we haven’t launched a consumer-portal in that specific area. So hopefully we’ll be able to help some of the great food producers in Wichita [or your own hometown] in the short-term, and you can shop from their specific web stands.
As this project expands, you can keep tabs on its growth and news with The Eater’s Digest from Good Eggs. The blog covers eating local food, recipes, food maker profiles, and pro chef contributions.