"Disruptors in the Kitchen":We’re serial entrepreneurs out to uproot how America eats. With 40 years of culinary, operational and ecommerce experience, we’re finding ways to innovate how vegetables are produced, packaged and delivered. Previously, Ben founded restaurant reservation service Savored, which was acquired by Groupon; Greg founded Long Island Iced Tea brands; and Franklin, of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, founded The Little Beet. We’ve come together around a shared love of a delicious meal and with the mission to bring vegetables forward to give them the love they deserve.
How did you get into the Culinary/Tech industry?
When I first graduated from college I worked at Bank of America Merril Lynch working on their client, Open Table. In 2009, I started Savored, a restaurant reservaation service which was then acquired by Groupon in 2012. From there I worked at Groupon before we launched Hungryroot. I have had a passion for food and the tech industry.
Tell us about Hungryroot. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
I was sitting down with this woman, she must have been in her 80s and she was running a restaurant in the West Village. She was teary eyed, telling me how my last company, Savored, had kept her restaurant in business, and how her restaurant was the last passion of her life. From then on I was committed to finding a product that has that emotional reaction as well. I don't think you can get that more than you can in food. Hungryroot’s vision is to change perception of vegetables from something you eat because you feel like you should to something you crave.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
One of the most recent trends are food products that are built upon direct to consumer relationships. At Hungryroot, we sell directly to our customers. That relationship is extremely valuable when you are building a brand. We are able to learn what our customers are truly looking for in the products they purchase.
Care more than others think wise. Risk more than others think safe. Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible.
Rethink vegetables. Our mission is to unleash the flavor of vegetables, bring them to the center of your plate, and make them a craveable meal.
Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of Hungryroot? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
Greatest success has been getting the incredible people on our team to join our mission and share the same dedication and passion surrounding Hungryroot. Our most difficult is managing early growth.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
How do you motivate your employees?
Be honest, set goals, provide feedback and have fun.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
What literature is on your bed stand?
Travel and eating!
Favorite travel destination?
What's next for Hungryroot?
To launch nationwide this September.