The Internet has done wonders for the world of food and dining. You can order delivery from your favorite restaurant online, read particularly well-written food blogs (cough cough), and search for the highest-rated burger spot open at 4 a.m. Now, you can add discovering and ordering gourmet food to your short-list, thanks to Daily Gourmet. The new company pairs daily deals with quality food from small producers around the U.S. David Rangel, the CEO of Daily Gourmet, has a long history at e-commerce and Internet companies, including a recent role as Head of Merchant Services at Groupon. He understood the technology behind daily deals, and when it came to food, he recognized a need for consumers and producers alike. David explains that consumers are paying attention to what’s on their plates far more than ever before, due to allergies, weight-consciousness, sustainability and a variety of other factors. Plus, people are enjoying eating quality food more often, seeking out five-star restaurants and ingredients. On the producer side, David describes the hundreds of thousands of small-to-medium-sized vendors across the country who are creating delicious foods but don’t have the know-how or resources to market to a wide audience. Combining the needs of consumers and producers is his goal with Daily Gourmet.
The key difference between Daily Gourmet and other online food retailers is the customization of your shopping experience. When you register, the site asks for both your preferences and restrictions, because “a vegan doesn’t need to see beef jerky,” as David says. If you’ve marked your food restrictions as “Kosher, nut-free,” for example, you will never be tempted with pork or pistachios. Similarly, you can select preferences so that Daily Gourmet understands that you really like baked goods, snacks and olive oil.
The site aims to show you the best foods, without you having to scour the Web for hours. “If you want to find the best cheese,” David says, “you probably don’t have more than ten minutes to look for it.” So, Daily Gourmet does it for you. Their mission is to become the best place to buy and sell gourmet food online.
And it really does go both ways: David is adamant about providing small producers with the opportunity to start growing their businesses. Daily Gourmet provides the statistics and ability for a producer to re-target past clients for new orders; if Company X Chocolate sells 1,000 units of dark chocolate in June, they can reach out to those clients again in October with a new offering of milk chocolate. Building a dedicated client base of repeat purchasers is key for growth for these small vendors.
Deals on Daily Gourmet are available for about three or four days, with at least two sales happening every week. The current offerings are non-perishables, such the brand new deal coming tomorrow from 240 Sweet, but meats, dairy and seafood are in the pipeline. One of the best things about Daily Gourmet is that you can order food from tiny producers across the country that may never be available to you otherwise; marshmallow treats from 240 Sweet are widely available in Indiana but are virtually unheard of in California. (And for shame: these giant cubes of gooey wonderfulness in flavors like Caramel Apple, Vanilla Lavender and Chocolate Covered Pretzel are not meant for games of “fluffy bunny” but are a great afternoon treat.)
You can browse past offers from Daily Gourmet to check out their wares, then register for your own account and start buying up dried mushrooms, vegan cookies and steak rubs to impress your foodie friends.
Photo credit: Alicia Estrada