A believer of the dismay science (aka economy) once said “we cannot survive flipping burgers for each other”. Yeah, maybe not just flipping burgers, but how about raising environmentally sustainable beef and delivering it to you? Food is the gold of the current dreamer generation, and as with any Gold Rush, Northern California is the place to be. And San Francisco is the food Mecca. So it’s not a surprise that the first online marketplace for local food sprouted in San Francisco. The headquarters? You’ve got it: in the Mission District.
Good Eggs is “a hub to bring people and food closer together. A local food marketplace, a guide to eating well, and a set of tools to help local farmers and foodmakers sell direct to consumers.”
I Love Blue Sea is one of the food purveyors that put the Good in Good Eggs. A group of surfers turned fishermen, partners of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the Seafood Watch effort in helping consumers make healthy choices for the oceans, they prioritize freshness, sustainability and quality in the fish they catch and sell. I had their sushi at the Good Eggs launch party at the Mission Community Market last week, and I must say, ethics in fishing simply works for the best in flavor.
The company builds websites and applications to help food producers sell their offerings in easier, more direct ways. Some of the businesses already taking advantage of these tools are farmers – Serendipity Farms; ranchers – Round Valley Raised; bakers – Bread SRSLY; prepared food kitchens – Big Dipper Baby Food; butchers – Harley Richter Meats; pop-up restaurants and carts – Eji’s Ethiopian and markets and grocers such as the Mission Community Market. For each case scenario, they support whichever business model is more appropriate and successful, be it subscription, a la carte, events, deliveries, you name it.
The creators of the enterprise are seasoned techies and very experienced in the food realm as well: Rob Spiro, CEO and co-founder, co-founded the search engine Aardvark (acquired by Google in 2010), but prior to getting into technology he helped raise chickens and tomatoes on a farm in upstate New York. The CTO and co-founder Alon Salant, was one of the founders of Carbon Five, which he ran for 10 years. He also has an annual yield of a hundred jars of lemon marmalade from the Meyer lemon tree in his backyard garden. Good Eggs has some heavy weight foodies among their advisors: Alice Waters is not only in their advisory board but she also contributes in their Eater’s Digest; and Sam Mogannam, founder of Bi-Rite and food writer and author as well.
Isabel Bonfatti is a San Francisco journalist with a master’s degree in anthropology and a wandering eye for art, food, music, and sustainable living. She is finishing her first novel, “Catching Red Herring”.