Online farmers market for chefs will enable more local food on Triangle menus
Durham NC, July 23, 2012 — Mint Market (www.mintmarket.com), an online marketplace for local food, will open for business on Sunday, July 29. The new website will allow chefs in the Triangle to discover, purchase, and schedule delivery of food directly from area farms. Farmers must sign up by Saturday, July 28 to have their products included on opening day.
“We’ve been testing Mint Market with amazing local chefs and farmers. Now we’re ready to open the floodgates,” said Ricky Spero, Mint Market’s founder. “We can’t wait to see what they do with this powerful new tool.”
Mint Market will showcase some of the area’s finest local vendors, including Maple View Farm , Hillsborough Cheese Co., and Dock to Door Seafood .
Easier for everyone
Mint Market gives farmers an efficient way to sell their products to restaurants using e-commerce. Farmers update their inventories on Saturday. Chefs shop on Sunday. Farmers harvest on Monday and deliver to restaurants on Tuesday. Listing products on Mint Market is free. When farmers complete a sale, Mint Market takes a 5% fee.
Scott Howell, chef-owner of Nana’s Restaurant in Durham, was Mint Market’s first customer. “This is something the area really needs. From our earliest days, Nana’s has supported local farms. Mint Market is going to make that much easier.”
“Mint Market solves so many problems,” adds Sam Hummel, co-owner of Ever Laughter Farm in Hillsborough. “We love working with chefs, but everyone has to spend a lot of time on the phone. Mint Market makes it more likely that we’ll be able to connect with the right chef at the right time.”
A new opportunity for local vendors
Spero is clear about the role that Mint Market aims to play. “We love food, but we’re a technology company at our core. We ask ourselves how we think people will buy food five years from now. And then we build it, so everyone can start doing it today.”
Amanda Miller, owner of Dock to Door Seafood, aims to shift her existing business onto Mint Market’s platform. Said Miller, “We drive fish directly from the coast to chefs’ kitchens, so we have a very tight timeline. Mint Market can handle all of our ordering and logistics. It’s hard to imagine how we could scale without this.”
Noah Ranells, co-owner of Fickle Creek Farm and Agricultural Economic Development Coordinator for Orange County, said, “Mint Market is an elegant solution that makes the most of the busy schedules that farmers and chefs experience on a daily basis. I think that it will appeal to a growing number of farms in Orange County and the Piedmont Region.” Ranells is also on the board of Piedmont Grown.
Aaron Benjamin, chef at Rue Cler Restaurant , used Mint Market during the testing phase. “I like the ease and usability of the website and I will definitely order more product as it becomes available.”
A Durham startup
Mint Market is an internet startup company based in Durham, N.C.. It is among the first companies selected by the Blackstone Entrepreneur’s Network and by Groundwork Labs , an incubator program sponsored by NC IDEA and Capital Broadcasting Company . For more information, visit www.mintmarket.com .