Duane Dahl and Cindy Henry spent 11 years together building innovative platforms that matched singles with one another. Now, the couple has created a new matchmaking platform, albeit in a completely different arena.
Dahl and Henry are the co-founders of Agrilicious, a unique new Seattle-based website that is a hub for local food. Its mission is to connect food producers, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, and really just about anyone associated with the food industry in some way, shape or form.
The site features a bevy of food-related content, from profiles of delivery services to educational content to video programming featuring local food advocates. It also serves as a search tool for consumers, farmers and suppliers who want to connect with each other online and off.
“Agrilicious is the first-of-its kind national online destination for all things local food,” Dahl said. “It is a marketing channel for the local and organic food industry.”
Dahl, who was the CEO at Kiss.com before it was acquired by Match.com in 2002 and later started PerfectMatch.com with Henry, explained that a majority of consumers want to know where their food comes from and want to buy more local food. But often times they don’t know where to find related information, and instead only have options like random listing sites or regional service companies.
That’s why Agrilicious was created — to provide a platform that connects eaters and producers.
“Our expectation is whether that customer is searching for organic kale in Marysville or local peaches in Buckhead, Georgia, that customer will often pass through Agrilicious to get to the regional providers,” Dahl said.
The startup, which launched in April as a social purpose corporation, uses a business model that is a mix between AngiesList and Etsy. It makes money through business subscriptions and advertising — like AngiesList — in addition to a marketplace with listing referral and transaction fees — like Etsy — where users can buy, sell, refer, and trade local food products and related services.
Dahl said that corporations like Walmart, Target, and Safeway are investing large amounts of money to introduce customers to local and organic food. Yet he noted that their mission is “fragmented and drastically underserved online.”
“Consumers and food producers need a much larger stage to connect and champion local food choices and we have the ability to do that,” he said. “So we’ve created an all things local food destination where the discussion and opportunity to engage and connect can now take place.”
In less than four months, the site has listed more than 125,000 farms, food hubs, farmers markets and food delivery services while attracting more than 25,000 page views per day.
There are five people working at the bootstrapped Agrilicious, all of which have known each other since the late 1990s. Check out more about why Dahl and Henry started Agrilicious here.