Food startup Farmigo is a San Francisco transplant — like me.
The company was initially based on the West Coast, and it still has team members there (as well as in Tel Aviv, Israel). But two years ago, Farmigo’s headquarters, as well as its founder and CEO Benzi Ronen, moved across the country to Brooklyn, giving us an unusual perspective for the latest episode of Built in Brooklyn.
“Brooklyn was the hub for all this amazing local, artisanal food, as well as local farm food,” Ronen said. He particularly praised the area’s “marriage of offline and online companies,” as well as the mix of food and media startups.
Farmigo actually launched at TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF conference in 2011, offering software for community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. It’s tweaked that a model a bit — now you you can join a local “food community,” allowing you to order food online from local farmers, then pick it up from the community distribution point, which might be a school, office, or home.
Ronen said the company is “collapsing the food chain” by connecting and food producers, but acknowledged that it faced the classic challenges of building a marketplace: “One is, can you get enough farmers that want to participate in that, and the other is, are there enough consumers that want to buy their food that way?”
“At this point, we’re getting farms that are coming to us, because we’re giving them 60 percent of the dollar you spend, as opposed to the 20 percent that they get from a traditional food chain,” he said.