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A Food Service That Thinks Inside the Box

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Frank Jackman. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on April 22nd, 2017.

Subscription box services are gaining popularity in the U.S., especially among millennials. The 2016 Connected Shoppers Report by Salesforce Research found that meal kits and grocery subscription box services are the most popular type of such services among all generations, beating out clothing and beauty product services.

Meal kits make sense. They take the work and time out of planning meals, buying ingredients, and preparing those meals. Instead, individuals subscribe to the service, and the ingredients they need are delivered to their doors, along with an easy-to-follow recipe.

Frank Jackman and Mike Stalbaum were interested in capitalizing on this trend while also adding their own twist: a local focus. Both men wanted their new business to support their communities, and the best way to do that was to use only local ingredients and recipes created by local chefs. To further help the community, they donate a meal to a local hunger relief program for every meal delivery made. This local focus is reflected in the name of their business: Local Crate.

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

Name: Frank Jackman
Age: 29
City you live in: Chanhassen
City of birth: Bellflower, Calif.
High school attended: Russell-Tyler-Ruthon High School, Tyler, Minn.
College attended: Minnesota State University Mankato

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of company: Local Crate
Website: www.localcratemeals.com
Business Start Date: November 2015
Number of Employees: 3 full-time and 7 part-time
Number of Customers: Our ship radius reaches 77 percent of the population in Minnesota

 

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. My co-founder, Mike Stalbaum, and I met while working for a large food manufacturer with a broad reach into the lives of almost every household in America. The projects we were working on day-to-day and the food products we were creating left us unfulfilled with our careers. As our plan started to materialize we were aligned on creating a locally responsible company which meant sourcing as many products as we possibly could from Minnesota, working with Minnesota chefs, and giving back to local hunger relief efforts that have an impact in our communities.

Q. What is your business?
A. Local Crate is an online, direct-to-consumer meal-kit delivery business. Local Crate delivers fresh, local, pre-portioned ingredients and local chef-designed seasonal recipes weekly to your home or office. Plus, for every delivery, Local Crate donates a meal to our local hunger relief partners.

At Local Crate, we want to cultivate local responsibility while truly connecting people to real food and creating a unique culinary experience at home.

Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?
A. Through our time spent in the Techstar’s Food+Tech program at Land O’Lakes and The MN CUP, we have gathered an amazing network of advisers along with our current partners that have been with us since day one. All these people are able to help and advise us when we need it.

Q. What is the origin of the business?
A. Mike and I have a true passion for food and for the story behind the food we eat every day. We feel that over time people have lost their connection to food and it has just become a convenience play. We believe…READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Patrons with accessibility needs please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit.

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