Food-related small businesses face many of the same growth challenges as every other business. However, food entrepreneurs face a few unique hurdles that can stand in their way—including how to develop an online presence to market and sell perishable goods outside their immediate geography. Often, this kind of effort simply isn’t in the budget for a small food company.
Entrepreneur Danny Catullo understands these challenges well. As the owner of Catullo Prime Meats, he spent years growing the family business nationally through ecommerce. Now, he’s set out to create an online marketplace designed specifically for food entrepreneurs—one that would simplify the process, lessen costs and make ecommerce a realistic possibility.
Founded in Youngstown by Catullo, Dave Keish and Ross Morrone, FoodECrave launched locally in 2016 and has since expanded to serve vendors and customers all over the country. FoodECrave is a digital storefront that gives local and specialty food vendors a centralized place to sell their products, allowing these businesses to shift efforts away from selling and focus more on what they do best—producing great products.
Catullo credits Northeast Ohio business assistance organizations as a key part of FoodECrave’s growth. The young company has received substantial support from the Youngstown Business Incubator, including grants and other financial assistance. Additionally, the FoodECrave team has formed an important partnership with the Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen to grow their operation.
In the video below, Catullo discusses how the need for a small business community of culinary entrepreneurs brought FoodECrave to life, how local assistance helped his business reach national heights and what the future holds for the company.
This post is part of JumpStart’s “Insight” video series, a monthly feature introducing you to Northeast Ohio investors, entrepreneurs and organizations dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed.