Foodzie
March 26, 2010 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Foodzie.com has been described as an Etsy for food. It's an online marketplace that puts you in touch with local artisinal chefs and growers with an emphasis on handmade, healthy and decadent food.
posted by sambosambo (45 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
$7 ground shipping don't sound all that local.
posted by fixedgear at 6:29 AM on March 26, 2010


But will it spawn its own version of Regretsy?
posted by gimonca at 6:33 AM on March 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


Only two people in the Twin Cities, so I'm going to be generous and say "they're just getting started".
posted by gimonca at 6:36 AM on March 26, 2010


This is not what "local" means. Just because they are making the chocolate sauce in MA doesn't make it a local food. Cocoa beans don't grow there.

So I clicked on Produce, which seems like it might be actually local according to the "local growers" mentioned in the post. Mangos? Really?
posted by DU at 6:36 AM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


That website is a lot more corporate-looking than I expected.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:37 AM on March 26, 2010


That website is a lot more tasty-looking than I expected.
posted by spilon at 6:39 AM on March 26, 2010


A more basic question is whether it is even legal to sell food over the web like that. Don't you need to prepare the food in a licensed/commercial kitchen if you are selling to the general public? I doubt many of the sellers there are doing that.
posted by kiwiian.biz at 6:43 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nope, nothing on my continent.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:56 AM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Look at the photographs and the biographies of the sellers. These don't seem to be people making stuff in their kitchen to sell. From their seller guidelines: 'It's a "Business." You need to be licensed by your state/local gov, adhere to health regulations, and have $1 million in insurance.'
posted by mkb at 6:58 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be fair, I'm not sure that they represent themselves primarily as a source of local food.
From their FAQ:

What is Foodzie? On Foodzie you'll find fabulous food and beverages made by small food companies. Many are foods you can't find anywhere else. They're all special in some way, whether handmade, following old family recipes, incorporating unique ingredients, etc. We work closely with the companies you see on Foodzie, to make sure what you buy here is food that we ourselves would enjoy, crave, and want to give as gifts.

Although later they do seem a bit confused as to what approach they are promoting:

The Foodzie team are ardent supporters of shopping and eating locally. We recognize there are many great foods you will never find in your local area and hope to bring these to your doorstep.

Wow! now I can eat local food shipped from someone else's location! Goodbye guilt!
posted by Kabanos at 7:03 AM on March 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yep. What mkb said.
posted by ericb at 7:03 AM on March 26, 2010


What is not very useful: there is no unit pricing on the overview pages. So you go to Cheese and see all kinds of nice cheeses, their names, and a dollar amount below. That's not the price per pound. In one case it's per 14 ounces, in another it's per quarter pound, etc. Don't make me hunt around to compare prices like that.
posted by beagle at 7:04 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also ....

"Clean Ingredients" Guidelines
•No high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) unless there is absolutely no substitute to make this type of food and HFCS comprises <1>

posted by ericb at 7:05 AM on March 26, 2010


Oops ... HTML error on my part.
posted by ericb at 7:07 AM on March 26, 2010


Countdown to Foodzie noticing spike in traffic and showing up here begins.
posted by fixedgear at 7:09 AM on March 26, 2010


Local is good, and artisanal is good. Sometimes you can have one, sometimes the other, once in a while both. Given a choice, I'll probably tend to choose artisanal because of the quality, especially for something like chocolate. If I only ate local, I'd have no bananas, no lettuce part of the year, no chocolate... Dietarily, it would be a much sadder existence.

And chocolate is a good example, because its production and the growing of the raw ingredients bring up totally different meanings to "local." Having a guy down the street mixing up bars of chocolate is local in a production sense, but if the ingredients are being sourced out of the Ivory Coast and beyond, that's not local in any genuine sense.

In other words, while I know nothing about this site beyond a quick look, I'm all for more ways for artisanal food companies to be able to reach enough customers to be able to profit and stay in business, even if that means stretching the idea of "local" to the point where we can happily discard it for something more useful.
posted by Forktine at 7:10 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Foodzie.com has been described as an Etsy for food.

How so? I couldn't offer to sell my yummy jam on this site, but I could offer to sell my sketches on Etsy. Foodzie (ugh) doesn't seem anything like Etsy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:13 AM on March 26, 2010


Upon further review, what mkb said.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:14 AM on March 26, 2010


A great idea in theory, but I'm not sure how many people can work around the high cost of shipping, per item, on top of the high cost of artisanal foods. You have to really want that can of handmade soup. Maybe it can work for chocolate.
posted by destro at 7:18 AM on March 26, 2010


You know what's been delicious this winter? Berries from Chile. Shipped 5000 miles from a place where fruit grows because it's summer to my grocery store in San Francisco. Eat global.
posted by Nelson at 7:34 AM on March 26, 2010


In one case it's per 14 ounces

I...what? Why would a seller use this unit? Who thinks in 7/8th of a pound?
posted by adamdschneider at 7:39 AM on March 26, 2010


I...what? Why would a seller use this unit? Who thinks in 7/8th of a pound?

It's 1/4 of a full round of Tulare Cannonball that happens to weigh 3.5lbs. But the point stands.
posted by jedicus at 7:52 AM on March 26, 2010


It's 1/4 of a full round of Tulare Cannonball that happens to weigh 3.5lbs.

A delicious, delicious gut shot.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:03 AM on March 26, 2010


I...what? Why would a seller use this unit? Who thinks in 7/8th of a pound?

Fourteen ounces is a tenth of a gallon, by volume. So it's kinda sorta like baby steps to using the Metric System.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:05 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Foodzie's out in SF, so they're not at work yet. It's an interesting concept and does bring out the smaller producers. Albeit a corporate-looking site (duh, it's a busines) the iconography was designed by Cuban Council, some of my favorite designers. Also local to SOMA.

Haters gonna hate, but you can't fault them for trying. Now if someone could only get me a mangosteen...
posted by jsavimbi at 8:09 AM on March 26, 2010


Do they take food stamps?
posted by Floydd at 8:16 AM on March 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


No rohliky? I'd pay $7 shipping for rohliky. I can never get the recipe quite right.
posted by czechmate at 8:27 AM on March 26, 2010


Oooh, they had me at passion fruit marshmallows.

Unexpectedly enticing. Thanks for the post.
posted by nickyskye at 8:43 AM on March 26, 2010


Yeah, how about adding the tag "US Only", because I can't find anything in Canada. At least, none of the search options allow me to easily search for something in Canada, and all the information for shipping seems to be awfully US-centric, no mention of shipping outside of the US at all.
posted by splice at 9:23 AM on March 26, 2010


'Foodzie' sounds like Henry Winkler in a fat suit.
posted by box at 9:36 AM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am extra happy to learn about this site after reviewing the Princess Diana commemorative plate post. I thought for awhile I wasn't ever going to eat again.

Seriously, speaking as a U.S. resident, it is nice to learn about another website to get tasty looking items that are from fairly close (which to me means no further than from an adjoining state.) As I still haven't given up red meat, for example, I noticed the grass fed lamb chops from Oregon right away. So, thanks for the post.
posted by bearwife at 9:53 AM on March 26, 2010


Overpriced yuppie food.

Which I eat a lot of. Yum.

I have a feeling this site is going to displace Zingerman's as my go-to for indulgences... I can vouch for these; someone gave us an assortment as a gift recently and they're pretty damn tasty.
posted by ook at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2010


How so? I couldn't offer to sell my yummy jam on this site, but I could offer to sell my sketches on Etsy. Foodzie (ugh) doesn't seem anything like Etsy.

Yes, but the chances that your sketches will contain botulism and kill me and my family dead, dead, dead is considerably lower. One hopes.

I'm currently navigating the requirements of the Governments of Canada and Québec to investigate how I could make and sell mustard, and my wife run a small-scale baked-goods catering business. To date, I've determined that in order to do this legally (i.e. apply for and get a permit), I would have to have a separate kitchen from the household kitchen (with a number of criteria regarding venting, washability of all surfaces [I couldn't have a drop ceiling, f'rinstance, as the ceiling has to be washable], a sink, running hot and cold potable water, etc.) take a mandatory course on hygiene in food preparation, take another course in food preservation for the mustard business, and other stuff besides.

It's driven home every step of the way that you have to do this stuff because you're making things that people are going to eat. I think the government moves towards overcautious a lot of the time, but I'm coming to appreciate how seriously they take this stuff.

So, giving Foodzie the benefit of the doubt, I think they're being as "Etsyish" as possible by letting anybody that can legally sell food, sell food. At the point that you can make food for other people to consume, you (generally) have to go through so many hoops, bells and whistles that you pretty much must be a business. At the very least to have an entity that can take the legal hit when somebody claims to have found a mouse in your sweet n' sour pickles. This site seems to have lots of info about what it takes to sell (preserved) artisanal foods legally in the USA, if you're curious. It ain't easy for you folks, either.
posted by Shepherd at 10:47 AM on March 26, 2010


I couldn't offer to sell my yummy jam on this site

No offense intended to your doubtless mad jammin skillz, BP, but that's probably a good thing. Eated Dodgy Jam from the InterTubes is not what I want on my headstone.
posted by bonehead at 10:50 AM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


gimonca: Etsy : Regretsy :: Foodzie : Fail Foods? Cake Wrecks?
posted by hattifattener at 10:59 AM on March 26, 2010


Yes, but the chances that your sketches will contain botulism and kill me and my family dead, dead, dead is considerably lower. One hopes.

Certainly, no dispute about general food safety issues. But the point is that an "Etsy-of-food" would need to be a re-distributor or would need to connect consumers with people making local, homemade foods. And reading the seller guidelines, Foodzie isn't that. They're just another online store, reselling premium goods — which is fine, BTW. (The mention of Zingerman's is apt — no one would confuse them, or Harry and David, or Zabar's, etc. running with an Etsyist business model.)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:03 AM on March 26, 2010


But the point is that an "Etsy-of-food" would need to be a re-distributor or would need to connect consumers with people making local, homemade foods.

Aren't they connecting consumers with people making local, homemade foods? That seems to be what their criteria states -- that people are directly involved in making (not repacking) food, that they're capable of handling shipping themselves, they have limited retail exposure, etc. And that they're legal-to-sell, which is the safety thing we both agree on.

If you're objecting to the extra layer of "editorial control" that Foodzie implements with guidelines like You have great reviews or are approved by our tasting panel and Special Extra Touches We May Look For before they'll let you sell your wares via Foodzie, then yeah, that moves it further away from Etsy territory, but I can see how you'd really want to avoid the nasty stuff on your gourmet site. A badly knitted scarf doesn't put me off postcards, but bad-looking food can put me off food shopping period.

(compared to Etsy's 3.5%/$0.20 per listing fee, 20%/$0.50 per sale is hella steep, though)

They do seem to be just accepting foods to list/"represent" on their site, and making the food-providers handle production, fulfillment, etc. in an Etsy-type model, though, as compared to Zingerman's, which seems more like a big store that buys stuff, stores stuff, and sells stuff like any retail shop.

I think. I'm easily confused.
posted by Shepherd at 12:14 PM on March 26, 2010


I'm getting real tired of "decadent" being used for food that's real buttery and choclatey. What? Is it supposed to be typifying a state of decay? Is it supposed to be like what was eaten at those debaucherous roman orgies?

At the store I once saw some Betty Crocker fudge bowl sold as something like "Decadent Mouthfuls". OH GOD NO
posted by dunkadunc at 12:54 PM on March 26, 2010


Uhm, yum? Thank god I just ate lunch.
posted by Kimberly at 12:54 PM on March 26, 2010


I think. I'm easily confused.

No. You are right. The website is merely an aggregation/lisitngs of food purveyors who are required to fulfill, ship, etc. their products on their own directly to consumers. Foodzie is not a reseller, but takes a commission for each sale. The website carries no inventory, no liability for any sale, etc. It's akin to Amazon.com's model for affiliate sales.
posted by ericb at 1:24 PM on March 26, 2010


The website carries no inventory, no liability for any sale, etc. It's akin to Amazon.com's model for affiliate sales.

You're both right. Never mind.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:32 PM on March 26, 2010


A more awesome story is small farm central, a one-man business that gives food producers the tools to connect with new customers any way they want to. (via Inc. magazine, if I recall correctly.)
posted by subpixel at 4:44 PM on March 26, 2010


I know some of the owners of these companies and while many of them are teeny tiny (1-2 people) they are not just some mom selling homemade baked goods. Many of them are workers in the culinary industry who have done all kinds of work to get permits and such and who work long nights in certified kitchens that many restaurants rent out during off hours.
posted by melissam at 11:33 AM on March 27, 2010


If you live near any of these places and you want local food you might want to check out the Local Food Marketplace.

Buena Vista, Colorado, Corvallis, Oregon, Edmonton, Alberta Canada, Eugene, Oregon, Olympia, Washington, Port Townsend, Washington, Santa Cruz, California, Southern Willamette Valley, Oregon, Vancouver, BC Canada, or Bend, Oregon
posted by pwb503 at 2:31 PM on March 27, 2010


brilliant idea.. now if it was only a bit more practical..
posted by joose at 6:48 PM on March 28, 2010


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