Eugene company offers BEST way to link foodies and farmers

The app aims to better link restaurant owners and food buyers with the most local sources.

The app aims to better link restaurant owners and food buyers with the most local sources.

A Eugene company’s new app aims to help foodies and restaurateurs find the most local, and therefore freshest, cooking ingredients possible.

Local Food Marketplace is developing the app for the food hub market with the help of a $46,000 Oregon Built Environment & Sustainability Technologies Center grant. The idea is that locavores can determine which farmers have desired produce and other goods on hand.

Local Food Marketplace based the app on its desktop computer e-commerce software currently used by more than 50 food hubs in the U.S. and Canada. The software details inventories as well as how and where the food is grown.

Food hubs pay Local Food Marketplace subscription fees based on overall food sales to use the software. The hubs can custom brand the software.

Local Food Marketplace employs five workers and experienced 100 percent revenue growth last year.

“By blending mobile computing technology with small-scale agriculture, this Oregon company is helping farmers succeed by wirelessly connecting them to their consumers, and ultimately shrinking the carbon footprint associated with food production and transport,” said David Kenney, Oregon BEST’s president and executive director, in a release.

Doug Frazier, Local Food Marketplace’s co-founder, said the app will accelerate his company’s revenue growth and, hopefully, attract investors.

“Previously, if you’re a restaurant or store committed to buying local food, it’s been inconvenient, because you had to contact many different suppliers,” he explained. “Our software allows you to have one point of access to dozens of growers, with only one delivery. It’s been a really key step in helping the local food movement take the next step.”

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