Staying health conscious takes more than just wanting to become healthier; it takes structure. You need to rely on organically sourced providers and have them shipped to you when you want. Luckily, whether you want locally sourced dairy, meat, bread or pantry items, Milk and Eggs has you covered. The ecommerce company that has partnered with local farms delivers essential locally sourced groceries to your doorstep at free delivery and membership. The company supports your local L.A farms from, and values eco-friendly streamlined operations, avoiding waste and overage.
LA TechWatch chatted with CEO and Founder Kenneth Wu about the Startup and how they are promoting growth in more than one way.
Tell us about the product or service.
Milk and Eggs is a Los Angeles-based online farm-direct grocery store whose mission is to provide customers with products that come straight from partnering local farms at low prices through free, eco-conscious aggregated delivery.
Milk and Eggs brings the farmer’s market to your doorstep. It enables Los Angeles residents to feed their families in a healthy way, in addition to saving time and money.
It’s a farm-fresh grocery delivery service with healthy, organic, vegan, gluten free and seasonal options readily available.
How is it different?
While many big box chains have entered the online grocery market, few have made an effort to offer customers food that is being grown/baked in their own communities.
Milk and Eggs fills this gap in the market with locally-sourced products at affordable prices.
To maximize efficiency and customer convenience, Milk and Eggs enables customers to set up reoccurring orders to be delivered at their desired frequency, whether monthly, biweekly or somewhere in between.
It’s not a subscription or pre-determined box service. You pick what you want and when you want. You can set reoccurring orders of the items you use most or you can order as you need items. You aren’t locked into a subscription service where you may end up with ingredients you don’t use yet still having to go to the store to get items you need- Milk and Eggs has it all and lets you decide what to purchase.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Grocery is annually a $800 billion industry in the US. Southern California’s $45 billion in annual grocery sales makes it the largest U.S. grocery market.
The online grocery market reached $48 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow to $150 billion by 2025.
Around a quarter of American households currently buy some groceries online, up from 19% in 2014. It is estimated that more than 70% will engage in online food shopping within the next 10 years.
What is the business model?
The business model is ecommerce retail in the form of an online farmer’s market.
Can the farmer’s market experience in terms of quality be scaled?
It can be scaled; each local community will have its own hub (Sorting Aggregation Warehouse and the product will come in and out same day, with the top 17 cities accounting for 50% of population. Which will allow for access to 50% of a $800B industry.
Each community will of course have its own offerings and products will vary to fit each accordingly.
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired the business?
I’m what some would call a serial entrepreneur. My last business, which I founded and ran for 15 years, was in the sporting goods space. A couple of years ago, I sold the company for a very successful exit.
I’ve always been health oriented and concerned with eating healthy and having fresh, locally-sourced produce and artisanal goods. This is in part due to the fact that I have a history of diabetes in my family and am pre-diabetic myself. I’ve been borderline for the last 10 years and I manage it by having a healthy diet and being active.
My family inspired Milk and Eggs. I have two kids and didn’t realize why there wasn’t a service like this already and wanted to solve the problem.
After my wife had our second child was breastfeeding, our family was consuming much more food and I had to go to the market quite often to keep up. It was very time consuming and a hassle with two little ones. We would have loved to be able to order food rather than trying to pack up and head to the market, shop and then lug the bags in from the car. But as we were looking for a service we realized there were very few options. Many that were doing delivery either offered mostly packaged and non-perishable foods, junk food and things from the center aisles of the grocery store. Otherwise there were produce subscription box services but often you would at most get these once a week and then it would be picked for you by the company, you had no control over it and you would still need to take a trip to the store or order elsewhere for the remainder of the items on your list. Otherwise, only higher end companies and grocery stores would offer delivery or pick up and it was incredibly expensive. We wanted to eat healthy but also affordably.
Tell us what building your company in LA has been like?
LA is an amazing place to start a business. There is a large population of health-conscious people who are community oriented which makes up our customer base, a great demographic diversity and a good work force.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Our 6-month goal is to double to triple in size, which would allow us enough margin to expand our operations and open another location. We’d like to become a household name in LA and Orange County and have a customer base of around 120,000 by the end of the year.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Investors we would love to work with are Softbank and Alibaba. Both are very forward thinking especially in e-commerce and have very supporting roles in their investments.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
Made in LA means staying true to your roots and cultivating a cycle where a community rises above to improve the community it is in, in turn lifting itself. “A rising tide lifts all boats.” This applies to economics just as much as local, community efforts.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
The simplest answer is to allow entrepreneurs to succeed. In doing so, this will mentor and allow for more success. So the simplest thing to do is support small and local businesses and startups.