2020: A Year in Review
Unprecedented. Essential. Pandemic. Uncertain. These are all words that we heard over and over and over again in 2020. Through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, “all food used with food purpose” was more important than ever. Our team focused intensely and passionately to promote a localized supply chain, help buyers and our community access savings, and provide for those food insecure.
Here are a few of our favorite moments in 2020 from the FoodMaven team.
Acumatica’s Impact Customer of the Year
We started off 2020 by receiving Acumatica’s Impact Customer of the Year award. Greg Lems, FoodMaven’s Director of Engineering, shared at the 2020 Acumatica Summit, “The way that we keep food from being wasted at FoodMaven is by creating a Marketplace for food to go to that would normally be thrown away due to the inefficiencies in the food system. We have real-time data feeds tied into Acumatica to price it correctly on the Marketplace, so food doesn’t go to waste.”
Springs Rescue Mission Valentine’s Dinner
Valentine’s Day at the Springs Rescue Mission looked like many restaurants. Tables were decked out with pink tablecloths, flowers, printed menus, and a plated dinner.
Through creating a fine dining experience, FoodMaven wanted to give back to those food insecure in our communities. The Springs Rescue Mission is located in Colorado Springs and is dedicated to fighting homelessness, poverty, and addiction. We teamed up with FoodMaven chef advisor and celebrity chef, Brother Luck to design a menu using oversupply ingredients for this special event.
FoodMaven Partners with Ardent Mills
This past year, we were so excited to announce our exclusive collaboration with Ardent Mills. Together, we launched Colorado milled Transitional All-Purpose Flour on the FoodMaven Marketplace. This unique product helps support local and regional farmers as they convert their conventional wheat crop to certified organic.
Forbes’ journalist Robin Schatz writes how this product benefits farmers like Ron Rabou, a fifth-generation farmer in Wyoming during his three-year transition. She explains, “In the past, farmers had to accept the much lower commodity prices in the interim because there wasn’t any demand for transitional wheat… [FoodMaven] is teaming up with the Annex by Ardent Mills… to create demand for Rabou’s transitional wheat.”
The Coronavirus Pandemic
On January 21st, the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the United States was reported. On March 13th, President Trump declared a National Emergency. Quickly following, many states began shutting down indoor dining for the first time.
Almost immediately, FoodMaven implemented safety protocols, including PPE, door drop service, sanitation routines, and enhanced social distancing. Additionally, the FoodMaven team began working harder than ever to help our customers through the pandemic. Through impact products, low prices, and being a resource, our buyers could focus on serving their customers best they could.
FoodMaven Acquires Jana Food Services
In the midst of a global pandemic, on March 20th, we announced our acquisition of Jana Food Services. This was the beginning of FoodMaven’s national expansion plan! Ala Ahmad, FoodMaven DFW General Manager, exclaimed, “We are excited to be starting a new chapter with FoodMaven that addresses the changing dynamics of our industry. We believe that FoodMaven has the solution to food waste and we are lucky to be part of that solution.”
The FoodMaven Warehouse Launches
At FoodMaven, our mission is to make sure all food is used with good purpose. That is why in March of 2020 when the supply chain experienced major disruptions, we opened up our warehouses. This helped the Denver and Colorado Springs communities access bulk packaged food at wholesale prices.
Community members can purchase a variety of impact and everyday items on the FoodMaven Warehouse marketplace for free, hands-free delivery.
Pay it Forward
By July, our world looked much different than anyone could have imagined, while so many were facing difficulties as a result of COVID-19. We were challenged by Christina Ortiz Bluth, CEO of IndieDwell, to Pay it Forward.
FoodMaven CEO Ben Deda and Megan Cornish, VP of External Affairs, showed up to The Place in Colorado Springs to surprise their staff. We dropped off enough restaurant-quality Ribeye and Short Ribs to feed their teenagers for a week! Additionally, the staff received gift cards as a token for their dedication.
FoodMaven Partners with Brighter Bites
As a company, we work hard to donate 20% of our high-quality impact ingredients to food banks and non-profits. Recently, we partnered with Brighter Bites, who donates fresh product to schools and provides nutritional resources for students. Since the end of November, FoodMaven and Brighter Bites have been boxing and delivering around 3,500 twenty-pound produce boxes a week to schools in the Dallas and Austin metro areas.
Our 2020 Impact
Through isolation, the struggles we’ve seen our customers face, and uncertainty, it’s been hard to see the good in 2020. However, when we look back on the impact we made this past year, it puts in perspective the power we have to make a positive impact. Without the endless support and dedication of our suppliers, customers, employees, and non-profit partners, the impact we made wouldn’t have been possible. Together we not only made a difference in our industry, but also in our communities during a truly trying time.