by Tim Jahn on February 21, 2011
Part of the goal of my interviews with creative entrepreneurs is to seek out creative entrepreneurs building really creative businesses. Things that make you stop and say “Hey, that’s a really cool idea!”
Today, I’d like to point out a few of those ideas that involve food in creative ways. From a spin on wedding registries to having dinner with strangers to online cupcakes, these 6 creative entrepreneurs building businesses with food are folks you should be paying attention to.
1. Eddy Lu – Grubwithus
These guys are one of my favorite stories and a classic scratch-your-own-itch story. After moving to Chicago to open a Beard Papas, Eddy and his business partner realized they didn’t know anybody in town.
So instead of going to the bars and clubs to try and meet people, they decided to start hosting dinners with strangers at restaurants. And of course, they made a business out of it. They recently expanded to San Francisco and are definitely picking up steam quickly.
If you’re ready to scratch your own itch, pay attention to Eddy and GrubWithUs.
2. Ben Reid – Foodie Registry
When Ben Reid and his wife got married, they knew they didn’t need another blender or toaster. And they knew they loved to go out to eat and try new restaurants. They thought about registering for a food registry. The problem was that nothing existed. This is the story of how Ben and his wife built their “foodie registry.”
If you’re looking to create a business around a need of your own, Ben is somebody you should pay attention to.
3. Mari Luangrath – Foiled Cupcakes
Cupcakes are all the rage these days, especially in a city like Chicago. But Mari Luangrath’s company isn’t your typical cupcake shop. In fact, it’s not a shop at all – it’s a website. And Mari’s grown her company’s revenue 600% last year without any real “advertising” – she’s done it all through social media.
If you’re looking to build your business in the non-traditional way, Mari is somebody to watch.
4. Ellen Malloy - Restaurant Intelligence Agency
After 14 years as a restaurant publicist, Ellen Malloy decided she wanted to help give chefs their own voice. She created the Restaurant Intelligence Agency to provide chefs with online tools for getting the word out about their restaurants.
Ellen cornered her niche and applied her experience and knowledge to a profession that hasn’t traditionally done much online. If you’re looking to learn more about focusing in on your niche, Ellen is somebody you should be watching.
5. Saya Hilman – Mac ‘N Cheese Productions
When Saya Hillman quit her job, she made a list of all the activities in the world she’d like to get paid to do. And now, she’s created a business around connecting people through various social experiences, including dancing, improv, and the way it all began – inviting strangers to her home for dinner and to meet like minded people.