FreshDirect Picks 6 ‘Rising’ Companies for New Local Supplier Initiative

FreshDirect has selected six NYC-area brands for its initial Rising Industry Producers and Entrepreneurs (R.I.P.E.) initiative, a one-year pilot program for food, beverage and personal care brands with retail ambitions. The emerging and diverse-owned companies will receive expert advice and be able to leverage internal FreshDirect resources to grow their brands, including help adapting strategies for ecommerce success and expanding their customer base in the tri-state area.

“Many customers value local products and knowing the origin stories behind where and how their food is made,” said Loan Heilner, Senior Associate Category Manager at FreshDirect in a statement. “We take great pride in introducing such innovative products, enabling shoppers to support up-and-coming brands they have a community connection to.”

The winning brands, chosen from more than 90 applicants in a process that began this past spring, are:

  • Doughnuttery: Family-run since 2012 by brothers Evan and Joseph Feldman, the hot, fresh, uniquely sugared mini doughnuts are sold in some of NYC’s most iconic locations, from Chelsea Market to the Empire State Building;
  • Mai Vino: A female-founded company that works directly with winemakers and growers around the world to produce organically grown single-origin wines, packaged in airtight pouches to keep the wine fresh for 30 days after opening and reduce their carbon footprint by 80%;
  • Matriark Foods: This environmental-impact food company was founded in 2020 to tackle the $1 trillion food waste problem by producing certified upcycled products for foodservice, retail and emergency food. In 2022 the company launched carbon-neutral upcycled-certified tomato sauces to allow home cooks to engage in climate action with everyday pantry staples;
  • Pure Mitti: A minority/woman-owned BIPOC brand offering functional products that embrace the principles of ancient Ayurveda with natural, toxin-free products in skin, hair, home cleaning and lifestyle;
  • Spoonful: Guided by a philosophy that proper nourishment goes beyond mere sustenance, Spoonful crafts a range of overnight oats that integrate health and taste, using thoughtfully sourced ingredients to cater to various dietary preferences and requirements; and
  • TerraNut: Created in 2012, co-founders Urszula Lulewicz and Ed Bifulco create fully raw, cold-pressed and plant-based snacks that not only nourish the body but also align with their passion for clean and natural ingredients.

“Since its inception, FreshDirect has worked directly with growers, producers and local food innovators to deliver the highest quality, freshest food,” said Dave Bass, Managing Director at FreshDirect in a statement. “We have a deep tradition of supporting our local food vendors and this new initiative enables us to discover new partners who are elevating and evolving the food and culinary landscape with their products and brands.”