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US food startups have made gourmet and speciality food available to consumers everywhere

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(Credit: Goldbely) Image shows a screenshot capture of the website of Goldbely.Goldbely
December 22
6:16 PM 2013

From New York-based Katz Deli's pastrami to strips of bacon smothered in gold and chocolate to monthly pickle delivery, food startups in the US are making speciality food available to everyone all over the country, the Financial Times reported. Goldbely and Mouth are just two of the new generation of startups that make regional delicacies or food found only in large cities available to consumers all over the country this Christmas, particularly to those in small towns and rural areas.

The sites increase the potential list of customers for small and local food businesses as they capitalize on the growing interest and sales of gourmet and specialty foods, the report said. This year, an emerging trend among venture capitalists is investing in these food startups.

For Goldbely Chief Executive Officer Joe Ariel, their company is "democratizing the speciality food industry." He told the Financial Times, "Our mission is to discover the most unique and delicious dishes made locally and regionally around the country and make them accessible for people everywhere."

The online infrastructure provided by platforms like eBay and Etsy have aided the growth of small businesses. They can also reach various audiences globally through ads sold by social networks. Despite all these tools, food is still behind such items as clothing and homewares which are easier to post, the report said.

In July, Goldbely was able to raise $3 million from Intel Capital and other startup incubators like Y-Combinator and 500 startups. Ariel said they are already experiencing fast growth as their sales have increased 50% to 60% month-on-month.

Another startup, Mouth.com, has also seen a substantial rise in orders of handwrapped gifts from over 300 foodmakers this season compared to last year. Chief Executive Officer Craig Kanarick told the Financial Times that the firm began two years ago to capitalize on the "indie food" movement. Vocap Ventures led Mouth.com's $1.5 million fundraising round last month with participation from VegasTechFund and angel investors Joanne Wilson and Jason Calcanis.

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