This inspiring story is of a rising startup called Foy started by Astrit Bauta. Foy is on a mission to limit food waste and provide anyone with access to healthy groceries at an affordable price. Here is the story of Foy in Astrit’s own words.
Recently, we launched a “Pay What You Want” feature on our store with the intention of making healthy organic groceries affordable to anyone. Opening a grocery store in one neighborhood may have an impact on that community but, with Foy, we are looking to have a positive impact nationwide by providing everyone with a grocery store at the palm of their hands – digitally.
Introduce us to the idea of Foy
The stark reality of the pandemic brought the inefficiencies of the grocery industry to light. In the U.S. we are fortunate enough that a vast majority of households have internet access and many states are very well interconnected. I figured why not use this to our advantage by being able to deliver groceries to millions of households nationwide in as little as 1 day.
Currently, the eco-system for consumer groceries is limited to local supermarkets and few online retailers. The former offers limited options and the latter does not specialize in groceries but rather carries millions of unrelated products. Both options available to consumers today limit their selections by price, geo-location or a paradox of choice.
Our platform is a curated marketplace that allows customers to dictate pricing, caters to all major dietary restrictions, and is able to reach 95% of households in the United States in 2 days or less. We have been able to reach families in rural and urban cities all across the country with items that they have not had access to – a distinct reality given the large online retailers available today.
What’s your strategy story? What led you to start Foy?
When the pandemic hit – New York City was one of the hardest-hit areas in the U.S. At the time, there was little information on the virus and the impact it would have. While staying indoors was the guidance, I knew we would all still have to eat. I began wondering how we can grab groceries and why should a family member risk go outdoors. Surely there must be a service that does this in 2020? Well, technically there are at a limited capacity in New York but even fewer nationwide.
This is when Foy was born. Without the pandemic, I am not sure that I would be in the position to grasp the challenges grocers face in an industry that has not evolved in decades.
When I started Foy, I came across a campaign that Michelle Obama started with many large retail grocers. The “Move Campaign” initiated an effort to partner with major retailers and provide access to healthy food in “food deserts” across the US. I was shocked to learn that “an estimated 54.4 million people, or 17.7% of the U.S. population” live in low-income and low-access urban areas.
Foy’s initial launch was about broadening access to organic groceries, but learning about the Move Campaign helped broaden my perspective to the challenges and limited options many consumers face in smaller cities around the country. That led us to start the “Pay what you want” feature to truly make healthy groceries accessible nationwide.
What marketing, operation strategies are you adopting at Foy?
We are utilizing numerous marketing strategies from traditional press outlets to e-commerce advertising platforms. Parents and mothers specifically have gravitated to our platform for the ease of use and fast delivery times. We know there is a strong network of parental bloggers and we appreciate their support in helping us reach new customers. Our belief is that by providing exceptional service and high-quality products, our best marketing strategy will be the word of mouth and referrals from our amazing customers.
The Foy team strives to have many touchpoints with our customers throughout their ordering and post-checkout process. We reach out to customers viewing products to get feedback on our catalog and their customer experience. After their purchase, we provide tracking details but also monitor the progress of the delivery to make sure their orders arrive as expected. It is extremely important to us that consumers know we are here for them throughout their customer journey and are willing to go above and beyond to assure a positive experience with our platform.
Any strategy mistakes you have made and what did you learn?
Rushing into marketing campaigns without fully understanding the technicalities of advertising platforms was a mistake. Unfortunately, these mistakes can get costly quickly, without the desired or intended result. Sometimes my enthusiasm about the company leads me to rush to get the brand out there because I truly believe it can have a positive impact on so many communities across the country. I am continually working to source products that our customers love and excited about what the future holds.
Finally what advice do you have for your fellow entrepreneur readers?
To anyone looking to start something new, I would recommend to just start doing. This could be – doing research on a market or industry, pursuing your passions, or even noticing a problem and thinking about a solution. No step is too small and once you have a goal in mind, every step you take in the direction of that goal will eventually help you get there and hopefully exceed it.
Disclaimer: The information in the above story is provided by the startup and The Strategy Story takes no responsibility for the authenticity of the product and services offered by the startup. Reader’s discretion is advised.
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