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New York-based ecommerce startup Mouth offers delicious indie foods from across the US

Savvy ecom­merce ana­lysts will be aware that most online food ven­dors these days believe that, if you want to suc­ceed, you need to do one or both of two things: offer deliv­er­ies with­in one day and func­tion as a mar­ket­place for sales with­out hold­ing food inven­to­ry (like Food-Hun and Gold­be­ly). But one fast-ris­ing New York ecom­merce busi­ness is buck­ing both trends – and it’s just bagged $1.5 mil­lion in Series A fund­ing.

The art of food 

Brook­lyn-based Mouth Foods, Inc., which was found­ed in 2010, spe­cial­izes in online sales of “indie food” – arti­san, small batch, organ­ic, gluten-free, hand-made spe­cial­ty foods. As its CEO and founder, Craig Kanarick (who also co-found­ed Razor­fish) explains, Mouth offers foods “made by peo­ple not cor­po­ra­tions, and typ­i­cal­ly involve a recipe.”

He adds, “It’s about the art of the food, instead of the art of the farmer. We don’t sell things like car­rots and milk.”

The enquir­ing ecom­merce ana­lyst may well be ask­ing what, exact­ly, does the “art of food” actu­al­ly mean? Well, Mouth’s team search­es the length and breadth of the coun­try to source the very best “indie” food prod­ucts and their mak­ers, buy­ing the items they love in bulk. The prod­ucts are then pho­tographed, ware­housed, mar­ket­ed, pack­aged and, final­ly, shipped to Mouth Food cus­tomers.

Head­ing high­er

Kanarick says that the site now fea­tures 700 prod­ucts at any one time, with approx­i­mate­ly 10 per­cent sold exclu­sive­ly online. He told the Wall Street Jour­nal:

“We’re not Etsy. We’re not a mag­a­zine. And we’re not an open mar­ket­place. But we curate very seri­ous­ly, and think our cus­tomers ben­e­fit from our atten­tion to every detail of the expe­ri­ence.”

Cus­tomers can buy indi­vid­ual items, like Ricks Picks’ kosher organ­ic dill pick­les at $14 or Sweeteth’s port wine caramel bar at $7, but the com­pa­ny also offers a high­ly suc­cess­ful month­ly sub­scrip­tion ser­vice as well as gift box­es. Cus­tomers with a raft of orders can also sign up for a V.I.P. concierge ser­vice.

The new fund­ing, which came cour­tesy of  Vocap Ven­tures with par­tic­i­pa­tion from Veg­asTech­Fund and angel investors Jason Cala­ca­n­is and Joanne Wil­son, will be used to improve inter­net and mobile web­sites, mar­ket its own brand and ven­dors’ prod­ucts through­out the U.S. and add new prod­ucts to the site.

Ecom­merce man­agers will prob­a­bly agree that despite the trend-buck­ing this sounds like a plan.

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