Holly Jade and Zachary Damato are co-founders of GRUMBL, a startup which allows businesses to monetize on food waste with zero added infrastructure. Holly, primarily a designer for tech and specialized software, has worked for Apple in UX and strategy. In 2014 She gave a TEDx talk and was named one of the year’s top 5 College Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Magazine.
“My co-founder, Zachary Damato, is a sustainability guru who started his own Food business grossing at $3.5 Million in under 4 years from the ground up. We’re a business power duo for GRUMBL.” says Holly.
GRUMBL is a design-based app and with plans to launch their beta on Earth Day, 2015. GRUMBL is a project underTheGreenHabit.com, a sustainability and design focused think tank which Holly also started.
How did the idea for GRUMBL sprout?
“When I was grocery shopping about a year ago, I ran into a friend who worked at the local market. She was doing inventory take down and soon after I found out she was throwing away perfectly good food.” Holly explains. She then investigated and found the US tosses $165 Billion of perfectly edible food each year due to logistics and space. Since she’s a full-time designer for tech, she found a way to solve this issue, she designed GRUMBL.
She feels that it is challenging to get people to realize the true problem and opportunity with food waste. “Food waste is defined as SAFE and edible excess food by the USDA. We’re not talking about spoiled or rotten food. There’s 50 Million food insecure people, yet we have $165 Billion of this excess food being tossed each year. What’s up with that? We’re here to fix it.” she adds.
Holly realized that the $165 Billion of food waste is an opportunity for monetization; By using GRUMBL, businesses are able to capitalize on this food waste with zero added infrastructure while bringing new foot traffic to their stores.
“There are some donation programs in place which likely want a hold of this excess food; however, for the economy, it’s important we allow businesses to capture this opportunity for revenue while lowering the barrier to food prices.” Holly says.
They are planning to launch their beta this upcoming Earth Day and are looking to expand to cities whose values align strongly with wanting to better the environment and economic conditions.
Their target end user audience ranges from young mothers, single men, women aged 18-38 to front end business owners who want additional sources of revenue, foot traffic, and opportunity for PR in social responsibility.
Their revenue model is through commission capture per GRUMBL purchase with a subscription based model for stores and grocers. “We have the opportunity to put billions of dollars back into the economy and capturing all excess food.” Holly says.