Prioritising health got a new meaning after the pandemic. Be it mindful eating or sustainable living, choosing to buy local, or incorporating fitness into everyday routines, healthy living has never been more important than now.
Artisanal foods, made using traditional recipes, without any preservatives, sweeteners, or chemicals, have witnessed phenomenal growth in India in recent years. These include bread, cheese, fruit preserves, cured meats, beverages, oils, vinegars, etc., made by hand by skilled craftworkers, known as food artisans. These artisans often run small, locally-owned, sustainable businesses that foster innovation.
Giving them a platform to showcase and sell their products is Delhi-based startup TheGoodFat. Co-founded by Uditya Sharma and Radhika Kohli in January 2022, TheGoodFat is a customer-centric marketplace that provides visibility and warehousing solutions to over 100 local vendors across India.
The startup works in two ways–one through its ecommerce marketplace which ships products to Delhi/NCR region, and second through its gourmet-store-on-wheels concept–its speciality trucks, which are fully-airconditioned and move throughout the Delhi-NCR region showcasing the gourmet products and helping sell them.
“A lot of these artisanal brands come from very different corners of the country. They don’t have a brand presence, so we give them a platform,” says Uditya in a chat with YourStory, adding that the products include cheese from Uttarakhand and Kashmir, mustard sauce from Kodaikanal, pickles from Lakshadweep, and more.
“It works both ways–customers get to try something different and the small business owners get to sell their authentic products,” he says, adding that small business owners can make use of the truck to build brand presence and increase awareness about their products.
He says the startup’s fully air-conditioned gourmet trucks are parked in Gurgaon and farmhouses around Delhi, where customers can walk in and buy their gourmet groceries.
From energy to the F&B sector
Uditya has an interesting background. After completing his BTech, he worked with a couple of corporate firms before helping his family in the business of coal imports. From the energy sector, moving to the Food & Beverage industry was a conscious choice, and born out of Uditya’s passion for healthy foods and doing things differently. Co-founder Radhika also comes from a corporate background, and has previously dabbled in entrepreneurship by running a hand-made paper business.
“Being a foodie, I was always on the lookout for quality and differentiated food brands. I reached out to about 40-50 niche brands that I found online, or through word of mouth, and checked out their facilities. I also did a bit of background check to see if they had licenses in place, if the ingredients were organically or hydroponically grown, and if they really had a sustainable business model in place,” says Uditya.
Radhika says given the importance they place on ingredients, they make sure not every product of a brand finds a place in TheGoodFat’s storefront. “We are particular that our products do not have any transfats, have no preservatives, and are non-GMO and organic. So, if we have one brand on board, and they have about 50 SKUs, it is not necessary that all 50 find a place on our shelves.”
The startup broadly has about 12 categories including bakery, cold cuts, fresh produce, cheese, vegan, keto, baby food, and even pet food.
The startup, which has a team size of 15, is bootstrapped at the moment and intends to expand across Tier II cities, including Noida, Faridabad, Chandigarh, and Ludhiana over the next two years, adding more than 50,000 users and 300 vendors to its fold.
“We also plan to launch in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Pune in the same time period,” says Uditya, adding that there is already interest pouring in from the other metros in the country, but because they do not have warehousing solutions in these places, they are yet to begin.
In terms of revenue, Uditya says the startup has generated approximately Rs 40 lakh since January 2022. “We receive around 50 to 60 orders a day, including offline and online, with an average ticket size of around Rs 2,200.”
Started with an initial capital of Rs 80 lakh, Uditya says the gourmet grocery brand’s major expenses were warehousing solutions and the full-stack truck which has chillers, deep freezers, and more. The startup currently has about 100-105 brands and 15,000 SKUs onboard, and Uditya says the plan is to add 300 more small brands in the near future. TheGoodFat’s domestic competition includes Foodhall, Le Marche, Living Co, and Nature’s Basket
The young founders say they are on the lookout for funding, as the business is capital heavy. “We are in touch with investors. A few quick commerce startups have also reached out to us, to become their gourmet partner, so we are exploring options which can help us grow faster because we do need warehousing solutions,” explains Uditya.