A grocery delivery service that recently launched in Baltimore is delivering Latin American groceries to homes.
Ecommerce platform Everdura launched in the city this month with 50 products, as well as produce variety boxes and meal kits.
Founded by Liz Nunez and Emily Miller, the company was a product of the pandemic. Born in the Dominican Republic, Nunez moved to upstate New York during quarantine and found that there wasn’t immediate access to the food she grew up eating, like plantains and yucca. It reminded her of time during school in Philly, when she had to drive half an hour to a grocery store that had the goods that were so important to her culture. And this came even as the services that brought groceries directly to homes were growing.
“If you can get grocery delivery from all of these different sources … why can’t you get these goods?” Nunez said. “There’s a very clear gap in the ecommerce experience for these kinds of products.”
With nearly 60 million Latinx residents in the U.S., it presented a sizable market that wasn’t being served. So they set out to start a business that could reach it.
Nunez has ties to the wholesale food business through family in North Carolina, and Miller gained ecommerce and software development experience as a project manger working as a Venture for America fellow in Baltimore. It gave her experiences in agriculture supply chains and the web experience that she is now applying as CTO.
After getting started during remote times, they brought the headquarters to Baltimore this month and began deliveries in the city.
When it comes to produce, the company is focusing in three regions: Caribbean, Central America and South America. It is providing boxes focused around specific cooking experiences.
“We are very much aiming to curate the boxes based on things people actually want to eat together,” Miller said.
And it’s a chance to explore the cuisine from a region.
“It’s a good introductory experience to those interested in learning more about cooking those cuisines, as well,” Nunez said.
Like many entrepreneurial ventures, the cofounders are starting with lean approaches, and doing things themselves as they get going. Starting out in North Carolina in August, they sourced produce from a wholesale grocer run by Nunez’s uncle. As they get going in Baltimore, they’re using Instagram to reach customers. Then, they’re processing orders, and Miller is sourcing produce from retailers and making weekly deliveries, while the cofounders are building the business.
This summer, the company is getting support from Towson University’s StarTUp Accelerator, where it is part of the latest cohort.
Going forward, as they build up sources of goods, the cofounders want to be deliberate about how they’re growing. Nunez said they want to create a “farm to table” approach that is focused around sustainable agriculture.
“As we grow and as we get more purchasing power from partners, we’re going to be looking for sustainable partners who can give a lot more transparency,” Nunez said.
And when they get to the point of hiring others to make deliveries, they’re making plans to pay them fairly.
They also want to continue to build out the offerings, adding goods like herbs and spices. With the site, they want to offer resources like recipes and food info that serves as a hub for the cuisine.
Along with the support they are receiving in the region, there is also a sizable population to serve. Along with Baltimore’s growing Latinx population, there are nearly 1 million people when you factor in the D.C. area. As they work in Baltimore, they’re planning to expand in the DMV in June.
“We think that we can help a lot of people get access to their favorite goods,” said Nunez.