We recently sat down with a few of the founding members of FUUD, a yummy subscription based startup winning over the hearts and bellies of many hungry British Columbians. FUUD delivers farm fresh food, prepped, and ready to be cooked to busy families and working professionals who are sick of takeout and the same old boring recipes. They came to The Jibe for web development services last year and since then have launched their innovative business.
Part 1: Who is FUUD?
Tell me a bit about your online business:
Riti: We're a meal delivery service. We deliver weekly meals to our subscribers. What they get is a meal that’s pre-portioned with all the ingredients they need to cook the recipe at home. And all our ingredients are fresh and locally sourced as much as possible.
What problems are you solving for your clients?
Riti: The biggest problem our customer has is time. They're too busy to plan their meals and there’s a lot of redundancy in what they're eating. FUUD is perfect for busy families and working professionals who are tired of takeout or the same "go to" meals.
With our meal plan, every week is a different recipe. Our dishes include ingredients many of our clients haven’t heard of or may have been too intimidated to cook with in the past.
Ben: Like Riti said, they're busy families and professionals, so this service helps them to come together and discover, or rediscover, the creativity and enjoyment of cooking. We save time for those who want to eat fresh, healthy, and sustainable ingredients, as well as crave some variety in the food they eat and the food they feed their family.
So you mentioned you source local ingredients, why is that important to FUUD?
Riti: Our business and philosophy is centered around community and sustainability, which is why we partnered with the Vancouver Farmers Market. We’ve also partnered with the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise program, meaning all our fish is Ocean Wise certified and sustainable.
We believe it’s important for people to know where their food comes from. However, some produce such as Mango needs to be imported because its not grown in Canada.
Ben: Part of our brand is about connecting our clients to the source of where these ingredients are coming from. We spend a lot of time talking to our local suppliers from the Fraser Valley.
Riti: We're really looking to tell the story about our local farmers, suppliers, and the artisan chef. Connecting with our community is really important to us. For example, one of our recipes features a Vietnamese sauce created by a local Port Moody father.
Your recipes sound so delicious, how do you come up with them?
Riti: We started working with Ron Shaw who was formerly at Bishop, a farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Vancouver. He knows farm-to-table really well and created 60 recipes for us focusing on “farm fresh food”. We've also worked with local chef Josh Mcwilliam, he created a menu of gluten free recipes for FUUD.
And then of course we work with the community. One of our upcoming meals, gluten free samosas, is a recipe from a local Vancouverite. Another is Vietnamese Lemongrass–a dish that local chef Thomas Tran has been cooking for decades!
Ben: Just to echo Ben, we really want the community to be involved. We have a farmer we work with at Hazelmere farms that supplies us with Butternut Squash. She mentioned she had a soup she makes with it, so naturally we asked for the recipe. We really want our dishes to be diverse in nature.
Part 2: The Website
How did you come across our eCommerce agency and why did you choose to work with us?
Ben: We started working with LemonStand, an eCommerce platform built here in Vancouver. We asked the guys there if they could recommend an agency for web development work and they introduced us to The Jibe. After some back and forth discussion around the project, we quickly realized The Jibe would be a great fit for us.
How did you find the communication style in working with our digital agency?
Ben: It was very good. Francis (The Jibe’s CEO) and I had great communication since the very beginning. As the project developed, it was awesome to receive the same level of communication from Leah, Steve, and everyone at The Jibe.
Riti: It was also really helpful to use tools such as Slack and Trello because it allowed us to reach The Jibe better. We (The Jibe and FUUD) all knew what was going on at all times. It was very organized.
Ben: I found The Jibe very responsive and personable.
Was there any time during the web development stage that The Jibe suggested something that you hadn't thought of?
Ben: Leah's (A developer at The Jibe) very sharp and had a lot of insight into the user flows and initial requirements. She was very quick and responsive with feedback. If she wanted to challenge something, she would. I think that’s very valuable in a partnership. I liked that if she felt there was something we shouldn't be doing, she'd speak up about it and be honest, which is great.
FUUD launched a minimal website quickly in order to start gathering feedback from customers right away. Do you feel this data-driven design approach worked?
Riti: I think so. We’ve been able to take feedback and build out the right features. We wanted to test our assumptions on certain things. Instead of spending an enormous amount of money building a feature that may not have been valuable, it’s been good to build up stage by stage. We felt getting an MVP out there and then re-grouping once we had data was the way to go.
Do you feel like this approach has led you to make more informed business decisions?
Ben: Yes. Being strategic and looking at customer data and feedback before we decide to invest more into a certain direction is smart. And I think this process worked out for us.
Once you collected feedback from customers, were there any data-backed changes you felt you needed to make right away?
Ben: Yes. One change in particular was the ability to allow our customers to choose the meals they want for the week. A lot of the original users gave us that valuable feedback. Now that we've made that change, it’s definitely improved our customer's experience. We've gotten feedback from our customers letting us know how they appreciate that.
Riti: And also enabling customers to download a recipe on the website. Before, our customers would receive a physical card with their delivery, but sometimes that would get lost. Now, in addition to a physical card, they can simply download the recipe on our website.
Do you feel that your website has set FUUD up for success?
Ben: Yes absolutely. From the very start we felt we entered into a great working relationship with The Jibe and have total faith in the work that’s been accomplished so far. So yes, definitely.
If you had to choose 3 adjectives to describe your experience working with The Jibe, what would they be?
Riti: Responsive for sure.
Ben: Very insightful. The Jibe has spent a lot of time really trying to understand our business model and the pain points we're solving for our customers. They've always really cared about us as clients and were willing to challenge us in order to provide more value.
They didn't just build what we asked but were really interested in helping us in the process. Francis and Leah spent a lot of time giving us feedback and making us think, which is very valuable in a partnership.
And I’d say overall, just awesome. It’s always great to work with people who are brilliant and quick, and have a lot of enthusiasm and energy. From day 1 the team was really supportive and excited about the project, which FUUD really appreciates.
Looking for a responsive, enthusiastic team to develop your next eCommerce project? Let's chat!