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An employee at a FoodMaven warehouse. Photo courtesy of FoodMaven

Former Whole Foods Market Executive Invests in FoodMaven

Food waste is a big problem—but this Colorado Springs startup is proving it can be big business, too.

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You may have heard this terrifying yet true statistic: 40 percent of all food produced in this country goes uneaten. It’s no secret that food waste is a big issue. Months ago, we reported on FoodMaven’s innovative approach to tackling the squandered food problem. The Colorado Springs-based startup is a for-profit company that intercepts and sells oversupplied food on a digital wholesale platform to restaurants, hospitals, and institutional facilities (think assisted living centers). It’s a step in the right direction to fixing our inefficient and inherently wasteful food system.

Now, FoodMaven is poised for big things: Walter Robb, former Whole Foods Market co-CEO, has joined the board and made a significant investment. Currently only operating in Denver and Colorado Springs, FoodMaven plans, with Robb’s help, to expand nationally within the next year. “Walter Robb was presented with a tremendous number of opportunities. I am humbled and honored that FoodMaven is the first thing he committed to after the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods,” says FoodMaven co-founder Patrick Bultema.

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What does this mean for food waste reduction? A lot. Since the start of 2017, FoodMaven has diverted more than 800,000 pounds of food from Colorado landfills while proving that its concept is not only virtuous, but potentially profitable on a large scale. “FoodMaven is going straight at the growing challenge of food waste and has created an imaginative and innovative market-based approach to using more of what we produce,” Robb said in a press release. “I am excited to join with Patrick and team to help with this effort and grow the company.”

Callie Sumlin, Associate Food Editor

Callie Sumlin creates stories for 5280's Eat & Drink section, manages the dining guide, and oversees 5280.com's digital food-related coverage and weekly e-newsletter, Table Talk.

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