For Melissa Jenkins and her husband Brent, the vision for their startup started at the dinner table.
They are passionate about delicious, nutritional food, realized there’s an abundance of exceptional food artisans and producers in Central Ohio, and wanted to share the fruits of their hard work with people who would appreciate it. They decided a better avenue for discovering great food was needed, and Sprig was born.
“Sprig, in essence, means a small shoot or twig of a plant,” says Jenkins. “A sprig is the first thing that has a starting point from the ground before it begins to bud into a plant, vegetable, etc.”
With Sprig, the Jenkinses (Melissa is a dental professional, Brent owns a financial planning firm) want to help grow the businesses of small artisan food vendors. They also want to inspire the people who try their curated snack boxes to introduce a new eating style into their lives.
“The name and brand Sprig resembles overall growth and inspiring new beginnings,” she says.
The business model for Sprig is very similar to the one for Birchbox, which delivers samples of beauty products to subscribers on a monthly basis for a small fee. The main difference is that Sprig is focused on food.
“We have established a great network of local food vendors, advisors, as well as partnerships in the food industry that will elevate the Sprig brand with great scale,” she says. “So we are at the point of implementing our web presence, solidifying our vendor relationships, and initiating our online marketing efforts to build the brand.”
From a business planning and development perspective, the Economic and Community Development Institute has been especially helpful, she says, while local vegan, organic and natural food groups have been great resources for advocacy and partnerships.
Additionally, “Visiting local farmers markets, utilizing our social network streams, such as Facebook, Twitter and now Pinterest, have all been very helpful in our process of building our story and brand,” she says.
Sprig has had many allies from the start, including the teams at ECDI and the Small Business Beanstalk, Dave Hunegnaw of AboutOurWork.com, Dave Ranallo at Azoti, the Founders Factory, and Heidi Maybruck at Celebrate Local.
“We are looking to launch Sprig sometime in the middle of 2012, so be looking for us on your doorstep,” she says.
To learn more about Sprig, visit SprigBox.com.