June 23, 2014

"Peach" application offers new take on local food sourcing

A new application looks to disrupt the food-sourcing scene on a local levelWe’ve all heard of Tinder, right? The application that allows you to swipe one way to indicate romantic interest in an individual and another to pass? This is kind of like that. Except not at all, really. Peach, a new application designed by two graduate students at The University of Texas, Austin, McCombs School of Business, applies the same principle to sourcing local food. The application allows farmers or wholesalers of produce, meat and the like to present  their products in a 24/7 marketplace frequented by chefs, connoisseurs and other members of the cooking community. These individuals then slide one direction to purchase the product or the other to move on.

The application was co-founded by Daniel Ehevich and Mario Barrett, who are both currently pursuing MBAs at McCombs School. According to the two of them, they came upon the idea by speaking with local chefs and restaurant managers about the processes they use to find their ingredients. Most  of the people they spoke with spent roughly two hours each day on sourcing their food. Ehevich and Barrett thought that time could be better spent, and that they might be able to disrupt the market in the process of making it so.

“Chefs want to source more locally, but they have no time to research, find these products and connect to farmers,” Barrett said in an interview,”We want to be the 24/7 farmers market.”

The application is still in a beta release, but it’s drawing attention from some big names. Peach has already signed up numerous noteworthy chefs, including Janelle Reynolds, who is a former winner of the “Chopped” television series and now works in the kitchen at @t Large, a private chef company in Austin.

Ehevich has indicated that he and Barrett are currently in the process of speaking with food distributors to take the next step in laying the infrastructure for a larger-scale Peach.