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Blue Apron Founder Matt Salzberg Builds Private Chef Experience For The Masses

Learn how Matt Salzberg and his co-founders, Ilia Papas and Matthew Wadiak, turned their love of food and cooking into a successful business.

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Best Success Story

The most important thing to us is that customers love our product. They cook our food and we realize that we help them become a better chef at home. That’s the measure of success in my mind.

My favorite part of my job is seeing the photographs that customers post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a regular basis of the food they created using our service and it shows that they’re really proud and excited about what they’re eating.

Source: Facebook.com/BlueApronMeals
Source: Facebook.com/BlueApronMeals

There have obviously been a number of other success stories along the way; we raised a bunch of venture capital money, we met some really great investors, we’ve been featured in the New York Post and the New York Times, and Esquire Magazine. A number of places have recognized us, which is great. And our customer base continues to grow every week.

 

Biggest Startup Challenge

Our biggest challenge quite frankly is logistics.

What we do is incredibly complicated, which is why it’s such a value to our customers. We go out and work with a network of high-end purveyors, who supply us with fresh food every week. Every single week we design completely new recipes so were sourcing new food every week from the markets.

Managing that whole process is quite complicated, and sourcing all that food; packing it and getting it to our customers quickly is one of our most challenging tasks. But it’s also one of the things that we focus hard on because that is a core competency for us.

We have a lot of internal processes in place for fulfillment in order to maintain quality control, to make sure that we were receiving all the food that we’re ordering, building relationships with our suppliers (who we meet with on a regular basis), and of course testing the recipes for quality control with the ingredients in our test kitchen.

 

#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs

One of the most difficult things with our business is that there’s so many things that we want to do on a regular basis. It’s impossible to do every single one of those things at the same time.

And so for entrepreneurs, who by definition don’t have a bunch of resources, you’re starting on your own and you’re starting from scratch. You’re a small team or one person so you have to really pick your battles and make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle at the very beginning. Focus on that one thing you do and do it well.

Connect with Matt on Twitter.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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