By , March 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm
Artizone, a rapidly expanding online artisanal grocery shopping and home delivery service, is a rare win-win. On the one hand, it connects consumers with top-quality purveyors and on the other, it connects top-quality purveyors with their target market. The service is currently available in Chicago and Dallas, with Denver slated to be up and running in the near future.
So how does this work? In contrast to the typical online grocery service, Artizone doesn’t have a huge warehouse stocked with everything listed on the website. Neither does it limit the options to a single purveyor in each category. What it offers, instead, is an opportunity to source edibles from artisans located in various parts of a given zone, which explains the website’s name.
Lior Lavy, chief operating officer and co-founder with Alex Zeltcer of Artizone, has a background in product management and software engineering. Asked to define the term “artisan” he explains that it refers to “… an individual who makes a living selling products they make with their own hands. In the food realm, the term captures also intentional sourcing of products and ingredients”. Artisans, he adds, are both creative and entrepreneurial; they’re as passionate about the process as they are about the product.
The Chicago site includes more than a hundred artisans and shops located in various parts of the city, suburbs, and surrounding area. Products are sold for the same price as they are in the store. While there are no minimum or maximum dollar amounts on orders, there is a $5.95 delivery fee. Customers can choose to become “Choice members” for either $189 a year with two months free or $99 for six months with one month free. Choice members enjoy a 5% discount on all orders, in addition to free delivery for orders over $14.99.
Artizone’s logistics are challenging. A customer can, for example, order baby spinach from Brookhaven Marketplace in south suburban Burr Ridge, a single sausage from Gepperth’s Meat Market in Lincoln Park, an Asiago batard from Deerfield’s Bakery in north suburban Deerfield, and salad greens from Green Grocer Chicago on Grand Avenue. Orders placed by 10 am are delivered that same evening, with the exception of products that are made to order and, as a result, require more lead time. There are two windows for delivery: 7pm-9pm and 8pm-10pm. Opt for “speedy” delivery and readily available items can be delivered before the rest of the order is assembled.
Artizone’s website is user friendly. For starters, every available item is pictured. And in addition to being able to browse a particular purveyor, customers can also shop by recipe. Select Stephanie Izard’s (Girl and the Goat, Little Goat Diner) recipe for Chee Crab Dip, for example, and in addition to the recipe, you get a shopping list for the requisite ingredients, all available on the website. Artizone also keeps track of every customer’s payment information, coupons, rewards and previous orders, an added plus for time challenged consumers.