The largest internet grocer for organic/natural foods in North America.
Number of Employees:150
David Van Seter’s “small potatoes” perspective of the triple bottom line endured a harsh reality check at the school of hard knocks. A successful business consultant, David wanted to inspire his clients with a demonstration of sustainable business practices. He created SPUD, Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (originally Small Potatoes Urban Delivery)—a web-based grocery delivery business, promoting organic, local and informed food choices.
But this undertaking was anything but “small.” David spent the first years run-ragged from overcoming challenges, eventually ending his business consultancy to lead SPUD full-time. However, with patience, persistence and skill, SPUD reached profitability and David realized a dream.
Meeting Renewal Partners
SPUD was grateful when Renewal offered their support—first as a loan then as an investment, far before SPUD reached profitability. “Renewal has become a true partner in every sense of the word,” explains David. “One thing they’ve advocated for, from the beginning, is not to do it alone. Over the past 10 years they’ve sent a thousand emails with invaluable advice,” says David.
Bolstered by investments and advice, SPUD has turned organic food delivery into a thriving and profitable business model. “SPUD wants to change the cultural DNA of the grocery industry,” explains David. “And if we can expand to a number of cities, we think we will hit that tipping point.”
SPUD has created a popular alternative to grocery store culture—an alternative to plastic grocery bags, jammed parking lots, open refrigerators, overstocked produce, weekly flyers and distant food sources. They’ve turned the simple act of grocery shopping into an easy and delicious way for people to nurture the planet. They’ve increased revenues for local farmers and food artisans, with the dream of one day putting local farmers into business. Now in nine cities—and growing rapidly with healthy profits—SPUD is the largest organic food delivery company in North America.