Relay Foods Establishes Largest Online Food Marketplace in Mid-Atlantic U.S.

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Entry into Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia metropolitan markets, increased local and artisan food offerings to accelerate growth

Relay Foods, the leading online marketplace that makes eating quality, healthy and sustainable food simple, has announced a strategic expansion into three major U.S. Mid-Atlantic metropolitan areas, furthering their commitment to customers who care about local and artisan food.

Beginning today, people living in the greater Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia metropolitan areas can visit http://www.relayfoods.com and order from more than 11,000 grocery items - including local meat, produce and dairy direct from farms in the mid-Atlantic region - for home delivery. Within weeks, Relay Foods will also establish convenient customer pickup locations in each city.

Relay Foods currently serves customers in Charlottesville and Richmond, VA. Through the company’s recent acquisition of Virginia-based Arganica Farm Club, Relay Foods gained significant diversification in its food portfolio, as well as thousands of current customers in the greater Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia areas. Relay Foods also raised $1.2 million in new capital – from existing investors representing both companies – to help expedite the integration process.

“Our intention through this major expansion is to leverage our superior technology, precise operations model, and the concept of Relay offering virtually infinite shelf space, to pursue rapid growth in major metropolitan areas,” said Zach Buckner, founder and CEO of Relay Foods. “The time is right and the market is maturing. Customers are eager to take advantage of the selection and convenience Relay Foods provides. We aim to serve as a long-term catalyst for the local food economies across our growing footprint.”

New capital will also be allocated toward the future development of an intelligent product recommendation engine and automatic customer segmentation functionality, which will dramatically accelerate the personalization of the shopping experience beginning with a customer’s initial visit to the site.

“Relay Foods is designed to efficiently serve a range of customers – from busy professionals and parents managing households, to people who care deeply about access to farm-to-table produce and the finest artisan foods, and of course those who like to avoid the crowds and hassles of today's grocery retail environment,” said Buckner. “We are proud to now offer even more products from the region’s most socially and environmentally responsible farms and artisan food vendors.”

The core operations of Relay Foods will remain in Charlottesville. The expansion will set into motion long-term planning to scale fulfillment centers in each major city, capitalizing on the efficiency of the distribution model and local food producers throughout the company’s geographic footprint. This effort to expand local food economies throughout the region – creating millions of in-market opportunities for small-scale providers – was a major incentive for Arganica to participate in the transaction.

The transition for Arganica customers to Relay Foods will be seamless. Relay Foods is planning to launch a revitalized online user interface, focused on simplifying the first order experience and building on Arganica’s strong emphasis on transparency regarding the origin and quality of their offerings.

“Arganica members are highly engaged, counting on us to deliver a truly unique selection of local and artisanal goods to improve the health of their families and expand the palates of their friends and loved ones,” said Caesar Layton, former president of Arganica, who becomes Senior Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Relay Foods. “We share commitment and conviction that the market is set to rapidly expand, and using the two companies’ joint assets we will continue to build interest in our service and provide distinct advantages to our customers.”

About Relay Foods
Launched in 2009, the Relay Foods marketplace unites more than 100 unique merchants, vendors and stores that partner with the company as an alternative distribution channel to expand the availability of their products. Customers shop online until midnight, and their orders are picked and aggregated overnight for next day pickup (free) from one of dozens of convenient locations or home delivery at a nominal fee. Prices are competitive with traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Learn more at http://www.relayfoods.com.

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Steve Bowers
steve@relayfoods.com
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