Ithaca Startup in USDA Pilot Program with Local Grocery Chain

Ithaca Startup in USDA Pilot Program with Local Grocery Chain

Congratulations to Rev Member Company Rosie! Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the retailers that would be involved in its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) online purchasing pilot program – a plan that will afford SNAP participants the ability to buy healthy groceries online. Rosie’s Buffalo-based partner, Dash’s Market, was among the seven stores chosen.

Rosie, founded in 2012 by two students at Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, provides a online grocery shopping platform for both web and mobile that allows customers to order their preferred items for same-day delivery or pickup. They partner with leading independent grocers in the region, one of whom is Dash’s Market. Their online purchasing platform enables the customers at Dash’s to buy their groceries online; now, the service will expand to meet the needs of the SNAP participants.

“We are proud to support Dash’s Market and leading independent grocers across the country to provide fast, easy access to fresh, local foods,” said Rosie’s CEO, Nick Nikitas, in the company’s press release. He explains that Rosie’s participation in the federal program will help to ensure that retailers who choose Rosie as their eCommerce partner can provide more people with access to food for a healthy lifestyle.

The Rosie team at their Ithaca headquarters

 

Rosie’s platform launched its SNAP capabilities for in-store and curbside pickup in 2016; the USDA pilot will allow them to accept payment from SNAP participants online and extend their services to home delivery in the Buffalo area. They hope to launch delivery services in August, as per the USDA’s timeline, so that participants can choose between the in-store pickup and home delivery. When the program ends, Rosie looks to offer the SNAP payment capability to independent grocers nationwide.

“Online purchasing power is a potential lifeline for SNAP participants living in urban neighborhoods and rural communities where access to healthy food choices can be limited,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The USDA selected a variety of stores for the pilot, from national retailers to smaller independent grocers. The program will test both online ordering and payment, in the hopes that lower-income Americans can access the benefits of the online market.

Today, Rosie is partnered with more than 100 different retailers in 16 states. They were recently featured in a Cornell University Medium piece about their startup success and why they continue to grow their business from Ithaca. Congrats again, Rosie!

Follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts to check out our other innovative member companies! For more information on events at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, sign up for our newsletter or email us info@revithaca.com

 

 

 

Ruthie