Vinder, inc. (www.veggievinder.com), an online community marketplace for homegrown produce, launched in Leander and 30 other cities across six states on Feb. 26 with growers and buyers eagerly waiting for the live launch. Vinder is a community-oriented online marketplace where users can list and discover the delicious produce being grown in their very own communities.
The startup is bootstrapped by the founder and CEO, Sam Lillie, and was originally launched on foot and bicycle in July of 2016 for $18.56 (the cost of a domain name and a general website). Within the first three months, more than 300 pounds of produce was bought and sold between community members, with 80 percent of sales going directly to the growers.
Vinder aims to create a transparent agricultural system that informs consumers about who’s growing their food, how it’s being grown and where. This is a system that boosts local economies, makes high quality produce available to everyone, and promotes environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.
Vinder founder and CEO, Sam Lillie, is a 26-year-old graduate of San Jose State University. After hiking from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail, Lillie said he applied to, and was rejected from, 106 companies in four different states before he decided to start Vinder.
“Vinder allows people to learn the ins and outs of their produce. It helps home gardeners get rid of any excess produce that usually goes to waste, and provides community members with ultra-local, ultra high quality food in an environmentally sustainable way,” Lillie said. “And because Vinder users are buying their produce direct from the grower, the money stays within the community. How awesome is that? Plus, the quality and taste is out of this world. You can’t get this kind of quality at the supermarket.”
As for the future, Lillie would like this idea to be part of every community.
“We need your help spreading the word and joining the movement for locally grown and community centered produce,” he said.
Sign up at www.veggievinder.com to become a Vinder and join the community.