Highland Park-based Artizone Ltd. is helping consumers shop online for all their gourmet needs in one spot.
The online aggregator of gourmet and locally sourced food also plans to offer shoppers a chance to receive those items within hours as one of its new features, said Lior Lavy, co-founder and chief operating officer.
Artizone, which has about 50 employees and contractors, also plans to boost its workforce and increase its reach around the region, he said.
"We provide you with access to all of your specialty foods that you cannot find in a regular supermarket," said Lavy, 42.
Artizone was co-founded by Lavy and four other entrepreneurs in his native Israel about 4 years ago. They decided to launch the business first in Dallas and last September in the Chicago and suburban market.
"We wanted to come here because Chicago has a unique combination of demographics and there's a wonderful selection of artisan foods and small shops here that serve those customers," Lavy said. "So the demand is high here."
Unlike Peapod.com or other online grocers, Artizone features strictly gourmet cuts of meat and fish, cheeses and other foods from various providers. It also includes gluten-free, locally sourced or all-natural items. Orders can be selected, processed, wrapped and delivered overnight or the same day, he said.
The company soon will launch delivery within hours for an extra charge. The site currently charges a flat rate of $5.95 for delivery if the order is under $120. If over $120, delivery is free, he said.
In addition to providing faster delivery, Artizone plans to launch more partnerships to offer shoppers a bigger selection of foods.
The most recent partnership was announced May 2 with Chicago-based Packed Produce. It will provide an expanded selection of local, organic produce as well as its snack packs of pre-packed individual servings. A week's worth of healthy snacks features six, individually packaged 3 oz. servings of fresh fruits and vegetables for $13.95. They also are available in 4, 8 and 12-week subscriptions as well.
The website also includes a library of recipes that continues to expand and can convert the recipes into a shopping list for the ingredients, he said.
"I'm a foodie myself and always hated to take a recipe and make up a shopping list, figuring out what I need. "This does it automatically for you and even provides a recurring order list, if you like."
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