Dallas-based Daniel Vitiello, along with his business partner, Brandon Warman, has founded two startups (so far), both in the food/grocery space. Daniel and I chat about lessons learned during the development and launch of Handground, their coffee grinder, and how their latest venture, mobile app Cooklist, may revolutionize both grocery shopping and meal planning while helping consumers eat healthier, spend less time shopping, and save money.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Daniel and Brandon got their start in business and as entrepreneurs, including launching a new manual coffee grinder, Handground (available via Amazon)
  • Taking learnings from Handground, how Daniel and Brandon surveyed people passionate about cooking to test their initial ideas for a food/cooking app
  • How joining the TechStars accelerator program in 2018 – including working with Target – helped drive the initial launch of the Cooklist mobile app
  • Two recent developments that make an app like Cooklist possible:
    • Grocery store loyalty program data being made available online
    • Widespread availability of home delivery for groceries
  • How Cooklist currently solves two primary pains:
    • Figuring out what you can prepare using ingredients/products already on hand
    • Tying selected recipes to your (online) shopping list, while accounting for what’s already in your fridge and pantry – and as a bonus, potentially comparing order prices across grocers (more retailers are being added later this year)
  • How the just-released Cooklist meal planner feature recognizes that consumers don’t always cook “meals” but sometimes just heat up a frozen pizza or eat some yogurt
  • Benefits to grocers, including (a) having customers who get more from their purchases and (b) reducing the friction involved in buying groceries and getting them home
    • Grocers have been losing “stomach share” for many years
  • Why Cooklist looks to avoid business models that profit primarily from selling consumer data, preferring to provide a valuable service they’re willing to pay for directly and maintaining trust
  • What a future Cooklist – part personal chef and part omniscient planner/shopper – might look like
  • What future innovation in this space is coming, including current pilots of in-home delivery of groceries