Locale aims to create a community for local “foodpreneurs” to sell their products and grow their brands



Published: Sat 26 Feb 2022, 23:49

Locale is the UAE’s first food aggregator with a heart, and it aims to create a community for local foodpreneurs to sell their products and grow their brands.

The concept was launched at Dubai Caterer Middle East in January.

He brought another great brand under his wing, Viking Bageri, an in-house artisan bakery that offers a mix of sweet and savory pastries.

KRUSH Brands’ “food entrepreneur-driven ecosystem” platform seeks to champion local businesses and provide them with resources to become more resilient and take full ownership of their customer relationship with proprietary technology and delivery science, fully integrated into the brand and operations.

Ohan spent most of his early professional career in North America and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the real estate and hospitality investment and development markets. He has held senior positions in companies such as KPMG, Arthur Andersen and Al Futtaim Investments.

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“My unplanned departure from my early career ambitions led me to take up a management position at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts where I began my career in operations. It was not until 2004 that I launched my entrepreneurial journey and joined two associates in a real estate and hospitality investment services startup (acquired by Jones Lang LaSalle).In 2009, I returned to my food and beverage roots and launched what is known today as Freedom Pizza, which became KRUSH Brands and Locale,” he said.

“When I got into entrepreneurship, the main challenge was finding the courage to let go of the security of generous executive compensation and an upward career trajectory. As with all startups, the challenges were many , and one of the biggest was growing and running a business of three to over 40 people in a short period of time. It was a transition from working in a well-defined and comprehensive corporate environment to being everyone’s responsibility. aspects of the business, while observing vision and leadership.

“Learning when and how to ‘swoop’ and ‘hover’ was a key learning,” he said.

The concept

“Locale is an economically sustainable ecosystem for innovative food entrepreneurs to thrive and reconnect with the communities in which they operate. For foodpreneurs, Locale is a comprehensive platform we originally built for our own brands (Freedom Pizza, Salad Jar, Wildflower Poke, Coco Yogo, and Vegan Kitchen), which combines our own food technology, brands, and professional delivery capabilities. and exclusive. For customers, Locale offers a highly curated group of loved and like-minded food brands, and has the ability to offer them 20 unique individual brands to discover. Locale isn’t about making money on delivery, technology, advertising, or fees (our goal is to minimize those costs for everyone). Locale is about making money with good food,” he said.

Find new foodpreneurs

Ohan said, “Locale’s differentiated proposition of true partnership and results-driven economic alignment has been well received in the food entrepreneur market. The foodie community is a tight-knit group looking for a smarter way to grow and scale businesses. Our fully integrated business model is designed to be highly profitable for food entrepreneurs, while providing an attractive economy for multiple kitchens and enterprise scale. Having only 20 top brands in Locale allows us to be very selective. At the heart of our decision-making process is the alignment of values ​​with potential partners who emphasize excellence in food, a fanatical approach to customers and the development of people. Locale partners with a range of amazing people from accomplished (or new) chefs who want to own and run a new business, to established quality brands who care about the integrity of their brands, quality service and professional performance.

According to Ohan, Locale is the only real alternative to the third-party delivery ecosystem.

“It’s a true partnership model that allows us to enthusiastically apply the full extent of our capabilities to our partners. In short, we treat them as our own. For the foodpreneur, this means we pay all initial capital investments for the brand in our multi-kitchens and provide them with our proprietary and professional food technology platforms and delivery teams. Locale’s partner brands are also included in Locale’s exclusive marketplace, as well as their own direct online ordering presence. Additionally, partners are also supported by Locale’s comprehensive in-house team and resources, including human resources, business licensing, learning and development, operations, finance and accounting, technology, design and development, franchising and our amazing in-house branding and marketing agency team. As partners, we also co-invest to grow the brands, and we hope that all of our partner brands grow with Locale and beyond in fulfilling their unique and individual ambitions and destinies. Great brands are built by great people,” he added.

Last acquisition

“We did not acquire Viking Bageri, we became equity partners. The strong point is undoubtedly the product. Viking Bageri simply makes the best wand I’ve ever tried, anywhere, period. When you combine that with our unique ability to deliver baguettes straight from the oven to your doorstep, we’re onto something special for bread lovers everywhere. On a more personal level, we are truly grateful to the amazing founders of Viking for their trust, commitment, and partnership as early adopters and believers in Locale. They help us to be better together. It’s all about travel and we’re just getting started,” he added.

Ohan believes that Locale belongs in any community that values ​​good food, good people and good ideas. Thus, an expansion into the greater Mena region is in sight, as Locale is a brilliant entrepreneurial idea, whose time has come.