We had the good fortune of connecting with Audrey Snyder and Natasha Lloyd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Audrey and Natasha, we’d love to hear more about how you both started your own business together?
Well, two years ago, neither of us could have anticipated being business owners! Our backgrounds are a unique combination of conservation biology and healthcare. But, we share a passion for making a positive impact which led us to join the Colorado State University Impact MBA program. It was there, our outgoing and enthusiastic personalities bonded quickly. Our knowledge and previous experiences meant we were (somewhat) aware of the inequality and environmental problems of food supply. Empowered by our Impact MBA program to question the status quo, we began investigating. After countless interviews with stakeholders and experts, it became apparent that the problems were far worse than we initially realized. The supply chain hosted an environment of food and resource waste, social inequities, inefficiencies, and lost opportunities. Our research saw small farms putting so much time and effort into sales events to reach their sales quotas. We saw restaurants trying to forge relationships with local farms to appeal to their consumers. But, these relationships were not maintainable because of the additional responsibilities it placed on the busy farmer or restaurant owner, leading to collapse. A solution was needed to improve broad environmental problems while helping connect these stakeholders. We refused to be bystanders, walking away from a problem assuming someone else would fix it. We quickly took responsibility and rolled up our sleeves… ReKaivery was born. We formed with intention to have a business model that improved environmental, economic, and social elements of the U.S. food supply chain. COVID-19 exposed the fragility of the food supply chain. It was imperative to launch our business to build the bridge between local farmers and commercial kitchens because other systems had failed them. Through a successful trial of our business in Fort Collins, we created valuable relationships with numerous local changemakers, farmers and restaurant owners. We launched ReKaivery because we were motivated to fix a problem. After building so many wonderful connections, we have realized it’s more than fixing problems. It’s about helping individuals and their businesses, providing opportunities to positively impact lives, and helping communities grow closer to their food sources. ReKaivery is excited to build a future of sustainable, local food networks.
What should our readers know about your business?
ReKaivery (ruh · kye · vr · ee) is proud of its diverse culture and knowledge, so we wanted to reflect this within our business name. We are proud to represent three nationalities within our team, one being a New Zealander. “Kai” is the Te Reo word for food. Te Reo is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand. We took a play on the word ‘Recovery’ and made it ‘ReKaivery’, because we are recovering food and resources of the broken US food supply chain. ReKaivery is recovering local food networks by connecting local farms and commercial kitchens on our online marketplace. We learned that local farmers put so much effort into their sales. They’re packing up produce and setting up tents at farmers markets, or they’re managing deliveries of CSA’s. We want to provide small farmers with an opportunity for more convenient sales by bringing them an opportunity to sell commercially. We do this while ensuring they receive comparable prices for their items. We also learned restaurants feel pressure to buy locally to be a part of the profitable Farm-to-Table trends. In the Front Range especially, Farm-to-Table is hot and people are willing to spend more on locally grown items. Restaurants across the Front Range have tried to create their own relationships with small farms, only for most attempts to fail because of the amount of responsibility it places on either the kitchen owner or the farmer. So, ReKaivery is connecting local supply with local demand. ReKaivery helps farms list their items which are then available for kitchens to purchase. ReKaivery’s deliveries produce less than 10% of the carbon emissions of traditional food supply. ReKaivery is trying to expand, bringing on new farmers and restaurants. We are hopeful that more stakeholders across the Front Range will join our mission to create sustainable, local food networks.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, that’s a great questions! To make it easy, we’ll break it down by activity.
– Get an apple pie with ice cream from ‘Me Oh My’ Pie
– Order a steak from Still Whiskey Steaks
– Eat a meat pie from The Waltzing Kangaroo
– Get some charcuterie from the Welsh Rabbit
– Grab some local cuisines at the Regional!
– Bike the Poudre River Trail around Fort Collins to get to some local breweries such as New Belgium and O’Dells
– Hike a trail in the Rocky Mountains. Wildland Trekking has the best snowshoe tours of the mountains!
– Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market on Sundays
– Go skiing at the ‘small but mighty’ Snowy Range Ski Area
– Bike to Morning Fresh’s Howling Cow Cafe and grab a farm-made sandwich
– Sit outside and drink a beer with your dog at Stodgy Brewing Company
– Grab coffee at Starry Night Espresso Cafe
– Grab coffee and admire local art at Bean Cycle
– Enjoy evening drinks and snacks at The Little on Mountain (or grab the trolley train to get there!)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If we listed every person who helped us, we would exceed the word quota. Please know that if you have even been remotely involved in our journey, we are grateful for you. Our first specific ‘shoutout’ goes to the Colorado State University Impact MBA program. This program brought us together, empowered us, provided us with incredible resources and believed in us. We recommend this program to anyone who is trying to make a positive impact or learn more about sustainable business. Or, maybe you’re uncertain of your next step… If so, check out the Colorado State Impact MBA! We would love to give thanks to Grace Wright for her mentorship and encouragement as we launched ReKaivery. Grace is a trailblazer, educator, entrepreneur, and friend. Her energy and drive is contagious and she naturally inspires those around her to make an impact within their communities. Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has trusted ReKaivery and joined our journey. Our impact is dependent on the size of our network, so we are grateful for the farms and restaurants who joined us in our early stages and believed in our mission.