When Goldbelly CEO Joe Ariel launched his artisanal food market in 2013 – shipping okra direct from the famous Commander’s Palace in New Orleans or Ivan Ramen noodles from New York to foodies in the United States – he approached the Food Network with an idea. “I thought the Food Network or some old food media brands would be great partners,” he recalls. “They could feature food that viewers could then order through Goldbelly and consume.”
The talks came to naught. (As film critic Pauline Kael noted, “Hollywood is a place where one can die of encouragement.”) In the meantime, Goldbelly has become an increasingly powerful actor in the world of entertainment. ‘food. Its e-commerce platform, which sells products from restaurants, deli meats, bakeries and more in all 50 states, quadrupled its sales in 2020. Goldbelly has become a particularly important partner for restaurants during the pandemic, enabling them to ship ready meals and meal kits to customers when their dining rooms were closed. Hundreds of restaurants started selling on the platform last year, bringing the total to nearly 1,000 and Goldbelly has made dozens of more than seven digits. (In May, Goldbelly raised a $ 100 million Series C led by Spectrum Equity.)
Now, eight years after her first conversations with culinary media, Ariel is finally bringing her vision to life with the debut of Golden bellied television, a food e-commerce video platform that capitalizes on relationships with the culinary talents it has cultivated since 2013.
The new channel, which launches today on the Golden belly to place, is more than Ariel’s version of the Food Network. Instead, it combines elements of the Master Class e-learning platform with the QVC commerce channel by blending video tutorials from prominent chefs with a shopping experience. You can watch Mimi Cheng’s sisters and founders, Hannah and Marian Cheng, make zucchini dumplings, then order them online to enjoy at home.
“If you watch food TV, you might fall in love with a dish you see, but you can’t get it. It just doesn’t make sense, ”Ariel says. “We connect these dots and literally let you consume the content. The videos on Goldbelly TV can be streamed live or accessed through a content library on the site, with new videos every week.
To oversee its new content arm, the company hired TV producer Art Edwards, co-creator of TLC. Cake Pattern reality show. He explains that some of the content on Goldbelly TV will be in the style of a travel diary. “We could have a video on a specific neighborhood in Chicago,” Edwards says. Others will focus on chefs at work, such as a video with Nonna Dora, who has been making pasta for over 70 years at New York’s legendary i Trulli. Edwards quotes hit Netflix series Chef’s table, which focuses on chefs and their culinary philosophies, as a source of inspiration.
Goldbelly TV has already signed established stars such as Iron chief Judge Cat Cora, Celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud and Guy Fieri of Flavortown, but Edwards also wants to feature lesser-known names. “We’ve established names, but we’re more excited about the people behind mom-and-pop stores who can tell their stories and shine in a different way.” To that end, Goldbelly TV’s list also includes Kristina Costa, the head pastry chef at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.
If people will be inspired to order meals from their screens the way they might ShamWows and Ginsu knives that remains to be seen. Goldbelly is already connecting chefs with new customers, people who may never visit their restaurants, but always dream about it and order food from them. “We joke that many of our customers are foodies in the boonies – that is, people a little further from major centers like New York, LA or Chicago, who still want to enjoy their own food. favorite restaurants, ”says Ariel. Goldbelly’s new merging of e-commerce and content could expand that fan base even further.