The staff of Source Local Foods standing in front of a company delivery truck includes, from left, Luke Eisenhauer, Kirsten Suddath, chief executive Aaron Perry, Evan Horensvsky and Richard Hamlin. Jonathan Castner / for BizWest

Farm fresh: Mobile app pinpoints origin of homegrown goods

BROOMFIELD — Knowing when you can pick up fresh, local food from the farmer’s market adds good flavor to the next meal. What’s even better is finding out where that food is in between markets.

With Source the Food App, people can do both. With an iPhone or Android, tracking the source and destination of locally produced foods is at your fingertips.

LFS Enterprises LLC, doing business as Source Local Foods, distributor of food from local producers to wholesale food buyers throughout Colorado, launched the mobile app in April. It’s now in the beta testing phase in the hands of a few hundred people.

“We knew the app would be valuable to food sources selling to the public, but we’re seeing a lot of excitement from farmers and producers because it helps them relate directly with the public,” said Aaron Perry, Source Local Foods chief executive and co-founder.

The app gives real-time information on local food – from where the product is being served to the mileage used to transport it there. Destinations include restaurants, grocery stores, ski resorts and schools around Colorado.

The app also gives background information on suppliers: farmers, dairy operations and food manufacturers.

“It helps chefs tell the public what they’re doing, like serving fresh arugula from Ollin Farms at Shine Restaurant,” Perry said. “And the distance calculator shows how far the arugula traveled to get there.

“It empowers people with real-time food supply-chain info to enhance their patronage.”

As a marketing tool, the free-to-consumers app also helps farmers let foodies know what they’ll be bringing to the farmer’s market as well as helping restaurants let them know how it’ll be served.

“Most of the revenue will come from retailers,” Perry said about the app. “Some will come from producers, and we’ll always make it free to farmers.”

Cost for using the app is free for everyone right now.

“We’re still working on the details for pricing,” he said. “Most customers will probably pay the cost of three or four lattes a month.”

Future add-ons include being able to send out information on daily specials and an option for customers to load their own data. “For example, if a chef buys 20 different items through Source Local Foods from 20 different vendors, farmers and food suppliers, they may also be using others,” Perry said. “They could add that information into the app as well.

“Right now, though, we just want to get it into the public arena and build a community of users.”

Source Local Foods launched in winter 2011and started operations in April 2012. Ten partners and key managers who are invested in the company run it. There is an average of 25 employees.”

The company aims to create a food-localized community that is healthy, supports environmental sustainability with less dependency on fossil fuels and petroleum-based inputs, and benefits the local economy.

“Source Local Foods helps farmers, food distributors and resellers with more marketing opportunities and helps chefs and grocery stores source better food,” Perry said. “It also reduces food miles by buying local rather than thousands of miles away.”

Source got its start with seed capital from Boulder-based Localization Partners and a few other investors. RecycOil, where Perry is also CEO, has been one of the largest funders.

RecycOil recycles used cooking oil.

“We collect used fryer oil from 1,500 restaurants and food facilities in Colorado and Wyoming,” Perry said. “After filtering the oil, we compost the food scraps, then sell it to biodiesel companies for fuel.”

In addition to making enough profit to get Source Local Foods and the app up and running, RecycOil has established relationships with community food facilities and uses software that helps manage pickups, deliveries and truck routing.

Source Local Foods uses the software management tool to keep its trucks on the road, picking up fresh food from local sources and delivering it to resellers.

From a carbon footprint standpoint, Source helps move food more efficiently than most local producers can.

“They hire us to move it for them rather than using a pick-up truck to do it,” Perry said. “That way they can have more time to do what they do best.

“In building sustainable food systems, this is an important link.”

Source Local Foods is the trade name of LFS Enterprises LLC in Boulder, according to the Colorado secretary of state’s website on business registration.

BROOMFIELD — Knowing when you can pick up fresh, local food from the farmer’s market adds good flavor to the next meal. What’s even better is finding out where that food is in between markets.

With Source the Food App, people can do both. With an iPhone or Android, tracking the source and destination of locally produced foods is at your fingertips.

LFS Enterprises LLC, doing business as Source Local Foods, distributor of food from local producers to wholesale food buyers throughout Colorado, launched the mobile app in April. It’s now in the beta testing phase in the hands of a few hundred people.

“We knew the app would be valuable to food sources selling to the public, but we’re seeing a lot of excitement from farmers and producers because it helps them relate directly with the public,” said Aaron Perry, Source Local Foods chief executive and co-founder.

The app gives real-time information on local food – from where the product is being served to the mileage used to transport it there. Destinations include restaurants, grocery stores, ski resorts and schools around Colorado.

The app also gives background information on suppliers: farmers, dairy operations and food manufacturers.

“It helps chefs tell the public what they’re doing, like serving fresh arugula from Ollin Farms at Shine Restaurant,” Perry said. “And the distance calculator shows how far the arugula traveled to get there.

“It empowers people with real-time food supply-chain info to enhance their patronage.”

As a marketing tool, the free-to-consumers app also helps farmers let foodies know what they’ll…