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With their low overhead and unlimited shelf space, online retailers have become a perfect match for many food startups. Established sites like FreshDirect and Peapod are offering more local and artisan goods — everything from gourmet yogurt to goat cheese. Others, like Abe’s Market and Gilt Taste, have sprung up recently to sell niche brands exclusively.
Online or brick-and-mortar, though, the challenge is still the same: finding great products. Abe’s co-founder Richard Demb said he employs a team of scouts to seek out new offerings and invites manufacturers to apply directly to the company.
“As long as they can make a good product consistently, we’re happy to work with them,” said Demb.