Airgoods – Faire for specialty food stores

We connect specialty food stores with their next best selling products

TLDR: Airgoods is a wholesale marketplace that makes it easy for specialty food stores to buy their inventory in one place. Today, we focus on connecting these stores with over 1,000 non-alcoholic and functional beverage products.

Hi everyone! We’re Aaron, Elian and Paolo – the team behind Airgoods. We’re on a mission to level the playing field for specialty food stores by offering tools previously only available to big box chains.

🤔 The Problem

  • Specialty food stores struggle to stay up to date on new and trending products. Today, most rely on social media platforms like Instagram for discovery. Once they see a product they like, they send the brand a DM to ask for a sample – which can take weeks to months to receive.
  • To purchase inventory, they have to manage dozens of direct brand relationships. That means placing orders and coordinating payments over email, phone calls and texts.
  • Best sellers often go out of stock. At most specialty stores, reorders only happens when the buyer sees that the shelf is empty. This means there are days – if not weeks – that go by with best sellers being out of stock.
  • Most brands don’t have the resources to run an in-house wholesale team. They primarily rely on inbounds, and many relationships end because of limited resources to maintain the account over email, Instagram DMs, and texts.

🧰 Our Solution

Airgoods makes it easy for specialty food stores to discover, sample and order inventory in one place. How?

  • Curated marketplace views that align with store type. This industry is unique in that the product mix is homogenous within the same store type. For example: an specialty cheese shop in New York offers the same kind of products as one in San Francisco. This allows us to show a business all of the products they want – and nothing they don’t – with high accuracy. For example, today liquor stores and NA bottle shops see the following.

  • Simplified sample requests. On Airgoods, stores receive samples in days instead of weeks. We do this by making it easy for brands to track and fulfill samples with in-platform tools that embed the process into their daily order fulfillment workflows. By streamlining this process, we also help brands boost sample to order conversion rates.
  • Data-driven recommendations and insights. We provide our buyers with insight into what products are selling best in similar stores around the country. This adds transparency for an industry that traditionally relies on word-of-mouth recommendations.

We also integrate with Shopify, which allows brands to fulfill orders from Airgoods without having to onboard to a new sales channel.

🐶 Who are we?

We are three Yale alums who have been close friends since our first year of college. Before starting Airgoods, Aaron and Elian worked together at an emerging VC fund in NYC, and Paolo and Elian were on Yale’s mens soccer team.

Aaron’s dad owns a brick and mortar shop in Maine, and he saw how challenges around ordering inventory put his small store at a major disadvantage to big box chains with dedicated buying teams.

🙂 Our Ask

  • Do you have any favorite non-alcoholic or functional beverage brands? Let us know! We’d love to onboard them 🥂
  • Connect us to anyone you may know in the specialty grocery / wholesale space (store owners, brand owners, service providers) – we’d love to chat at founders@airgoods.com