Sara Menker and Gro Intelligence Are Tackling Global Hunger With Their Food Locator
“My dad is the biggest food lover,” says Gro Intelligence founder Sara Menker, who is based in the UK. “When I was growing up, he had the best food shop in the area. He would go in and go through the entire menu and choose a variety of different items that appealed to him. He had an amazing eye for finding things that worked well together.” As a kid, this was her life.
After spending several years working in the hospitality industry in London, Menker decided to turn her hobby into a business. Her goal was to fill her kitchen with nutritious food and make her parents happy (she has a single mum and the kids have always been well fed).
At this point, she was doing pretty well, having started Gro Intelligence about a year earlier. But her business was taking off slowly. “Once you build something, you can’t take it down,” she says, so she decided to cut her losses. She started looking around the globe for food businesses that were looking to expand. She tried to reach out to small, local companies and established food companies looking for help with logistics, production and distribution, and, of course, funding. After a few months, she decided to go global in a big way. She started with her friends Sara and Peter from Gro Intelligence.
“The food business world is very small, and as a relatively young person, I didn’t want to spend too long looking for the next business,” she says. “Peter and I were really excited about it, and so, when we started to put out more and more food, we started to get noticed.”
In addition to her friends from Gro Intelligence, Menker recruited a local business partner, who she knew had the tools and knowledge to help her grow her business. She met her partner in the last month of 2014, after he’d bought a small coffee business, along with a couple of employees he knew would help him scale up. She describes the partnership as a great partnership that has been “in business now for over a year.”
“Both Sara and Peter had been working with small coffee producers around London,” she explains. “So when