This site uses new HTML5 technology. To ensure proper viewing of this site and its content, please use a modern browser such as
Hear us out...
Food With A Purpose: Freshbox Catering
<p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="http://www.freshboxcatering.com"><img alt="" src="/files/public/userfiles/1000/blog/2010/08/freshbox-x-square-color-white.jpg" title="Freshbox Catering" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-379" style="width: 289px; height: 257px;"></a></em></p>
<p><em>Crash Blog: Crash Innovative Columbus Businesses. Write about it. Post it.</em> With a message that carries through all demographics, <a href="http://www.freshboxcatering.com/">Freshbox Catering</a> is taking the non-profit world by storm. As one of the only healthy catering companies that delivers to Downtown Columbus, you would think that their market share is based off of a for-profit model.<!--more--> Ironically, it is. Co-Founder and Chief Sandwich Officer Joe DeLoss left the financial investing arena to improve the business model of non-profit organizations. </p>
<p>Started only a year ago, Freshbox's healthy lunches were created to support workforce development for the homeless of <a href="http://www.faithmissionofohio.org/">Faith Mission Shelters</a>. Both Freshbox Catering and Faith Mission are subsidiaries of <a href="http://www.lssco.org/">Lutheran Social Services</a>, a non-profit in Columbus. "Being a non-profit, we have a competitive advantage against other companies; but we still have to meet the market where it's at," he said. Their business operations, though centered out of a downtown church basement are reminiscent of a true start-up. Mismatched chairs, whiteboards everywhere and only four employees, they are strongly pushing forward with head and heart. Throughout the trials and tribulations of starting a business, their vision remains unchanged. Freshbox hires, trains and provides skill sets to the homeless, to enable independence. "Our hope is to create a profitable solution to poverty; we are here to help people that want to help themselves," he said. </p>
<p>Due to the unique nature of their goal, their employment model and business model remain cyclical and interdependent. "We can't offer employment if we can't sell food," DeLoss said as a faint smile ran over his face. You can tell by looking at him that he is not doing this for glory, but for the chance to use his business skills to make a difference. His right hand woman and Marketing Manager, Kelly Tonsetic is the wearer of many hats. With a degree in business, she did not expect to be running a kitchen as a recent grad. "Never did I think working in a restaurant as a teenager would help me in my career," she said. Appropriately business-minded for their cause, the Freshbox team is ready for the next step. They're going mobile. Not just cell phone mobile, but they are taking the show on the road. This spring, they will be riding around Columbus, offering healthy lunches to passersby. They also plan to solidify their business formula in order to franchise the business in other communities in need around the country. "We seek to create a packaged solution as an extension of our mission, go into a new market and take over," DeLoss said. As dynamic yet benevolent company, it is more than possible.</p>