Every week, the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute elects a Startup of the Week. We then invite the founders of these startups to share a blog post with our community. These posts can be inspirational, educational, or entertaining. Founders can share founding stories, resources, lessons, or anything else they want.
This blog post was written by Emily Wallen (Stern '18), Co-founder of Gravy.
Back when we were MBA students at Stern and our fledgling startup Grocer8 was facing a name change, we found ourselves trying every name in the book. We needed a name that was synonymous with good, delicious food and nothing on our list was striking the right chord.
After many a night of Googling, thesaurus-ing, and urban dictionary-ing (you would not believe what some words mean…), we found Gravy and never looked back.
Why Gravy, you ask?
Well, first of all, gravy is delicious. It enhances that heaping pile of hot mashed potatoes, and it saves a dry turkey. But beyond that, it’s also used to describe when something is going great, and from day one, we have been dedicated to making sure that everything you eat tastes great.
Landing on the right name was a true launching point for us - we were able to double down on our value proposition and work on building what you see as the current version of Gravy: a ratings and review website for packaged food that helps people find the best-tasting foods that fit their palates and diets. As we continue to develop this unique platform, we are working with food scientists to translate our taste data into ground-breaking insights to guide decision-marketing and drive innovation at food companies. Our mission is to become the essential resource on taste for both food companies and consumers.
Pretty gravy, baby right? Right.
Hopefully by now all you are thinking about is a delicious hot meal and a boat full of gravy to drizzle on top (‘tis the season, after all). But next to that thought, if you’re wondering about signing up for Gravy, we’d like to leave you with five good reasons why you should:
1.) You get to take a fun quiz and learn a little about yourself and what type of taster you are. We worked with a food scientist to build a Taste Type quiz that asks questions about the types of foods you like and don’t like, and some fun (and sometimes weird) questions about you to better understand how you experience taste. Once you take the quiz, you receive your Taste Type and can start to learn about why you might like certain foods more than others!
2.) Every week, you get three new recommendations for foods we think you’ll like based on your Taste Type. We’re getting to know the foods you like and better understanding the foods people like you like. By doing that, we’re able to send recommendations to help give you some ideas on what new foods or snacks to try when you’re thinking about what to add to your shopping cart. Oh - and starting a new diet? Even better. We’ll help you stick to it by recommending the best tasting foods that don’t beg you for a cheat day.
3.) You have a dedicated space to talk about foods you like and don’t like. Tired of your comments getting lost on Instagram or your questions going unanswered on a Reddit thread? We get it, and that’s why we wanted to create a space specifically for discussion. You might be amazed at how many people are eating just like you and are busting at the seams to share exactly what tomato sauce they found that tasted great. We encourage you to strike up a conversation or five and share share share!
4.) You have a tool in your pocket to help with decision making at the grocery store when you’re staring down a full refrigerator of frozen pizzas and you don’t know what kind to buy. Been there, done that, and bought the wrong thing. We get it - we live in a time when picking up a frozen pizza suddenly means making a decision facing 15 different brands and styles. Gluten free! Meat substitute! Low carb! With Gravy, you can take the guess work out of what to buy by quickly searching for the best tasting frozen pizza and any restrictions (hello, “vegan friendly”), and voila: within seconds you’ll have search results that are not only rated and reviewed by real people, but are ranked by what tastes the best according to your Taste Type. Not bad, huh?
5.) You’ll get to be a big part of something new and exciting. It’s not often you get to come in on the ground floor of something brand new and influence it directly. By joining us now, you’re helping to shape what Gravy is. Ultimately, we want to be able to influence the foods that are on our grocery store shelves by telling food companies exactly what you want to see - but we can’t do it without you. Help us to feed our families, our friends, and ourselves better.
So what are you waiting for? Take five minutes now and join the Gravy community - we can’t wait to meet you!