Buyer's Best Friend (BBF) is a new way to buy and sell wholesale products, starting in food.
For brokers and sales reps, BBF replaces brochures and allows your buyers to answer routine questions and place routine orders, freeing hours of order entry every day and allowing you to spend more time opening new accounts-- and best of all, BBF doesn't charge per-transaction fees, so you keep your entire sales commission. learn more
The BBF team lives by these axioms:
- "It's all about people: respect everyone, focus on the buyer". People buy from people and BBF is designed around reducing the paperwork of sales, so salespeople can focus on the creative arts of cutting deals, solving problems, and pioneering products.
- "Be practical". We take practical approaches to problems, including prioritization. We're not afraid to admit failure and try new approaches. We listen to feedback from all sources.
- "Change is good". We build new things for the world and don't just compete on price; we don't try to stop or slow innovation; we try to help everyone with transitions.
- "Think big". Our ambitions are not regional or limited to one market.
- "Create joy". BBF isn't just a job, we're creating BBF to change the world and delight everyone along the way.
If these ideas resonate with you, and you either like to sell stuff or build stuff (read: software), send us a resume: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BBF started in March, 2010, when Joyce complained to her partner Adam about how time-consuming it was to sell wholesale food, and Adam suggested that he could maybe write some software to help her-- he'd spent 5 years at Google and 20 in the software business and was looking for an interesting project. 30 days later, Joyce was taking all her orders using this software, which she affectionately called "Buyer's Best Friend" to reflect her dream that her customers might someday place their own reorders.
In June that year, Adam and Joyce took their annual trip to the Fancy Food Show in New York and showed off BBF for the first time, and 100 manufacturers signed up in 3 days, trade press asked to interview them, and brokers and buyers said that they'd never seen anything like this before. They went back to California, incorporated a company, filed a patent on the technology and got to work turning this prototype into a product, which went into 'private beta' in July.
By September that year, buyers were placing orders on their own and other brokers were using the system. By November, over 10% of Joyce's orders were being placed self-serve and many of the others she was placing in the stores, on her iPad. Meanwhile, hundreds of producers were selling thousands of products on BBF and through other brokers, hundreds of stores were getting product through BBF, including Bi-Rite (SF), Zabar's (NY), Zingerman's (Ann Arbor), Mollie Stone's Markets (Northern California), Star Provisions (Atlanta), and Joie de Vivre Hotels & Restaurants.
As you can see, the story is still being written, and if you buy or sell wholesale products, Adam and Joyce would love you to join our community.
Joyce Guan, Founder and VP Sales. Joyce is the visionary behind Buyer's Best Friend. Previously, she ran sales for Charles Chocolates, where she learned about private label and co-branding, shelf life and shipping, distribution and channel conflict, lead generation, managing sales staff and more. Previously, she held a range of positions including SF Asian American Film Festival (marketing), the bakery box (founder), Ionami (sales), VerticalNet Solutions (Product Manager). She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley.
Adam Sah, Founder and CEO. Adam is CEO and technical founder of Buyer's Best Friend, his 7th startup over 20 years, including Foodzie.com, Google (he invented Google Gadgets), SenSage (log data management for large companies), iPIX (virtual real estate tours-- IPO'99), Cohera (federated databases-- acquired by Oracle), Inktomi (#1 search engine before Google- HotBot- IPO'98); Ovid (medical research databases- IPO'94). Adam received a Master's Degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and BS in Computer Science from the SUNY Stony Brook. He has 10 issued patents in databases and internet infrastructure.
- "BBF is the wave of the future. Our scope just went from our broker's book of contacts, to the entire world! We're doing a new take on granola, actually making it healthy AND taste good. It totally makes sense to partner with BBF, who is doing a new take on making artisan foods available on a greater scale." - Matt Teichmann, Founder,
San Franola (San Francisco, CA)
- "BBF streamlined our ordering process-- it's so much easier than making 100 phone calls, or sending 100 emails per week to place orders. I log in weekly to view new product lines, new products from existing lines and, of course, place my orders." - Kate Dunham, Buyer,
Bi-Rite Market (San Francisco, CA)
- "Since its launch, BBF has sent me over a dozen new wholesale accounts (often without needing to send samples!); I've gotten tons of reorders from multiple buyers without even picking up the phone." - Clarine Hardesty, Founder,
Clarine's Florentines (Berkeley, CA)
- "As soon as I saw BBF, I knew I'd be using it for finding new products as well as reordering existing products. I love that I can order anytime of the day, and repeat previous orders with one click." - Anna Derivi-Castellanos, Specialty Buyer,
Other Avenues (San Francisco, CA)
- "As a natural foods co-op, we check ingredient lists for every product we bring in; I use BBF to get this data instantly instead of waiting for producers to send it to me." - Sara Nutt, Grocery Buyer,
Community Mercantile (Lawrence, KS)
- "More than 10% of my orders come from buyers using BBF self-serve, and they cross-sell and up-sell themselves across my lines. Last week, I got $5,000 in orders while sleeping." - Joyce Guan, Food Broker,
California Girl Foods (San Francisco, CA)
- "BBF works the way it should - I get a sample request from buyers, send out samples, then buyers place orders." - Emir Kiamelev, Founder,
Amella Caramels (El Segundo, CA)
- "BBF got us access to buyers in the rest of the country. Instead of tons of phone calls and emails to take reorders, orders just roll in to us." - Willow McGrain, Founder,
Heritage Shortbread (Hilton Head, SC)
- "BBF understands the workflow of the wholesale food business, so it's incredibly easy for buyers to order. And, we got up and running within weeks and didn't have to install any software!" - Joyce Polise, Director of Sales,
Vosges Chocolate (Chicago, IL)
- "We're a new brand that joined two months ago - BBF is helping us quickly sell out this year's harvest!" - Maureen Cole, CFO,
Owens Creek Company (Menlo Park, CA)
- "We've been selling in the United States for less than a year, but BBF has helped us quickly gain access to buyers nationwide." - Cory Baehr, Director of Sales,
House of Balsamic (Irvine, CA)
- "Within weeks of getting onto BBF, we got sample requests and an order from a major hotel chain." - Jean Arnold, CEO,
479 Popcorn (San Francisco, CA)
- "A new online ordering tool for wholesale buyers ... designed with extensive input from retail buyers and suppliers... a one-click way to request samples or to schedule a visit from a salesperson or broker." - Dan Bolton, Editor,
Natural Food Network Magazine (San Francisco, CA)
- "For a new store like ours, it was so efficient to order online instead of calling hundreds of new vendors. I wish ordering for everything was so easy. BBF is truly innovative." - Amanda Hughes, Store Manager,
Greens Market (Modesto, CA)
- "Buyers can view our latest products on BBF as well as see status of out-of-stocks, helping us maximize sales and making it easier to work with customers." - Shawn Askinosie, Founder,
Askinosie Chocolate (Springfield, MO)
- "Before considering a new product line, I ask BBF to get them onto the system. It's so much easier to work with vendors this way!" - Kate Dunham, Buyer,
Bi-Rite Market (San Francisco, CA)
- "BBF has been really helpful as an interface with our customers. BBF showcases all of our products in a user-friendly environment and the system makes order processing much easier." - Brett Beach, Co-Founder,
Madecasse (Brooklyn, NY)
- "I place orders through BBF on my iPad as I walk through the aisles in the store. I love having access to information at 5am when I start my day and have time to think about orders." - Tim Gaddis, Cheese & Specialty Buyer,
Star Provisions (Atlanta, GA)
- "BBF allows me to focus on strategic work, since it's easy to hand off the reordering process to others." - Anderson Yee, General Manager,
Farm Fresh to You (San Francisco, CA)
- "BBF set us up with minimal time and effort from us, and within days we were getting orders and sample requests!" - Rob Kopf, Director of Sales,
TCHO (San Francisco, CA)
- "I had been trading calls and email with a particular store for a while...but nothing happened until we got on BBF. Within days of being listed on BBF, that store placed their first order!" - Daniel Sklaar, Founder,
Fine & Raw Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY)
- "BBF put our entire product catalog online and has made reordering easy for our buyers. It's also easy to make changes to our producer page so it's always up-to-date." - Christy Wicks, ,
Theo Chocolate (Seattle, WA)
- "We source high quality products from many vendors, and constantly looking to improve quality and add variety. BBF makes it easy to get detailed information about dietary attributes and ingredient lists, which is important to us and our employees." - Purchasing Team Member,
Fortune 500 Company (Mountain View, CA)
- "As a unique hotel chain, distributors, brokers and manufacturers struggle to meet our requirements-- with BBF, we can do our own research and find items for each distinct property." - Ingrid Summerfield, President,
Joie de Vivre Hotels & Restaurants (San Francisco, CA)
- "Bi-Rite stands out by having the best and newest products. BBF adds thousands of new products every week, which changes the game for us." - Sam Mogannam, Owner,
Bi-Rite Market (San Francisco, CA)
- "BBF seriously saves me around 2 hours a day. I can log on and place all of my orders at once after I close for the day. It's really made an impact on running my store more efficiently." - Doralice Handal, Owner,
Cheese Shop of Healdsburg (Healdsburg, CA)
- "We've been working with BBF for close to a year, and they consistently send us new accounts and orders from their book of high quality buyers." - Larry Slotnick, Co-Founder,
Taza Chocolate (Somerville, MA)
- "The BBF iPad edition has changed the way I work - I've thrown away my paper brochures, and by placing orders on the iPad in-store, I no longer spend hours every night entering orders." - Cory Baehr, Food Broker,
Cory Baehr Imports (Los Angeles, CA)
Tired of 100s of calls and visits from reps? Want a one-stop shop?
For Buyers, BBF simplifies buying:
Large company buyers: BBF works with major accounts like Whole Foods to save them 1000s of hours on sourcing and evaluating brands. To learn more, email us: email@example.com.
To learn more and start shopping, sign up for a free account.
Struggling to reach marquee buyers? Are small buyers "hardly worth" the time they take?For sellers, BBF is the first online wholesale system that really works-- because it's the first that blends real world, face-to-face brokering with an easy-to-use online catalog where buyers can do their research.
• Reach marquee buyers. Because of the size and quality of our catalog, BBF is regularly invited to meet with buyers large and small. BBF marquee accounts include major hotel chains, corporate customers, independent and chain groceries, airlines and more.
• Automate smaller buyers. Every seller has small accounts that order $1000 or less per year-- and it's expensive and annoying to keep calling and emailing them for their tiny orders. Instead, send them to your BBF page, and because BBF is so easy to use, they'll be successful and themselves happy to get fewer phonecalls. For buyers, BBF is a single login to remember, a single system to use, and their BBF reputation carries from one manufacturer to another, making it easy to order new brands.
• Keep control, while publishing to Google and the web. BBF is careful with your Confidential information-- only qualified buyers (by referral, or by background check) are allowed into the system, and we blank-out Confidential fields when publishing to Google.
The first step is to join the hundreds of companies listing on BBF-- sign up here for free. For a limited time, BBF will even do the digitizing work for you!
Looking for brokers or distributors? BBF can help. Email Joyce Guan at
Feeling overwhelmed? Buried in paper? Spending evenings entering orders?
For reps, BBF isn't software, it's a new way of life-- buyers start coming to you, small buyers order for themselves, and orders are entered immediately, eliminating double-entry. This frees you to spend more time opening new accounts and working with large and strategic accounts.
|The old way||The BBF way|
|• Driving out to small accounts, plus calls and faxes for small, routine reorders; customers asking basic questions (such as pricing, shelf life, case count, "what's new?")||• Small buyers order for themselves; BBF checks order minimums and other rules.|
|• Schlepping paper brochures, constant updates.||• The latest product information, straight from the manufacturer. Fully detailed information at your fingertips (photos, product brochures & pricesheets for download, certifications, product attributes, etc.).|
|• Hours of data entry; too much time spent on 'paperwork'||• Zero paperwork: take orders directly into the system, in front of customers (by tablet or celphones).|
|• complex, proprietary IT systems; weeks of training required||• BBF is so easy, your customers can order for themselves.|
|• Difficult to get attention from buyers, hard to get meetings.||• 1000s of buyers come to BBF and reach out to you when they're interested in your lines. BBF quickly pays for itself, as buyers discover your lines and place orders and sample requests. Make money in your sleep, as the new accounts, leads, and reorders roll into your inbox.|
|• You're on your own to find buyers and close deals.||• With BBF, you're joining a strong, high quality network of reps and brokers, who pass leads to each other, share accounts and trade tips.|
Brokers: BBF was designed for brokers with multiple lines-- we onboard your manufacturers and build you a broker website for free (including a fully featured catalog and ordering capability), which is linked into BBF's broker directory. Finally, you can fully cross-sell and upsell all of your product lines, instead of having your accounts just order the same old product lines. Brokers who join BBF experience rapid ROI, since thousands of buyers use BBF, and the ease of use encourages regular ordering through the system.
To learn more about BBF for reps and brokers, schedule a demo with our founder, Joyce Guan, who designed BBF from her experience as a broker.