Gourmet Business

Buyer's Best Friend: World's Largest Wholesale Specialty Catalog

Gourmet Business / Fine Cheese & Charcuterie News

November 2011

This past summer in Washington, D.C., we met with Joyce Guan and Adam Sah, founders of Buyer's Best Friend (BBF), a remarkable online resource for buyers and sellers of  wholesale specialty products.

In fact, prior to the Fancy Food Show, they announced that they were the world's largest catalog of wholesale specialty products and they have grown considerably since then. They now have over 100,000 products available, both perishable and nonperishable, from over 1,500 producers. The free online service is a great resource for buyers, making available one-­stop shopping.

Sah and Guan started BBF as a response to the challenges Guan was facing in her food brokering business. "As a broker, I was constantly constrained by the amount of time I needed to spend to visit clients, place orders and by how many samples I could carry," said Guan. "We realized that we could make it much easier for buyers, sellers, brokers and  distributors to work together." In addition to BBF, Guan operates California Girl Foods, a pioneering specialty food broker firm based in San Francisco. Sah was most recently a senior software engineer at Google and led the team that developed Google Gadgets. He is a veteran of three successful startups and holds 11 patents.

Hundreds of manufacturers in the specialty food arena are represented on BBF, including Theo Chocolate, Marich Confectionery Company, Robert Rothchild Farm, New England Herbal Foods, Sonoma Syrup Co. Inc. and Taza Chocolate.

"BBF set us up with minimal time and effort, and within days, we were getting orders and sample requests," said Rob Kopf, buyer for TCHO chocolate.

Over a thousand buyers regularly use BBF, and tens of thousands of cases of product have been sold since the launch in fall of 2010. BBF's patent-pending technology streamlines the buying and product discovery process, allowing buyers to order from numerous vendors, reorder products, research new products, and order samples, at any time of the day or night.

"BBF streamlined our ordering process - it's so much easier than making 100 phone calls, or sending 100 e­mails per week to place orders," remarked Kate Dunham, buyer for Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco and an early user of BBF. "I log in weekly to view new product lines, new products from existing lines and, of course, place my orders."

Since its inception, BBF has been growing by leaps and bounds, and is being used by such diverse companies as Bi-Rite Market, Star Provisions, Zingerman's Delicatessen, Joie de Vivre Hotels and the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

As the world'd largest and fastest-growing catelog of wholesale specialty products, BBF is a smarter way to buy and sell wholesale products, helping manufacturers increase sales, and helping buyers sale time. To find out more about BBF, go to www.bbfdirect.com.

See the original article here.

Download the original article (PDF).