Growing online grocer Farmstead has added Linda K. Lee to its executive team as head of business development. In this role, Lee will help regional grocers improve margins for curbside pickup and grocery delivery, so they can more effectively compete in an increasingly online world.
Before joining Farmstead, Lee was head of carrier partnerships at WhatsApp, which was acquired by Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, where she subsequently led strategic partnerships for Messenger. Before that, she was senior legal director at Yahoo!
“Linda Lee embodies a rare combination of broad business acumen, a keen strategic mind, and a passion for social good and impact, and we are thrilled that she’s joined Farmstead,” noted Pradeep Elankumaran, co-founder and CEO of Burlingame, California-based Farmstead. “She has a broad mandate to engage on all grocery e-commerce-related fronts. A major focus of hers will be to help regional grocers gain the economic benefits of Grocery OS, Farmstead’s proprietary system for order procurement, inventory management and delivery route optimization. Grocers can use Grocery OS to replace the often manual processes by which they are currently fulfilling online or telephone orders, and instead of losing money on these orders, they can make these transactions profitable.”
“The ability for Farmstead to have such a positive impact on the average U.S. grocery shopper through its same-as-store prices, fresher food and fast delivery attracted me to the Farmstead opportunity, and in particular the role I can have in bringing grocers and others into an increasingly impactful ecosystem,” observed Lee. “This has been a trying time for most grocers, who, because of the pandemic, have been forced into e-commerce completely unprepared. To make matters worse, they’re having to compete for this online business with some of the largest players in the online world. Grocery OS can help.”
Farmstead, which recently revealed a national partnership with San Francisco-based DoorDash to provide one-hour delivery in the markets that the online grocer serves, also enables food retailers to list their own brands powered by dark locations on DoorDash’s app and websites for one-hour delivery, extending their reach and streamlining delivery operations.
Now operating in the Bay Area, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Farmstead has said that it will expand into Nashville, Tennessee, and Miami, and the company plans to open in at least 13 more markets this year.
Farmstead leverages proprietary AI technology and dark stores covering a 50-mile radius to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. As a result, it offers shoppers prices comparable to or lower than most supermarkets, with free delivery to their homes.