Karen Timmermann got her inspiration to launch her current startup when she tried to launch her first small business, a salsa company, out of her kitchen. Not long into the process she discovered that selling salsa made in your home didn't meet the numerous regulations that go with running a small food business, so she shut it down. But the venture caused her to realize that keeping track of ingredients, knowing how much food they would make, and where to source them from are all pressing questions every food business needs to answer every day.
"We had more trouble with inventory management that we did with finding distribution networks or suppliers," Timmermann says.
That's when she and two other friends started working on Bareo
. The West Village-based startup released a mobile app last month that helps small food companies manage inventory and supply of raw ingredients. It not only analyzes how far ingredients will go with production but where to source them locally to maintain a steady flow of supplies. The idea is to limit supply trips where the business owner is hoping to get lucky and find the right ingredient in an aisle.
"It's infinitely easier that going to Costco or Gordon Foods and searching for ingredients," Timmermann says.
Timmerman worked as a graphic designer for a startup in Ann Arbor before starting her own company. She attended the 30 Weeks
entrepreneur program in New York earlier this year. She moved back to Detroit last summer to focus on building out Bareo. That team of three people is now working on signing up 10-20 new local food businesses per month to get the platform off the ground.
Source: Karen Timmermann, CEO of Bareo
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.