Shelf Engine guarantees sales of fresh, perishable goods for Seattle-based
food, grocery businesses
Shelf Engine, a Seattle-based platform that helps food retailers manage their perishable inventory, is now
guaranteeing sales for local groceries, coffee shops and markets. Merchants will get fully reimbursed for
products that they can’t sell or that expire.
This tackles a problem that bedevils retailers of fresh and perishable goods everywhere — how to order
the correct amount to maximize earnings without producing too much waste. Co-founder and CEO Stefan
Kalb came to know this problem personally after running Molly’s Salads for 7 years.
“Buyers of fresh food are tasked with ordering just the right amount of food – not too little to hinder sales,
and not too much to cause substantial waste. If you’re a big enough store, you can request for your
vendors to buy-back unsold product, essentially shifting the burden to the vendor,” Kalb said. “This
experience is widespread, from grocery stores, coffee shops, to major food service operation. But
whether the retailer has leverage to shift the burden of waste to the vendor or not, the current method is
not viable for either party. ”
Retailers that sign up for Shelf Engine can download an app and choose vendors and products they
would like to carry. Shelf Engine’s intelligent platform can predict how to order efficiently based on past
order history and the longer a retailer uses the system the more accurate its recommendations become.
When products expire, the retailer records the waste and is reimbursed for what didn’t sell.
Shelf Engine offers this service by marking up the products offered. The markup is dependent on the type
of product and the shelf life of the product.
Current categories include baked goods and fresh meals and local vendors include Macrina Bakery,
Standard Bakery, Seattle Bagel Bakery, and Schwartz Brothers Bakery. Shelf Engine looks to support
dairy, beverage, meat and seafood, and other categories in the coming months.
Shelf Engine customers include Stockbox Grocers, Metier Coffee & Racing, Moonshot Coffee, Burien
Press, and Airlift Market.
About Shelf Engine
Shelf Engine is a Seattle-based startup from food entrepreneur Stefan Kalb and Microsoft alumnus and
Hololens engineer Bede Jordan. It has raised seed funding from Silicon Valley-based venture firms
Initialized Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures and Founder’s Co-op. The company manages and guarantees the
sales of perishable and fresh products stocked in grocery stores.
For more information, visit http://shelfengine.com/