The co-founder of e-commerce company CustomMade is on to his next roject:ButcherBox, a monthly subscription service that will deliver 100 percent grass-fed beef and other meat products to a customer’s doorstep.
Michael Salguero is set to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in early September with the goal of raising $25,000 for ButcherBox, which is expected to retail for $129 a month.
Salguero left the 19-year-old custom furniture e-commerce company CustomMade in May when the company downsized from about 30 to employees to under 10, with Boston-based e-commerce home furnishings company Wayfair (NYSE: W) hiring the remainder.
With Cambridge-based ButcherBox, Salguero hopes to target people like himself: healthy-minded, exercise-oriented, and cognizant of the foods they ingest.
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“Food is an interesting space,” he said in an interview. “There’s a lot of changes happening and there’s this movement of going back to nature and back to the way things were.”
A fan of eating organic and the popular exercise program CrossFit, Salguero said he started buying 100 percent grass-fed beef a few months ago and sharing it with his friends.
Earlier this spring, he figured out a distribution method for shipping grass-fed beef from collective farms in Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and Montana. He also partnered with Ron Eike, who spent about 25 years as the director of operations for Nebraska-based meat distributor Omaha Steaks, a half a billion-dollar company.
Salguero, who still refers to ButcherBox as a “project,” says he aims to start small, iterate quickly, and then eventually launch subscription boxes for chicken and pork.
Conventional cows spend six months feeding on their mother and on grass, then spend the next six months feeding solely on grass, and the last six months of their lives are spent eating soy and corn at a feedlot with little to no exercise, Salguero said. Those cows are also traditionally pumped with antibiotics and hormones.
The ButcherBox mission is to partner with farms that feed cows only grass, with no hormones or antibiotics, and let them graze — which is both healthier and more humane, Salguero said.