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Crowd Cow's co-founders are tech start-up veterans Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg. Lowry is best known for co-founding the hit Urbanspoon app while Heitzeberg founded Snapvine, a communication platform acquired by Whitepages. Lowry and Heitzeberg were inspired by a friend who would rave about the exceptional quality beef he would buy from a local farm once a year. Daunted by the idea of having to purchase an entire cow, like their friend would do, Lowry and Heitzeberg set out to test if they could get a group of people to buy into a single cow, allowing customers to buy beef in more manageable portions.
Crowd Cow is a marketplace connecting consumers with ranchers that follow strict environmentally-friendly and humane cattle-raising practices. Lowry explains, "While other companies will sell you beef, we think it's critical to know where your beef comes from and how it was raised. That means finding ranchers who spend their lives following only the best cattle-raising practices, and supporting their work by giving them a new outlet to sell to consumers." Crowd Cow does a thorough vetting of all farmers they source from, and are unique in featuring the story of the ranch and its practices on their site.
The business models itself after popular crowdfunding tactics. Heitzeberg points out, "High quality beef tastes amazing, but buying premium beef should be fun and convenient too. That's why we encourage everyone to rally their friends to help tip a cow. It's also why we make sure each and every cut of beef is dry-aged, flash-frozen, and vacuum sealed. Premium beef delivered direct to your home needs to be juicy, tender, and easy to store."
Crowd Cow addresses a growing demand from consumers for more transparency in their food supply chain. From sourcing beef from grass-fed ranches to finding farms that raise ultra-premium Wagyu beef, Crowd Cow gives beef-purchasing customers visibility into where their food is coming from, and gives them the flexibility to buy only what they want, when they want it.