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Side Dishes: New start-up offers deals on local food

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With the rising tide of daily-deal sites, such as Living Social and DealChicken, it was probably only a matter of time before a few food-happy Vermonters figured out how to apply the model to local food.

Last week a trio of local acquaintances — Dan White, Michael Nedell and Scott Pellegrini — launched Localvore Today, a site that offers daily deals on local foods and food-related services. Their first offer, $5 for $10 worth of food at downtown Burlington’s Red Onion, sold to 84 people. Twenty customers snapped up their second, for O Bread Bakery.

“We’re trying to gauge what is best for the community,” says founder White, who worked at Groupon for 10 months before moving to Burlington. He says the effort builds on the findings of the state of Vermont’s Farm to Plate Initiative, which revealed that one of the barriers to local food sales and consumption is cost. “This concept alleviates that,” White says.

While Localvore Today’s daily deals are not exclusively food related, other clients include the Scuffer Steak & Ale House, Burlington Food Tours and Waterbury’s Cork Wine Bar & Market. “We’re very merchant-centric,” White says. “This is a small dot that fills the gap between farmers and consumers. The idea that we can help farmers is amazing.”

Localvore Today operates out of a colorful, windowless office on Burlington’s Pine Street that will be stop No. 42 at Friday and Saturday’s Art Hop. “Please stop by or send us feedback,” pleads White. “We can take a punch in the gut.”

To sign up, visit localvoretoday.com.

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