Happy Friday, y’all.
I’m taking this blog in an exciting direction today having done my first interview.
The topic today is frugal travel and for today’s post, I spoke to entrepreneur David Foult, one half of the founding duo behind Trytheworld.com, which sends subscribers a box filled with hand-picked gourmet foods from a different country around the world every other month, along with tips on things to do in the city as well as movie and music recommendations to put on while you’re enjoying the snacks.
How great of an idea is that?
So, a couple disclaimers: I’ve received no money for posting this — if anything I’m going to lose money when I subscribe 🙂 — but as it happens, David and Kat are alumni of the same school as me, but we never met and didn’t know of each other until I heard of this product and sought them out to write about it. Go Lions.
On to the interview!
Mario: Pop quiz, hotshot. The scene is in an elevator; pitch me on your product.
David: Try The World is the first online discovery platform for foreign cultures and products. Subscribe on trytheworld.com and receive a gourmet box from a different country every month from $29 per box, at your doorstep. You will start by receiving receive the Paris Box first, then the Tokyo Box, the Rio Box, the Rome box and so forth.
How far along are you in the process of getting the idea off the ground? And have you had another job while going through the start-up process?
We launched one year ago after doing an incubator at Google HQ and at Columbia, we have acquired thousands of customers with close to $0 invested in marketing; word of mouth has worked well for us! I am working full-time, together with my co-founder and an amazing team.
What’s your own background with travel?
My partner and I share the same passion for travel and discovering new countries. Together we have traveled to almost all of the continents and we have always brought back typical products from every country we’ve gone to. Travel changed our lives; now we want to change yours!
Sorry. My life specifically or do you mean…? Never mind. So what gave you the idea for all this?
The number of passports issued in the US increased by 60% in the last 10 years. We realized that most people love to travel and discover new cultures, but most of us don’t have the time or the money to do it as much as we’d like. Also, foreign brands find it difficult to address them, shall we say, “complex” US market. We enable Americans to discover the most authentic from around the world: the best Japanese green tea, the best French salt, the best Brazilian coffee, and so forth. Of course, we didn’t forget Turkish loukoums!
Oh man; do not get me started on loukoums. So how do you pick what goes into each package?
Local experts select the most authentic local brands, which we include in our boxes. They gather around a table, look at about 70 products, and pick the ones which best represent their country. It’s a fun process, and we do it for every country!
Which package are you most excited about? If possible, include a Proust quote
As Marcel Proust said, ‘mystery is not about traveling to new places, but it’s about looking with new eyes.’ We believe that being open to receiving a box from a different country regularly is the most exciting idea: you don’t know what comes next; you just know that you trust us to help you discover the most interesting products and cultures from around the world.
Do you find your customers are more likely to be dreaming of future trips or nostalgic about past travel?
Great question! [Thanks! -Ed.] Both actually, a Paris box, for instance, is a great way to remember a trip to Paris with your boyfriend, and it is also a way to get excited about a future trip. The box includes tips of what to do in the city, together with movies and music recommendations.
What sort of feedback have you gotten from people who’ve received these? Anyone been inspired to visit a place they loved the food from?
People send us many messages saying that they loved the boxes. For instance, one subscriber told us that they now want to visit Japan after receiving their Tokyo Box, or another one told us that she did a romantic date night with her husband thanks to the Paris Box after they cooked a French dinner and watched a French movie we recommended.
Yeah, pretty sure I’m gonna need to subscribe to this. Will let you know how it goes, if so. Enjoy your weekend everyone 🙂