Website delivers local specialty foods anywhere in nation

Headquartered in Wilton, recently launched Direct Eats tackles the challenge of maintaining a specialty diet by offering consumers the conveniences of online shopping and home shipping, giving them 24/7 access to more than 25,000 local specialty products from their computers and smartphones at DirectEats.com.

“The concept of Direct Eats was born out of a simple love for food,” said founder David Hack, who lives in Weston. “I realized there was a void in the market that allowed consumers to eat organic, natural and specialty foods specific to their chosen lifestyle in an affordable and accommodating way.”

These “lifestyles,” which Hack termed “the future of eating,” include organic, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, kosher, lactose-free, nut-free, low-carb, nitrate-free, and GMO-free diets. Food items on Direct Eats are organized so consumers may shop by their specific dieting lifestyles, but there are a number of other ways they can find what they’re looking for.

For instance, if one is looking to purchase breakfast foods only, he or she may shop by food type. Or if buying locally is of interest, a consumer can shop by region.

Direct Eats acts as an online middleman between the national consumer and small-batch purveyors across the country, bringing locally confined products to the far-away.

“You’ve got roughly 6,000 to 7,000 individual makers and merchants coast to coast,” Hack said. “We take that local and make it national.”

And at the lowest prices “guaranteed.”

While Direct Eats pledges to price-match for customers who find its products cheaper elsewhere, Hack said the very nature of his online business ensures prices stay competitively low, and as a result, price-matching will seldom, if ever, be necessary.

“The ability to buy online allows consumers to get what they purchase at the lowest possible prices. We bypass brick-and-mortar costs and get our products into the hands of consumers at less of a cost to us and them,” he said.

Add in free shipping, Hack said, and you’ve got the low bidder. Direct Eats ships free on all orders and offers expedited next-day air for a fee.

Taking convenience yet further, customers of Direct Eats may choose to make an account to speed things up for next time, but they also have the option to pay by the order, allowing those who don’t use the website regularly to use the service as needed.

“We don’t want to encumber anyone,” said Hack, “or prevent a person from making a purchase.”

In addition to their specialty food shopping and delivery services, an entire section of Direct Eats’ website is dedicated to health and beauty products, “maximizing [the] time” of consumers who lead holistically healthy lives.

“We maximize a person’s time, giving access to everything across the board of natural healthy and organic products,” Hack said. “At the end of the day, it’s really about meeting the customer’s needs and providing the most convenience possible for us to provide.”

To Hack, however, the most invaluable aspect of his new business is the potential it has to personalize the shopping experience for consumers he believes are “actually quite limited in what they’re able to purchase locally.

“Instead of four or five choices for one product — let’s say barbecue sauce — with us you’ll eventually have 130 choices. As we continue to grow, it will give each individual consumer a greater ability to personalize his or her shopping list,” he said.

“We really like being in Wilton,” Hack said of his offices at 27 Danbury Road. “We feel very privileged to have been able to set up our great company here. Everyone enjoys coming to work every day and being a part of the Wilton community.”

Information: DirectEats.com.