THERE are many ways to define innovation, but for Josh Goulburn and Paul Tory it boils down to problem-solving.
In 2016 the duo founded Foodbomb, a B2B (business-to-business) company that connects cafes and restaurants with wholesale suppliers, enabling them to make smarter ordering decisions.
This week they landed themselves on The Australian’s Top 100 Innovators list alongside several other members of Australia’s Jewish community, among them Dan Silver and Matt Leibowitz (Stake), Josh Abulafia (Chefprep) and Ronni Kahn (OzHarvest).
‘The List’ identifies those on it as the “future-makers”, an acknowledgement the humbled Goulburn, who attended Moriah College, said is “good validation” that Foodbomb is headed in the right direction.
“I think it’s really important that the team knows we’re on the right path,” he told The AJN.
“It’s something to celebrate. It’s really important for investors and future investors and also, additional talent. If you’re in a hiring phase it’s always good to get that exposure because the first thing a potential candidate would do is research the company. If they see an accolade like that, it’s potentially a company they would want to work for.”
The concept for Foodbomb, which is available in Sydney and Melbourne, came about when Goulburn and Tory identified a problem that exists in hospitality and tried to create a solution.
Having spent nearly 25 years as a meat wholesaler Tory understands the needs of hospitality, while Goulburn brings the tech knowledge, and together they created a platform for any food service venue to order in bulk from their 150 suppliers.
“Paul was a supplier, so he’s got lots of experience in this space,” Goulburn said.
“My background is being in tech start-ups for many years. I’ve spent time in fashion tech, fintech and now food tech.
“Meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables, seafood, alcohol, packaging, dry goods – everything a food service venue needs for their business, they can order on our platform.
“It’s really about streamlining and bringing efficiencies to the ordering solution.”
“To be an entrepreneur requires grit. You need to have resilience, grit and persistence – maybe that’s something the Jewish community has after all of these years.”
In March 2020 Goulburn and Tory were “pretty confident” hospitality would be hit hard by COVID, so they had to adapt – quickly.
“It was an important one for us in hindsight,” Goulburn said.
“We were a B2B business, but we had to pivot to consumers. Once suppliers were happy to deliver to households, the team acted so quickly to get this up and running. It was perfect timing for us to open up a B2C (business-to-consumer) offering and it just worked really well.
“Before we knew it we had thousands of households registering on the platform and ordering everything from fruit and vegetables, to dry goods and of course, toilet paper.
“It was a really good stopgap and it did help us boost our sales, which is what we needed in that period of time, but our focus at our core is B2B and servicing the hospitality space.”
As for the success of Jews in the innovation space Goulburn said: “To be an entrepreneur requires grit. You need to have resilience, grit and persistence – maybe that’s something the Jewish community has after all of these years.”