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Community fridges where people can share their fruits and vegetables

Par Brian Pott | 4 novembre 2016 | Consumption

BonApp, a startup that’s tackling the problem of food waste, launched its first self-serve fridge allowing people to swap fruits and vegetables.

The launch of the first BonApp fridge took place a few days ago at 5ième, a zero waste coffee shop and co-working space that opened recently in Montreal. Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign held this summer, this startup was able to raise over $10,000, enough for them to install five fridges, as well as wooden structures where people can put their non-perishable products and food items. The fridges are small and functional to encourage sharing. “The crowdfunding campaign was a great success: over 250 people supported us financially, which gave us enough money to buy the fridges, but also gave us validation that our idea was relevant,” said Geneviève Rousseau, co-founder.  

The BonApp team has been refining their business model since the beginning of 2016: originally, the idea was to create an app similar to Olio that connects people in the same neighbourhood so they can share food, but instead they opted to create specific locations where people can do their exchanges, such as co-working spaces and universities. “We realized that people were a little hesitant about going to strangers’ homes, so we decided to set up drop-off points in indoor public places. We did a pilot project in a few coffee shops during the year and the results convinced us this was the right way to go.”  

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The fridges are small and functional to encourage sharing

In Quebec, individuals account for 47% of food waste, or approximately 400 pounds of food per person, per year, with 2/3 of that being fruits and vegetables. BonApp wants to change the relationship people have with food and help them do more with the food they already have.  

Rousseau first realized the extent of the food waste problem while studying sustainable development at HEC Montréal. This adventure began as a Startup Weekend project over a year ago and quickly gained momentum. Geneviève was even selected as one of the winners of the C2 Montréal 25 Emerging Entrepreneurs this year.


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