PSFK sits down with Goldbelly founder Joe Ariel, whose company is satisfying cravings nationwide with innovative local food delivery that connects customers with regional dishes right from iconic kitchens

In brief:

  • Customers are willing to pay a premium for products that they know and love.
  • Launching nationwide makes consumers feel valued, especially ones who live outside of cities.
  • Subscription boxes can work well if they're expertly curated.

Even in today's ecommerce-focused environment, there are a few things that are hard to find nationwide—namely, regional food. Finding a replacement for the perfect ribs or bagel is nearly impossible after a move to a new region, especially when there's only a single, far-off restaurant that does it the best.

But Goldbelly, a DTC food delivery startup, is on a mission to ship all of America's most-loved foods to anyone in the country who can't visit their favorite locations, including places like Russ & Daughter's, Magnolia Bakery and Dinosaur BBQ. PSFK sat down with Joe Ariel, the brand's founder, about how his business is revolutionizing local food delivery and satisfying cravings nationwide:

PSFK: What motivated you to found Goldbelly?

Joe Ariel: Goldbelly was founded on my passion for food. After leaving college in Nashville, I craved real down-home southern food, like buttermilk biscuits and ham, dry rub BBQ and pecan pie. There's nothing like the real thing. I began calling in favors from some of the restaurants I knew and they started shipping their products to me. When I received the delivery, I was instantly transported to a different time and place. As I expected, the food was incredible, but that wasn't the eye-opening part.

What was eye-opening was the emotions that I had opening that box and smelling those smells. It was then I realized it wasn’t just about the food—it was about the emotional and nostalgic experience. From here, Goldbelly was born. Our company exists on the emotional power of food. There’s a soulless existence in the world of ecommerce today and I wanted to change that.


Tell us about the choices you offer—what type of brands do you look to feature?

We’re on a mission to discover the best handmade, small-batch artisan goods in America and ship them to people anywhere in the USA. We seek out the most iconic, locally legendary and creative local foods. We love great food makers and great stories.

Why did you decide to offer a subscription, in addition to a la carte service?

So many of our customers wanted us to curate a monthly experience that they order and have a different treat just show up on their doorstep. It also makes a perfect gift because you can choose three months or six months.

You just pick your favorite culinary craving—pizza, barbecue, cake, we’ve got it all—and you will receive a food delivery every month. We even offer the best of Goldbelly subscriptions where we hand-select feasts to be delivered each month from America’s best restaurants, butchers, bakeries and tastemakers.

Finally, are there any limits on how you reach consumers?

All of our foods are shipped nationwide—there are no limits. In 2018, our five most shipped states were California, New York, Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania. The best part about Goldbelly is that we ship anywhere in the USA, so people in the midwest can have access to those NY bagels they are missing out on. Even folks in Alaska and Hawaii have Philly cheesesteak and Chicago pizza cravings from time to time!

Joe Ariel. Goldbelly


Lead image: Goldbelly