A Recipe for Accomplishment
David Thompson, founder and president of Home Bistro catalog, took a chance on a good idea and wasn’t afraid to knock down a few doors to make it happen. His persistence was well rewarded in 2002, three years after starting his gourmet food delivery company, when an infusion of venture capital allowed him to build a new manufacturing facility and expand his catalog circulation from 100,000 in 1999 to nearly 5 million last year.
Working in the food industry for more than 20 years, Thompson devised an idea for a business that cooks, freezes and ships fully prepared meals. At the time, he was working for another company that was testing a similar product. When the concept was shelved due to poor test results, he approached the top brass with another take on the food delivery catalog. After he was turned down, Thompson took four months to get up the nerve to quit his job and do it on his own.
Greatest Business Challenges
Finding investors in the midst of the dot-com explosion turned into one of the biggest challenges he’d ever faced. He fought pressure from potential investors to call his new company HomeBistro.
com, because he saw it as a catalog-driven business.
“It was very difficult to raise money when I was the only employee, and the business was pretty much a three-ring binder with some debt,” says Thompson.
Sheer persistence enabled him to get that first investment. He talked to everyone he could and never backed down, he recalls. As Thompson sees it, one of the biggest problems was that most investors weren’t in his target demographic. When he finally found an investor willing to take a chance, she fell very neatly within Home Bistro’s target audience — an affluent woman between the ages of 35 and 54.