Dohmen acquires Madison-based online marketplace for local food producers, buyers

FoodChain co-founded by UW-Madison alumnus

Cynthia LaConte, CEO, The Dohmen Company
Cynthia LaConte, CEO, The Dohmen Company Foundation.

Last updated on April 7th, 2020 at 03:35 pm

Milwaukee-based Dohmen has acquired Madison-based FoodChain, an online marketplace and logistics company co-founded by a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus.

FoodChain’s platform allows local food producers to list, advertise and sell their products, while allowing purchasers to browse an inventory of local foods and purchase products in a single purchaser order.

“Acquiring FoodChain advances our mission of revitalizing the health of communities and the people within them using the power of food,” said Dohmen Company Foundation president Dale Mittelstaedt. “FoodChain provides a digital system that speeds the process of commercial exchange between local food producers and local food purchasers. We see this capability as an important strategic element of our preventive health solution.”

FoodChain was co-founded by Jake Levitt and Ben Winters, who graduated in May 2019 from UW-Madison’s School of Business. The company was part of gBETA Madison’s fall 2019 cohort.

“We started FoodChain because we saw the need to improve the accuracy, efficiency and scale of commercial transactions between the producers and purchasers of fresh, local food,” Levitt said. “Joining Dohmen gave us the opportunity to have an even greater impact by leveraging their years of supply chain experience within health care and by collaborating with their existing portfolio of social businesses.”

It’s Dohmen’s fourth acquisition in the past five months. It acquired Milwaukee-based meal delivery business Focused Fork in December. In January, it acquired Delafield-based Salus Corporate Wellness, and in February, it acquired Cooked, a Chicago-based meal preparation and delivery company.

In 2019, the Dohmen Co. transitioned from a family-owned S-corporation to a benefit corporation owned by The Dohmen Company Foundation, which is a private foundation. Since then, it has focused its business on improving health outcomes in the community.

“We know that the production and consumption of a fresh, healthful diet is the single most powerful intervention available to lower the skyrocketing rates of chronic disease in the United States,” said Cynthia LaConte, chief executive officer of the Dohmen Company. “But we believe strongly that food also has the power to revitalize local economies. By keeping food production and preparation local, close to the point of consumption, we not only help our communities thrive, but we also lighten the burden on our climate. FoodChain is a great example of how new technology can support family farms and create regional self-reliance in food.”

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