Boston & Bale Wants to Deliver Local Goods to Your Doorstep Each Month
Because shopping small shouldn’t be so hard.
Consumers prefer to shop local, but the act often feels easier said than done.
“People want to support local, and love to discover new things, but they don’t always have the time,” says Michelle Wax, who speaks from experience. In December 2014, she launched “two-bite” cookie company Kitchen Millie, which bakes and ships its guilt-free snacks the same day to ensure they arrive fresh at your doorstep.
“I was selling at local markets and events, and everyone generally liked the product when they tasted it,” she says. “But it was hard to get the word out.”
After stumbling upon the Cambridge Winter Farmers Market in April with former LevelUp colleague and now roommate Elise Beck, Wax realized she wasn’t the only local vendor dealing with the problem. The two found products they had never seen before. If they hadn’t happened to be bicycling by at the right time, however, the locally made goods would have gone undiscovered.
“I thought, ‘There must be an easier way,’” Wax says.
Products range from Pure7 Chocolate’s honey-sweetened, organic bars and bites to Handmade For’s all-natural soaps. Boston & Bale buys their products upfront at wholesale. When customers subscribe, they have the option of naming some of their favorite local brands, so Wax and Beck can send goods curated to their style. The subscription rings in at $39, shipping included, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to an area charity each month.
The first charity the startup is supporting is BUILD Boston, an organization using entrepreneurship to propel disengaged, low-income students through high school and into college. Wax, who had a lemonade stand as a kid, says the nonprofit complements the entrepreneurial, bootstrapping spirit powering Boston & Bale.
To help highlight the two’s synergy, Boston & Bale will host an event at Short Path Distillery in Everett on Saturday, September 12, from 2 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include one specialty cocktail, “delicious bites,” a donation to BUILD Boston, and the opportunity to vote on the next charity or organization to receive Boston & Bale’s support.
“We aim to be a resource for small businesses to get the word out about their brands and products,” Wax says.
To prove it, Boston & Bale has been hosting regular events throughout the summer to provide customers the chance to meet its Boston-area makers. When a new maker comes on board, Wax and Beck immediately start promoting them on social media.
“Stay local, stay small” is the company’s mission, according to Wax. And if they can achieve that mission locally, the duo plan to expand the concept to cities outside Boston.
“There are a lot of boxes and subscription services,” Wax admits, “but I think we have a niche. We’re going to try and do this for each city. We want to make it a company that’s more close knit and personal than some others have become.”