We all know that one of the best parts of travel is experiencing local cuisine. Even right here in the U.S., there are certain foods from certain places that are just… well, better. Think about it: you can’t visit the south without experiencing traditional BBQ. You can’t tour NYC without noshing on a bagel. And you definitely can’t stop by Chicago without guzzling a deep-dish pizza. I mean, have you ever dreamt about clam chowder from North Dakota? Or a cheesesteak from Arizona? Somehow, I highly doubt it.
So naturally, it was disappointing when summer vacation plans were cancelled. Obviously, we love the beach, the lake, the national parks, the sunshine, the family time--but, that other undeniable thing we all really love? The food.
Enter Goldbelly, a digital marketplace that brings local, speciality eats from across the country right to your doorstep. You live in Oregon, but you want a fresh-baked peach pie from Georgia? No problem. You live in Rhode Island, but you want some flamin’ hot tex-mex? Coming right up.
I know what you’re thinking… you can’t ship perishables cross-country in this heat! But that’s what sets Goldbelly apart from other food delivery companies. Since their inception in 2013, they’ve worked closely with independent restaurants, bakeries, and businesses to figure out the precise formulas to ship treats nationwide while ensuring the same quality as if you’d waited in line at the shop yourself. Between dry ice, overnight shipping, and frozen options, they’ve got it covered. And each order comes equipped with specifically detailed instructions for reheating (or thawing) to premium enjoyment.
You can easily search through the site’s offerings by region, item category, or restaurant. And Goldbelly has done the work of curating certain selections by theme or mood. There’s even a list celebrating legendary Black food makers!
Through this model, Goldbelly is able to amplify business for many regional (formerly hidden!) gems. Since the tech company handles all e-commerce and communications, it’s an easy and supportive way for small businesses to get into the digital game without upfront investments. Pretty revolutionary, right? And with social distancing in our lives for the foreseeable future, now is the time to get comfy with food delivery.
As a NYC resident who’s currently “quarantining” with my family in Ohio, Goldbelly has delivered on all my gourmet cravings. From Magnolia Bakery (Banana pudding. Need I say more?), to Prince Street Pizza, and Russ & Daughters, they’ve got all the famous spots. For a birthday celebration just this past week, my family ordered artisanal, hand-packed ice cream from Florida, mini cakes topped with a famed buttercream frosting from South Carolina, and pineapples straight from the islands of Hawaii.
What I love about Goldbelly’s mission is that they understand how food can be more than just sustenance. Sure, you could totally go to the grocery store and have a fun time trying to recreate some of these recipes. And we cannot forget how important it is to be supporting our own local businesses right now. But sometimes, you just can’t beat that first bite into a beloved dish or an iconic pastry that you’ve been unable to get out of your head for months. Especially right now, when we’re all physically grounded, feeling a little antsy, and in need of a pick-me-up. Food is nostalgic--a memory, a connection, a comfort, a moment of joy.
So even though our summer travel plans are cancelled, our favorite gastronomic indulgences don’t have to be. We may be stuck at home on the couch--but with a decadent lobster roll in our hands (I recommend McLooms Lobster Shack - where the lobster is prime and the kit comes decked out with homemade rolls, sea-salted butter, and pickles!) and a good imagination, we may just as well be sitting on a dock somewhere in the middle of Maine, sunshine on our faces, dangling our feet into the lake.
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