CEO of Local Crate gives lecture on fresh food

Micahel McShane
Staff Writer

Minnesota State University, Mankato welcomed one of its own back to deliver a lecture on his expanding business and the issue of food insecurity in America.

College of Business graduate, Frank Jackman, is the co-founder and CEO of Twin Cities-based fresh food delivery company Local Crate. Since its founding in 2015, it has grown from two employees in its first year to 27 full-time employees in 2018 

Frank Jackman grew up in rural Minnesota where he saw that while many of the farms in the state were located in rural parts, the residents were not getting the proper quality nutrition found in other parts of the state and nation.

During the lecture, Jackman pointed out that 12 plants and five animals make up 75 percent of the world’s food supply in which only ten percent is fresh and unprocessed.

Frank Jackman previously worked at Schwan Food Company where he would meet fellow co-founder Mike Stalbaum. 

Taking six months of effort and help from family, Jackman and Stalbaum built Local Crate with the idea that minimizing the total miles it takes for trucks to deliver food will greatly enhance the freshness and quality of the food.

There is no question, fast food and convenience stores have become massively popular, the main cause being because statistically 85 percent of Americans don’t know what they’ll be eating for dinner in a few hours. 

To counteract that, the vision of Local Crate is that using local farmers to deliver fresh ingredients and food to consumers fast will be able to help communities fight against both food insecurity and obesity.

Midway through the lecture, Brenda Flannery, the dean of the College of Business at MSU came on stage for a sit-down conversation with Jackman and talked about how Local Crate came to be and its success.

Since its launch, Local Crate has become a partnership with Target, expanded out of Minnesota into multiple other states including California, and in around 225,000 stores. Jackman announced during his lecture that Local Crate was in the process of beginning a partnership with Whole Foods.

When not in stores, Local Crate delivers food directly to homes through a subscription plan in which both the ingredients and recipe guide are delivered. 

This idea came around from an a-ha moment where Jackman and Stalbaum created a meal kit. They had their family try it out who instantly thought it was amazing. 

Quickly becoming one of the fastest growing businesses in the food industry, Frank Jackman is one of the many success stories of MNSU’s College of Business and hoped to impart what he had learned from creating and running a million dollar business.  

Header photo by David Bassey | MSU Reporter.

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