Home Coffee product Belmont Vision – Belmont Alumni of Hot Poppy Delivery Service Helping Local Businesses Thrive

Belmont Vision – Belmont Alumni of Hot Poppy Delivery Service Helping Local Businesses Thrive



Visitors to the weekly Sevier Park Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays can stop by the table run by Belmont alumni behind Hot Poppy – Nashville’s newest delivery service.

Hot Poppy is an Instacart for local produce, said co-founder Vinny Maniscalco. Like a farmers market in an app, the company partners with small businesses in Nashville and helps them grow their base by delivering local produce right to customers’ doors.

“You are supporting what really impacts these people rather than just being a faceless entity like Amazon, where you don’t know anyone behind their products,” Maniscalco said.

In May 2020, Belmont alumni Maniscalco and Stuart Landis joined forces with Storm Sheler at Nashville State University to bridge the gap between consumer convenience and local small businesses.

In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maniscalco, Landis and Sheler noticed how local farmers and artisans were left out of the quarantine home delivery boom that benefited big businesses. Without storage space in traditional grocery stores and without trade in their usual farmer’s markets, their products remained unsold.

“The little guys were swept under the carpet during the pandemic,” Maniscalco said.

Beginning selling coffee from local favorites Bongo Java and Frothy Monkey, Hot Poppy quickly expanded its partnerships to other small businesses in the Nashville area. From organic and vegan foods to cruelty-free personal and household care products, Hot Poppy continues to expand its reach to a city-wide community and grow its customer base.

Emily Short, a Hot Poppy client for over a year, takes advantage of the services because they give her what she loves, she said.

“I am able to support a variety of local small businesses in one centralized location, as well as supporting Hot Poppy – which is also a small local business! Said short.

“I feel good where my money is going and who it is going to,” she said.

Hot Poppy provides a platform for their local suppliers to present their products to a wider market and bring them to customers like Short. Their bestseller? Fresh eggs from the partner farm located in central Tennessee.

“They’re really flying off the shelves! Said Maniscalco.

One of Hot Poppy’s egg sellers is Heniscity Farms, owned by Cynthia Capers.

She started the business in 2017, and since partnering with Hot Poppy, Heniscity Farms has thrived, with egg sales increasing by 50%, Capers said.

To connect with small businesses like Heniscity Farms, customers in the Nashville area can place a Hot Poppy order online or with the Hot Poppy app, where they can browse product categories and choose which local products they want. they wish.

“I eat a plant-based diet and have had a lot of great options presented to me as well as a separate ‘vegan’ category to make shopping super easy,” Short said.

Customers can also order a surprise box organized by the founders themselves.

From there, Hot Poppy’s drivers hand-deliver products to their customers’ porches.

“We don’t triangulate a random driver with a random grocery store. We have all the products ourselves and we have the pilots, ”said Maniscalco.

Although Hot Poppy is a young company, the team behind it envisions future growth.

Maniscalco, Landis and Sheler plan to strengthen the company’s roots in Nashville by partnering with more local suppliers. They are currently working on creating a subscription model that will debut in the fall with the goal of creating a more stable business for seasonal farmers and artisans.

“We are helping local businesses achieve their dreams by growing their businesses,” said Maniscalco.

PHOTO: Vinny Maniscalco (left) and Stuart Landis (right) of Belmont alumni at the Sevier Park farmer’s market stand. Jake’s Hot Poppy / Chestnut.

This article was written by Lauren Campbell and Melody Scott.


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