Please welcome Foxtrot, a corner store for the 21st century

Meet Foxtrot, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Founders: Michael LaVitola and Taylor Bloom

The problem: Dominated by gas stations and old school chains, the convenience store industry has failed to keep up with changing consumer shopping trends by neglecting ongoing brand development and a growing demand for locally-focused, curated offerings and experiences.

Foxtrot’s solution: Foxtrot merges tech with in-person shopping experiences by offering customers a menu of craft food and drinks, as well as everyday essentials in physical, neighborhood stores and on-demand, delivered to your door.

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Origin story: While attending business school in Chicago, cofounder Michael LaVitola often chose between ordering delivery or making a trip to a bodega for dinner. Seeing a gap in offerings for high-quality goods at neighborhood corner stores, he teamed up with friend Taylor Bloom to build a business that would meet consumers’ evolving demands for quick, quality food and goods.

Why we’re betting on it: Foxtrot has read the pulse of the retail industry by blending e-commerce, on-demand delivery, and brick-and-mortar experiences. The company is addressing retail’s most pressing pain points while building a direct-to-consumer business that’s resonating with its first market in Chicago, and can be replicated in large cities throughout the country.

Our take: Demonstrated by early adopters Sweetgreen and Dig Inn, hybrid online ordering and in-person shopping experiences are proving to be a promising path forward for both food and retail brands. In offering different ways for customers to interact with and purchase products, Foxtrot’s thoughtful brand and data-driven model reflects what will become a viable roadmap for new retail companies trying to reach today’s consumers.

Further reading: “Foxtrot raises $6M to double headcount and fuel national expansion plans” via Built In Chicago

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