Shipt has selected 10 small businesses to participate in its inaugural LadderUp, an accelerator program aimed at combatting food insecurity by helping small businesses. Two of the businesses — Bama Health Foods and House Plant Collective — are located in Alabama.
“Here at Shipt, we want to do our part to advance economic opportunities for underrepresented communities, and LadderUp is a key initiative to do exactly that by offering e-commerce education and resources to these businesses,” said Shipt Chief People and Community Officer Amy Benson.
Bama Health Foods LLC is a Birmingham-based health food store on the west side of the city. With LadderUp, Bama Health Foods is looking to expand its online presence.
“Bama Health Foods is excited to be accepted into the LadderUp program by Shipt because we see the value and need to be able to reach our customers in various ways in order to meet their wellness needs,” said Jacquie Fazekas, owner of Bama Health Foods. “As a women-owned business, we will be able to share our knowledge with other small businesses as well in order to strengthen our minority-owned business ecosystem.”
House Plant Collective is an indoor plant retailer, selling house plants throughout Alabama. During COVID-19, the company turned its in-person shopping experience into an online store. Now, it wants to strengthen and expand its online presence.
“As a retail plant shop based in Birmingham, we believe this program will help take HPC to the next level by sharing the joy of house plants with others nationwide by shipping a variety of tropical indoor plants and botanical goods,” said Jessica Watts, owner of House Plant Collective.
The businesses will participate in an 8-week program, learning from industry leaders on topics like driving sustainable growth, building a financial foundation, creating efficiency, marketing and e-commerce.
The other businesses participating in LadderUp are based in Houston, Atlanta, Detroit and Washington, D.C.