Meet Christian Baxter, owner of Sourdough Ontario

SourdoughOntarioLogoCompany Goal: I want to be the connection between you and your food.

Online personality: Friendly, approachable, your neighbour, someone you can talk to, sociable, fun

Key learning: “Be patient, be confident, hit it out of the park each time you have an interaction”

Whats the last book you read?: $100 Start Up

Favourite online tools?  Netflix, GQ

Describe yourself in three words: Life Learner. Optimistic. Tenacious.

Sourdough Ontario is an artisanal food delivery service that brings high quality food products that people wouldn’t normally be able to purchase, delivered right to their door. They deliver to the Guelph region, but hope to expand in the next few years.

Christian Baxter, the founder of Sourdough, believes there is a gap in the market between consumers and farmers. Having worked in the food industry in both Stratford and Toronto with artisanal products, Baxter wanted to start something of his own in Guelph to bring this amazing local food to people in Guelph.

Sourdough is the only business in Guelph that delivers to residential homes and develops a personal interaction with their buyers. Because they tap into small farmers who otherwise wouldn’t be available for commercial purchase, they are creating a whole new market for farmers.

Before working with Hunch Manifest, Sourdough would get their business from the Guelph Farmers Market, Elora Farmers Market, word of mouth and networking groups as well as the GBEC government program. Sourdough’s online persona was underdeveloped and had much more potential.

Baxter hadn’t investedSourdough_Cheese much into his website, but customers could order online. The ordering experience was deterring people from buying because they had problems navigating and ordering and had to deal with a disjointed user experience. Customers couldn’t update or empty their cart, or create an account to save credit card information.

Other than having a website and using social media, Baxter had no idea where to start to improve Sourdough’s online presence.

With the help of Hunch, Sourdough moved their website over to the Shopify platform to create a beautiful online store and easier shopping experience.

“Your storefront is your personality and your brand. Because I don’t have a storefront my virtual store has to be welcoming and easy to use. The Sourdough idea is to compliment the virtual store with a personal touch when I deliver.”

Before working with Hunch, Sourdough had about 10 clients. Now they have grown to 40. Their brand is much more visible now as well, with better search results for their website and a growing following on social media.

Hunch also helped Baxter realize the power of social media to help make virtual connections by tweeting for exposure.

Baxter hopes to expand Sourdough in the future to have an operation in Toronto.

Mark van Berkel is Founder and President of Hunch Manifest Inc. While managing business operations he also leads the team in designing semantic technology to provide personalized online presence and reputation management services. Prior to forming the company, he was consultant in enterprise software projects to companies including Panasonic, Shell, and General Electric and was an Architect for a world leading human capital management software-as-a-service. Mark holds a Bachelor of Information Systems from StFX University and did his graduate studies at University of Toronto, getting a MEng Industrial Information Engineering and an MBA, Strategy and Innovation from the Rotman School of Management. In 2006 he published a 170 page report as a researcher at the Semantic Technologies Lab at the University of Toronto and built a semantic technology prototype for SAP Research Labs. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn or Twitter. Mark is also certified in Google Analytics.