Two local entrepreneurs recently launched a food subscription platform to bring international snacks to people's homes.
The business, Universal Yums
, features different snacks from a different country each month, which co-founders Monique Bernstein and Eli Zauner select. The couple chose Germany for the first month to recognize the country from which Bernstein's grandparents emigrated, as well as Cincinnati's heritage.
"When you receive the box, you'll get a clue to our next country, so there's a little bit of a guessing game each month," Bernstein says.
Bernstein and Zauner began Universal Yums in May after deciding a previous food platform idea was going to be unsuccessful, after surveying a group of friends to see who would purchase their products.
"A lot of things have changed, but one thing that has stayed the same is our commitment to our business," Bernstein says. "I think there's a need for people who might not have as many international grocery stores close to them."
Customers can select two sizes: the "Yum Box" or the "Yum Yum Box." The Yum Box (currently $10 per month) contains some of the snacks, while the Yum Yum Box ($20 per month) contains all of them.
Universal Yums is now accepting subscribers and plans to deliver its first snack collection in December. The first selection contains a variety of German snacks, including chocolates, peanuts, cookies, pretzels and chips, among others.
While most of Universal Yums' business comes from Cincinnati, the couple hopes to eventually expand into a larger operation.
"Right now our future is just looking outside of Cincinnati, but hopefully it will be looking outside the U.S. someday as well," Bernstein says.
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