Artizone: Eating Local While Staying Home

Buying local is supposed to foster community, which may be why I repressed the Artizone concept soon after Tom Spicer told me about it.

"People don't want to leave their houses," he told me, outlining the brand new service that arranges home delivery of artisan foods.

But they do want quality edibles, and even I can't legitimately grouch about that. In addition to Spicer's produce, Artizone customers can go online to order cheese from Scardello, jams from JJ&B, meat from VonGeerstem Butcher Shop, pastries from La Duni and vinegars and oils from Flavors From Afar -- and avoid parking hassles.

"Now they don't have to drive around and pick up cheese here and pasta sauce there," says Flavors From Afar owner Gary Krabill, who's heard plenty of parking complaints as a Snider Plaza merchant.

The company launched a friends and family program last month -- "getting the kinks out," Krabill explains -- and this week went live, offering its services to customers in selected ZIP codes. Krabill says Artizone plans eventually to expand its reach and roster of artisan shops.

Nobody at Artizone returned my call, but -- according to the "about" page on its website -- Artizone is "an Israel-based company, established as a spin-off of the local branch of Dassault Systemes." Krabill says Dallas is Artizone's debut market.

"What I think will make it work in Dallas, compared to Houston or some other cities, is we do have a lot of artisan shops in close proximity," Krabill says.

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