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In this interview series, we are talking to founders, CEOs, and ecommerce business leaders about choosing the best platform for ecommerce. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Sornoso.

Eric Sornoso

Eric Sornoso is the CEO of Mealfan, a company that connects customers to local restaurants and grocery delivery services. Eric has been in the food industry for over 15 years, working as an executive chef at some of the most renowned restaurants in his hometown.

Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and how you grew up?

My background and upbringing have been incredibly influential in my decision to become CEO of Mealfan. I was born and raised in a small town in Michigan, though my parents were originally from southern California. They moved to the Midwest to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and open their own small business: a clothing store. Growing up, we never had much money, but what mattered most was that we had one another. My parents always found ways to make our life as comfortable as possible regardless of our circumstances.

My early days were spent helping out around the shop while attending school nearby, an experience that taught me a lot about customer service, retail strategy, and managing finances that would be beneficial later in life when starting my own business. But the biggest lesson of all was watching how hard my mom worked every single day despite her challenges at home with raising two kids on top of running the family store herself; it lit such a fire within me for entrepreneurship fulfillment at an early age. 

Fast forward 30 years later—I’ve developed a career spanning different industries such as finance, sales and marketing, technology management, consulting services—you name it! However, none felt quite like home until I took on the challenge of creating Mealfan, which enables busy customers to order fresh meals from local restaurants effortlessly whilst supporting local businesses that are struggling due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic through accurate delivery solutions based on innovative technology platform built specifically for this purpose. It feels good knowing that we play an active role in saving these establishments’ livelihoods while also providing people with nourishment during these uncertain times.

On top of all this accomplishment stands resilience developed since childhood while growing up with limited resources but abundant love and ambition instilled by amazing parents who gave whatever they could so their children could fulfill individual goals no matter where they come from or how humble their beginnings might be; something that resonates every single day here at Mealfan whose core values are built upon family principles expressed through devotion towards customers’ satisfaction through delivering quality experiences each step of the way!

What led you to this specific career path?

My path to becoming a CEO at Mealfan was long, winding, and filled with many lessons learned. I have always been interested in creating businesses that improve people's lives and make the world a better place in some way. 

After college, I decided to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship by working as an intern in various startups. This gave me great insight into how different startups operate and develop their products. Through this internship experience, I saw firsthand the impact that technology can have on changing markets and providing innovative solutions for global problems. It also helped me understand what it really takes to be successful as an entrepreneur: hard work, dedication, resilience, creativity, and patience—all qualities that were essential during my journey toward becoming a CEO at Mealfan.

At Mealfan specifically, I had exposure to project management processes, which allowed me to think about problem-solving from a more strategic perspective when developing our services and product lines. As we continue to expand at Mealfan, I will look back on every lesson learned from my past experiences so that we can grow faster while maintaining industry best practices such as data security compliance standards or GDPR legislation requirements integral parts of our product development process, reducing potential liabilities down the line whilst continuing delivering top quality user experience focused services & products all around the world.

Can you share the most exciting story that has happened to you since you began at your company?

Since I started at Mealfan, the most exciting thing that has happened was when we celebrated our five-year anniversary. When we first began, we had a small team of four people working out of a tiny office. Over the past five years, however, we've grown exponentially—now our team is 40-strong and spread across three countries!

We decided to take this opportunity to recognize all the hard work everyone has put in to get where we are today. To commemorate such an accomplishment, everyone flew in from their respective markets and gathered together for one unforgettable night at a five-star hotel in New York City. It was amazing to have everyone together—it felt like family! We enjoyed great music, food, and drinks while giving each other high-fives for what had been achieved over those five long years.

At the end of it all, there were speeches given by key members of the company who reflected on what had occurred since then. There were some tears shed because of how much had been accomplished since starting off so small but with big dreams. It was truly heartwarming to see just how far we'd come as a team! What made it even more special was that many members also brought their friends and family for extra support, which meant even more celebration for us all. 

It's events like these that remind me why I love working at Mealfan: It’s not just about making a profit or providing an awesome service—we actually care about each other as if they're part of our own family too! Our company culture is something unique and special that can't be replicated elsewhere—we work hard but play harder!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

As the CEO of Mealfan, I'm always looking for ways to create innovative solutions that have a profound impact on people's lives. We are constantly pushing ourselves to come up with creative approaches in order to make our products and services more accessible and beneficial to all. 

One of the most interesting projects we're working on right now is a revolutionary technology that enables customers who don't know what they want for dinner yet or are too busy, tired, or just plain uninspired to search through recipes, locate essential ingredients, and compile an entire grocery list—all before hitting the supermarket. 

This technology aggregates millions of recipes from around the world into one easy-to-use platform, pulling them together based on user preferences such as dietary needs, course type, allergies, etc.

Additionally, it automatically generates tailored recommendations via detailed nutritional information, ensuring your daily meals meet standards according to your own health goals. The best part? Our experts take care of creating personalized grocery lists, including every item you need for every single recipe, so you don’t waste time searching through multiple sources.  

We hope this project will help individuals overcome mealtime stress by saving valuable time and money while still being able to enjoy healthy and delicious meals with their families every night without breaking a sweat.

What are three traits about yourself that you feel helped fuel your success?

I believe that there are three key traits that have helped me become a successful business leader: tenacity, determination, and resilience.

Tenacity is perhaps one of the most important traits of any successful leader. It’s what allows you to keep going when things get tough, to pick yourself up after a setback, and to never give up on your goals. I’ve found that tenacity is something that can be developed and strengthened over time—it’s not something you’re born with. For me, developing tenacity has been about building mental toughness and learning how to deal with setbacks in a constructive way.

Determination is another critical trait for success. It’s what drives you to keep moving forward even when things are tough or when you feel like giving up. determination is the quality that allows you to see your goals through to the end, regardless of obstacles. It's what gives you the motivation to keep going even when things get difficult. 

Finally, resilience is an important trait for anyone in a leadership position. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and adversity. It’s what allows you to learn from your mistakes and continue moving forward toward your goals. I believe that resilient leaders are able to take whatever comes their way (good or bad) and use it as fuel for continued success.

What ecommerce platform does your business use, and what key features were you looking for when you selected it? Was it your first choice, or did you switch from a previous one?

At Mealfan, we use Shopify as our ecommerce platform. For us, ease of use and integrations were the most important factors when selecting a platform. We also wanted to ensure that our customers had access to a secure shopping experience on our website. 

Shopify was actually not our first choice—we previously used WooCommerce. Still, we ultimately realized that it didn't have all the features we needed in order to provide an optimal online shopping experience for our customers. Our transition to Shopify happened fairly quickly because of their impressive suite of features and user-friendly interface, which allowed us to implement necessary changes with minimal fuss. 

At Mealfan, Shopify is one of the key ingredients for success as it offers powerful tools such as automated marketing campaigns, an analytics dashboard for tracking customer insights and sales performance, as well as secure payment methods and flexible shipping options throughout North America. The ability to scale seamlessly from start-up or small businesses up through enterprise-level clients makes this platform ideal for companies of all sizes looking for an ecommerce solution. 

Furthermore, their comprehensive integration capabilities allow us to easily integrate new applications like loyalty programs and chatbots into existing systems without much effort or complication, allowing us extra time to focus on core business functions instead. Finally, its advanced security measures give both ourselves and customers peace of mind knowing that data is securely stored while at the same time providing a safe online environment when they shop with us!

When should an ecommerce business consider switching platforms? Which factors should drive a decision to make a change or upgrade?

Making the decision to switch ecommerce platforms is a big one for any business. It requires careful consideration of your current needs as well as anticipation of future trends. 

The most important factor when considering a platform change is whether or not the platform is meeting your current needs and requirements. If you're having difficulty managing inventory, understanding customer behavior, or even expanding into new markets, it might be time for an upgrade. The speed and scalability of the platform should also be taken into account:

  • Are you able to keep up with customer demand?
  • Are you able to reach customers all over the world without major technical issues?

In addition to existing features and capabilities, businesses should also consider how long they plan on being in business. Some platforms are better suited for smaller businesses, while others may come with more expensive fees but can offer greater flexibility over time. Furthermore, many ecommerce companies now offer data-driven insights that give users valuable information about their customers’ preferences and trends that can help them optimize their sales approach. This type of functionality isn’t available in every platform, so it's something else you'll need to factor in when making decisions about which direction to go in.  

Finally, it's essential that businesses research prospective new platforms thoroughly before committing to anything too quickly. Make sure there aren't any hidden costs or roadblocks associated with transitioning from one system to another. As a leader in online food ordering technology, Mealfan engages deeply with its partners throughout the selection process, offering consultation so our clients get exactly what they need: an intuitive interface backed by powerful features that truly meet their goals now and into the future.

Given the number of ecommerce platform options available, what questions does a business need to ask itself to make the right choice?

1. What type of store will you host? Ecommerce platforms include different features depending on what kinds of products and services you’ll be offering. If you plan on selling digital goods such as music or software downloads, for example, then a dedicated ecommerce platform that can handle this type of product may be required.

2. How much customization do you need? If a high degree of customization is necessary in order to create a unique shopping experience for your customers, then it could make sense to check out an open-source ecommerce solution like Magento or WooCommerce. But if all you need is basic customization options, then opting for a hosted solution may prove simpler and cost-efficient.

3. What devices must be supported? Will users only access your store through desktops, or will they also use mobile devices such as tablets and phones? Check whether the platform provides responsive design capabilities so that content can look good regardless of device size or operating system used.  

4. Is scalability important? Consider how quickly (or slowly) you expect to see growth within your customer base before selecting an ecommerce provider that limits site visits by configuring storage requirements upfront. Also, investigate which packages will let you grow with fewer restrictions over time—more features/assets at no extra cost might turn out to save money in the long run.

5. Are international transactions necessary? Do some research into where shoppers from other countries may have difficulty making purchases from certain providers due to banking restrictions, etc. Additionally, find out about payment processing fees associated with different gateways too. This could mean spending extra money on alternative vendors if needed. But, at least knowing what potential obstacles lie ahead can help anticipate them better once operations start taking off internationally.

Is there a specific feature or functionality you haven’t found in any platform that you would love to have? What is it, and why?

Yes! First of all, as the CEO of Mealfan, I have a few key features I’d like to see in other platforms that could revolutionize how we shop and eat. 

First, I would love for there to be an easier way to customize your meals from start to finish. When it comes to finding recipes and shopping for groceries, we still rely on antiquated methods like manually searching through hundreds of websites or sorting through dozens of grocery store apps.

Instead, I dream about a platform that allows customers to build their own meal plans online by easily selecting ingredients that suit their tastes and dietary specifications from an expansive library of quality recipes given tailored recommendations on what’s fresh in their area, along with easy grocery ordering processes. 

Second, I believe there’s also tremendous value in having a unified platform where consumers can find out what services are available near them while discovering information related to local restaurant operations, such as reviews, contact info, menus/deals/products, etc. Having access to this type of data would make dining experiences more efficient by allowing users to compare prices side-by-side without needing multiple search queries or time-consuming manual comparison tasks. 

Finally, better food waste tracking is another important feature most current platforms lack when it comes to taking control over our environmental impact by monitoring which foods need reduced purchasing quantities or substitutions due to expiration dates not being respected, etc. 

In short, these solutions could give us greater visibility into where our money is spent when stocking shelves at home or out and about, so we can take steps toward improving things for ourselves and the planet alike.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most people, what would that be?

If I had the ability to start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be one focused on promoting healthy food choices.

As a CEO in the food industry, I understand first-hand how important it is for individuals and families alike to make informed and educated decisions when selecting meals. This commitment should extend beyond just understanding label contents; nutrient content and overall health benefits of certain ingredients or meal choices should also be taken into consideration.

To accomplish this, I believe access to education is key. Ensuring that families have proper nutritional information available can help them plan healthier meals with ease. From an educational perspective, schools need more support in teaching children about making dietary decisions and understanding what healthy food looks like from both a nutritional value and taste perspective. Additionally, simply providing resources such as recipe books or app suggestions could go a long way toward making healthier meal selections easier for everyone. 

In addition to education initiatives surrounding nutritious foods, we also need increased awareness surrounding less healthy options such as processed foods with high levels of sodium, sugar, or other unhealthy additives, which can all add up quickly if not done judiciously! 

Emphasizing moderation (particularly when it comes to snacks) in our diets and better farming practices supporting local produce whenever possible will also contribute significantly towards promoting healthier eating habits globally over time. Ultimately, I hope that by getting behind this movement, we are actually encouraging others to become an agent for their own health—resulting in longer, fulfilling lives than ever before!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

At Mealfan, we love connecting with our loyal readers and appreciate any support they can offer! To stay in the loop on all things related to Mealfan, you can follow us on the platforms below. 

On Twitter, you'll find news updates about our meal recipes and cooking tips. We also have a Facebook page where followers can interact directly with us: They can ask questions or share feedback and get an inside look into what goes on behind the scenes at Mealfan. Instagram is another great platform to follow us on: Here, we post mouthwatering photos of our recipes, plus periodic special offers and discounts for following users. 

We also maintain an active YouTube channel that features tutorials for those just starting out in the kitchen and more advanced videos with techniques that redefine traditional cooking styles. Last but not least, remember to check out our website from time to time. Here, you'll find new recipes every day, along with exclusive articles from world-class chefs and nutrition experts who share their insights from years of experience in the industry! 

Thanks for being part of our fan base. Together let's keep striving for nutritious meals that are easy to make!

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By Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand is passionate about helping and educating business leaders, ecommerce professionals, and digital marketers grow their skill sets to stay ahead of the competition. Francois holds a BA Specialization in Communication Studies & Journalism from Concordia University (Montreal, QC) and 20+ years of experience in ecommerce, marketing, traditional and digital media, and public relations, including The Vancouver Sun, National Post, CBC/Radio-Canada, Unbounce, and Vancouver Film School.