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New website helps hungry pioneers find local grub

A late-night food craving has turned into a business for Curt Hokanson.

A 2010 graduate of the University of Denver, Hokanson launched in September 2011 to help students and DU community members find and order food from area restaurants.

The site offers a listing of area restaurants and links to their menus. Users can see what restaurants are open and whether they deliver. Online ordering is available through the site for select restaurants, including Taste of Philly, Zingers and Deli Zone.

Hokanson and his friends came up with the idea for the online marketplace on a late weekend night when they couldn’t figure out what restaurants might still be open and which ones delivered to campus.

“A friend and I discussed different ways to build a website that could help with that — it was not fine-tuned in the least, but we had an idea,” Hokanson says. “I let the idea bounce around for a while before I figured out a basic way it could function as a business.”

During winter quarter of his junior year, Hokanson wrote a business plan. After graduation, he decided to launch the business using his personal savings. Fellow DU graduate Ben Zenner helped design the site.

Hokanson, who majored in marketing at DU, says he and Zenner have learned from the experience.

“Although Daniels does a thorough job teaching you about many different facets of the business world, there are a lot of details — the nuts and bolts — that are not totally apparent until you step out of your comfort zone and start a new business endeavor,” he says. “I cannot tell you how much I have already learned over the last year by putting everything together for the site.”

The site is free to users and is funded by the participating restaurants. Hokanson periodically runs contests and specials. He is currently offering a promotion for a new pair of Icelantic Nomad skis. Every three online orders placed through gives the user an entry into the raffle.

Hokanson says he has received positive response to the site and plans to add more participating restaurants over the next year.

“Everyone we talk to about the site loves the idea. We need to continue to market the website, though, to make sure more of the campus knows about it.”


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