Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace


The Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace has been a vision that the co-founders, Ben Jacobs and Matt Chandra have had for over a decade. The creators and owners of Tocabe, an American Indian Eatery chain based out of Denver, Colorado. Ben and Matt utilized their 14-year experience in building Indigenous supply chains to create and launch Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace in 2021.

This first-of-its-kind food distribution hub supplies healthy Native and Indigenous ingredients to consumers throughout the United States. Tocabe’s successes come not just from their business of providing delicious Indigenous foods to consumers, but also through their vision to support Native and Indigenous food sovereignty and self-determination directly through business ventures. Tocabe’s ethos is Native-first, local second, meaning they prioritize sourcing items directly from tribal and Native producers whenever possible. To do so, the founders have formed relationships with Native food suppliers around the United States to source authentic ingredients through business dealings that directly support local and tribal enterprises. Tocabe has also developed relationships with community organizations to deliver Indigenous and Native foods to families who would not otherwise have access to readily available traditional foods.

The loan funding will leverage Tocabe Eatery’s successes into the Marketplace’s national direct-to-consumer food distribution business. Their goal is to build a successful business that creates wide consumer access to Native and Indigenous foods, and provides a new central marketplace for Native food suppliers. The Marketplace integrates their community-centered vision by  including a two-to-one donation component into the business model that provides food for Indigenous families for every item sold on the online platform. Their goal is to move to a one-to-one donation model in the near future. The Marketplace’s centralized e-commerce platform amplifies their ability to connect households to Native and Indigenous food systems  to make sure all peoples have access to foods that are farmed, ranched, fished, harvested, and crafted by Native caretakers to nourish our communities from seed to soul. 

Additionally, the Marketplace operates a two-to-one donation program. Currently for every two items purchased, Tocabe donates one item to Native and Indigenous community based organizations. Tocabe also matches bulk and wholesale purchases with a 50% donation. For example, for a 500 pound purchase we will donate 250 pounds of food. Their goal is to increase to a one-to-one donation program as they scale the business.

NDN Collective has been there from the beginning by providing a grant for the pre-development work of Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace, as well as bringing power building resources including helping secure a government and Tribal procurement consultant, a Tribal College and University procurement consultant, a PR firm to help build a marketing strategy, and assistance to develop a non-profit for Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace that focuses on Native food systems, health outcomes, and education.