David Robidoux and Chad Barton of Weathermelon Share on the Industry-Focused Weather Forecast App
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - Nothing is quite as fickle as good ol’ Mother Nature. As an industry dependent on the ways of the weather, it is great to have an app on hand to shine a light on heavy rains, heat waves, and everything in between. Offering advanced notice on these constantly afflicting worries our business faces is Weathermelon, an app designed to give invaluable insight into weather conditions to help aid crop production.
Speaking with me on Weathermelon’s tremendous and wide-ranging contributions to the industry are the Founders David Robidoux and Chad Barton who are paving the road for this advanced technology.
“It’s a funny story. I was around one day reading an article about the baseball player Mike Trout and how he is a huge weather buff—how he has 10 or 12 weather apps on his phone at all times. I thought it was so fascinating because it seemingly doesn’t have anything to do with his profession at all, and yet he was so concerned with the weather,” David explains. “I thought I should be more aware of the weather and what is going on—to become as knowledgeable as I possibly can about the weather, because it's so important in regard to produce.”
Where David and Chad once saw a hole in the produce industry, they planted the Weathermelon seed. “What about weather conditions further out?” David found himself asking. He expressed it was difficult to find a centrally-located website that could foresee the possibilities. So, the two created their own "crystal ball" to give businesses the answers they sought for growth.
“Everything out there states it's going to be cold today or it will freeze tonight, but nothing provided advanced notification that in 10 days there is going to be a huge storm or that in 10 days from now there is going to be a heat wave. After about a month or so of getting frustrated, I talked with Chad, and we decided that we can build an app—that we should build an app with all that information!” David shares with me.
The technology offers an opportunity for buyers to get a look at the weather's impact on business, to find out just what is in store for the regions from which they receive their produce so they can plan their purchases accordingly. It is also an opportunity for shippers to get their own game plan ready for weather conditions that might impede on shipping methods. Though, what was so inspiring to me while chatting with these two entrepreneurial forces-of-nature is their drive to improve the industry beyond these two impressive ways. One of the best aspects of their app, to me, is its routine 5 a.m. notifications for those looking to monitor their business’ production on a daily basis. Talk about a wake-up call!
“We are geared specifically for the produce industry; that’s our focus. At 5 a.m., we’re sending out information to all of our users about heatwaves, cold, rain, wind, and anything else that can affect the production of a crop. Our customers are getting it first-thing in the morning. It’s not just today; it’s stuff that is coming down the pipe a week from now,” David states.
After two years in the making, there has been plenty of time to gather information through experience with customers. An example would be a grower/shipper can check with the app to see how growing locations are looking and if the weather will affect sales—both long-term with supply and short-term with freighting.
But to expand on the importance of the app’s influence, Chad explains that it also boils down to a very familiar aspect of business: competition. Thanks to the informative app, businesses can take a peek over the fence at what their neighbors are dealing with because Weathermelon showcases weather conditions in all regions of a registered category’s growth.
“We’re in the produce industry, so we understand the needs of those working within the industry on a daily basis; we built this app for them, and our vision is to make this a community, where people can share information and pictures in the future. That is a future version we are working towards,” David adds.
These are exciting times for Weathermelon, as it continues to evolve into the app it strives to be: an epicenter for the industry’s weather-impacting knowledge and a space where businesses can connect.