A “FIRSTLOOK” at Community


  • Greg has 20K members in GROW. He looks at every application and asks himself a series of questions to determine if the applicant is the right fit.
  • Pop Up Grocer showcases emerging brands. It’s Chicago pop-up had 400+ new products. Mattie vets every single one of these brands to ensure it meets Pop Up Grocer’s criteria on nutrition, founder story, packaging, and sustainability.
  • In addition to hosting IRL events, Greg hosts a series of Google Hangouts where like-minded marketers can connect, share tips & industry expertise.
  • Even in the pandemic, Pop-Up-Grocer showed up. Last June, it opened a 30-day pop-up in Austin. Through this activation, it donated 5% of all sales to All Together ATX, a COVID-related community fund.
  • As Mattie Ellis says, “ From day one we have viewed the increase in online shopping as an opportunity for our business — not the threat. We’re excited to continue building on the complementary experiences we create, both online and off.”
  • Greg is already well into planning the next GROW event in LA on Feb 24,2022
  • Pop Up Grocer is gearing up for its next launch in 2022 that puts another spin on the traditional brick-and-mortar grocery.

Greg Ashton

  • Greg is the founder of GROW and sustainable sock brand Inside Story
  • GROW is a global community of online retail brands, technology providers, investors and agencies. GROW has 20K members, an active Slack group with 4K+ members, and a newsletter with ~17K subscribers.

I’m an alien who came to earth for a day. How would you explain GROW to me?

  1. How do I build a true, authentic community that people want to be in?
  2. How do I create a community where people are interested in what others have to say?
  3. How do I build a community that people get value from and then tell other people about?

How do you define community?

Every business today claims to have a community, but if you’re not actually Fostering Connections between your members, you don’t have a community. You just have an audience.

GROW started as a Slack group with 15 members. Now the Slack has 4K+ members. How did you make that happen?

When you started GROW what milestones did you set for yourself?

What was it like to throw the first GROW live event?

As your community scales, how do you ensure it keeps its value and intention?

  1. Is this person an expert in a particular area?
  2. Do they have a strong or different opinion?
  3. Is this person shaking things up?
  4. Is this person adding value to the world of e-comm?

What do the next 12 months look like for GROW?

Mattie Ellis

  • Mattie is the Head of Brand Partnerships at Pop Up Grocer and she runs her own consultancy for emerging CPG brands.

How does Pop Up Grocer (AKA PUG) define community?

Does PUG work with brands that already have a strong community?

I’ve noticed a serious increase in attention to launch strategy, given the competition in CPG. From crowdfunding to celebrity endorsements, brands seem to be getting increasingly creative and community-minded at earlier stages.

How does PUG retain a loyal community as a pop-up?

What do the next 12 months look like for PUG?



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