Bobby Brannigan co-founded San Diego-based Mercato in 2015 to give independent grocery stores a way to compete online. Through its easy-to-use platform of marketing, e-commerce and service tools, Mercato today partners with more than 750 independently owned stores across the country to offer same-day delivery of high-quality groceries and specialty foods. Brannigan, who grew up working in his dad’s neighborhood grocery store in Brooklyn, is bent on helping independents capitalize on inherent strengths and focus on strategies that bring down costs and increase sales. A lifelong entrepreneur, Brannigan founded and bootstrapped ValoreBooks during his sophomore year of college. It became one of the largest online textbook marketplaces, and it was later acquired by SimpleTuition, a student-lending website. Never forgetting his small-business roots, Brannigan started Mercato to help independent grocers like his father.