Daniel McQuade and his partner Paul Neves founded their New Bedford, Massachusetts, startup KnowSeafood, a direct-to-consumer seafood company, at the height of the COVID pandemic.

It was an unusual situation to have several years where consumers largely relied on direct-to-consumer businesses, upending long-instilled habits.

"It takes multiple purchases to create a habit, then it becomes a lifestyle," McQuade said of what made those years important for the company's customers.

"What we saw with our business is that customers who initially came in and adapted quickly began to reorder and then increased their order value."