Fresh Prep is new service is launching in Vancouver aimed at providing busy people with an easier way to get fresh, healthy food on the dinner table. The company offers a selection of ready-to-cook meals using high quality local ingredients that are delivered right to the customer’s door, and they launch in Vancouver on February 1, 2015.
Dishes like Apple Caramel Pork Chops with Sweet Potato and Squash are on their menu, which features 10 always-available meals priced at $10-12 a portion. Fresh Prep will introduce a duo of seasonal limited-time recipes as well to round out their selection.
In order to provide their customers with ingredients from reputable local sources, such as Avalon Dairy and Maple Hill Farms, Fresh Prep is partnered with a number of farms and distributors throughout greater Vancouver. They do all the legwork, from shopping to chopping, and customers just need to follow the inclosed recipe to create a gourmet meal in 30 minutes or less. Heck, they’ll even throw in the candle if you’re looking to make it a romantic night. Everything is bundled up in safe, but minimal packaging, and customers pick a delivery time between 3:30 and 8 p.m.
Although their delivery area for a la carte orders is limited to within Vancouver proper, they will drop off at workplaces, so if you don’t mind stashing a box of raw ingredients in your office fridge, that doesn’t leave those outside the city limits out of luck.
Falling into that latter category of users, a test drive of their service meant trekking home on Translink with the meal-makings, though it was a breeze to get everything cooked and plated, and the finished product delicious.
Decidedly more affordable than a meal out, and less labour-intensive than doing the whole dinner from scratch, Fresh Prep would be perfect for small dinner parties, date nights in, or for people who want the home-cooked meals with less work.
We talked to Fresh Prep co-founder Husein Rahemtulla to learn more about Fresh Prep, which he launched with partner Dhruv Sood, a fellow UBC grad and fresh food enthusiast.
What inspired you to launch Fresh Prep?
We first came up with the idea in university- we both enjoyed cooking and wanted to make healthy meals but always lacked something- either time, an ingredient, or the ability to get to a grocery store. More often than not, we’d just end up taking the easy way out and grabbing fast food. We thought there had to be a better way and that’s why we started Fresh Prep – to provide an easy option for putting a dinner on the table that’s fast and healthy.
Who is the Fresh Prep customer?
Anyone who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle and cook gourmet meals without all the hassle. To cook a good dinner at home you have to plan out a meal, get to a grocery store, and prep ingredients and people are often simply too busy to make that happen. We think there are a lot of people who could benefit and save a ton of time, whether they’re busy students or professionals, amateur chefs, exhausted parents, or just a romantic wanting to do something fun and thoughtful with their special someone.
Tell us about your recipes. How was the menu created and tested?
With food being such an integral part of our lives, recipe ideas were not in short supply. We consulted with a variety of professionals – chefs, nutritionists, prep-cooks, farmers, and even a doctor, and focused on recipes that were tasty, healthy, and appealed to a variety of pallets. Keeping true to Vancouver’s international food culture, we added delicious dishes from all parts of the world that could be made from local, farm fresh ingredients.
Once we had a shortlist, we went through the gluttonous process of cooking and eating day and night for a solid month. What we were left with is our set menu which features healthy, delicious and easy to cook meals as well as an array of options for our rotating weekly specials.
What’s your favourite Fresh Prep menu item?
This is the toughest question. It’s a battle between the aroma from the honey Dijon chicken thighs with the root vegetable hash, and the leafy freshness in combination with the gooey comfort of the baked Italian sausage and kale penne with the cucumber mint salad.
Do you have plans to expand your delivery area into more of Metro Vancouver?
Definitely! We plan to bring Fresh Prep to all of Vancouver. We don’t see Fresh Prep as a niche service or a fun new idea. We see Fresh Prep as the future of quick and convenient home cooking and we’d like for all of the lower mainland to enjoy it. Actually, although a la carte orders will be restricted to Vancouver only, our subscription plans will be available to all of Vancouver, North and West Van as well as Burnaby when we launch in February!
Featured image via Fresh Prep