JOE meets the Irish start-up feeding healthy meals to busy Dubliners 5 years ago

JOE meets the Irish start-up feeding healthy meals to busy Dubliners

Cooking a healthy meal can be tough if you’re a busy go-getter.

But it doesn’t have to be, according to the guys behind to DropChef.

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JOE recently caught up with Ryan Scott from DropChef to find out more about how the fledgling start-up is helping to feed busy Dubliners healthy meals, minus the fuss.

JOE: So what exactly is a DropChef?

Ryan Scott: DropChef is the smartest way to cook a healthy dinner during the week. We deliver all the ingredients you need in exactly the right quantity, along with a simple step-by-step recipe right to your door.

Every dish is easy to cook and can be done in approximately 30 minutes. For every meal we deliver to you, we donate one meal to a child in need – We call this Cook-One, Feed-One.

Our dishes are crafted by MasterChef duo Tamarin Blackmur and Brian Topping. With 5 new dishes on the menu each week, there’s always something new and exciting to try.

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Irish MasterChef contestants Brian Topping and Tamarin Blackmur - pic via RTÉ

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JOE: When did the idea for DropChef come about?

RS: My business partner Roman is passionate about food and in his kitchen we were using a lot of local, seasonal ingredients from Irish artisan producers. At the same time, I was pursuing my passion for social enterprise and trying to find a sustainable solution in an area that would have a significant impact.

So the idea for DropChef is simply a combination of our two passions. It was a concept that we kept circling back to and it was constantly simmering away in our minds. But there was one moment for me that pushed the idea for DropChef to boiling point.

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Photo via Alison Healy

 

I remember it so clearly, it was a Tuesday night and I had just worked a full day at my office job and had even managed to squeeze in a short session at the gym. I was tired and hungry, but still feeling optimistic because I’d got a lot done. But that optimism just drained away when I opened the fridge at home and realised there was nothing there!

After a long day at work I just wanted a healthy dinner to look forward to and instead I was eating an awful frozen pizza. Standing there, in that moment, looking at that empty fridge it became so obvious to me that we needed to start DropChef and we needed to do it right now because I didn’t want to come home and have that terrible feeling again.

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JOE: Who is the DropChef aimed at?

RS: DropChef is for busy people that want to be smart about how they cook their dinner during the week.

If you don’t mind compromising on the quality of your food and if you don’t care that you’re eating something grossly unhealthy, than DropChef is NOT for you.

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Photo via Alison Healy

 

Instead, if you want to cook a healthy dinner and eat real food when you get home from work during the week, DropChef is simply the smartest way to do that.

JOE: Is DropChef aimed at cutting out consumer’s weekly food shop?

RS: We aren’t eliminating the weekly food shop, what we are doing is taking the stress off having to do that shop under pressure because you need a dinner that evening. This means that our customers can pick up the teabags, bottle of wine and shampoo at a more suitable time that suits them.

JOE: How many people are behind the company?

RS: The direct DropChef team is about ten strong today, however, there are about a hundred people who have had a significant influence on DropChef.

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Photo via Alison Healy

 

From our customers to mentors, family and friends, to journalists, other entrepreneurs and even suppliers. In my opinion these are the people who are really behind DropChef.

JOE: What has been your biggest business challenge to date? Have you overcome it yet? If so, how?

RS: Our biggest challenge right now is getting our message and story out to more people. We have overcome a few hurdles and are ready now to deliver to the community today.

JOE: What are your top three tips for anyone thinking of starting their own business?

RS: I am just going to give one piece of advice, as it should be weighted triple.

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Find something you are truly passionate about, something you can justify pouring everything you have into. This passion along with the confidence you have in your mission will be the only shred of comfort that you consistently have along the journey you have embarked on.

JOE: What are your plans for 2015?

RS: We are still so young so our priorities are to continue to grow and offer a premium level of service to our family of customers that have been kind enough to support an Irish start up like us.

JOE: Do you have any funny stories from your time creating DropChef?

RS: This has actually just happened over the last week! One of our best customers that has been with us from the start actually cooked his girlfriend a DropChef dinner on their first date.

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Photo via Alison Healy

 

When we heard this we were really happy and as time went on he began to order for two people.

Just yesterday we found out that he proposed to her over dinner (AND SHE SAID YES!!!). We can’t wait until they are ordering for three or maybe four.

JOE: What has been the biggest surprise to you while starting up?

RS: The biggest surprise has been the incredible amount of support that our family and friends have given us as well as our customers. We are truly blessed to have launched in such a great environment.

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Photo via Alison Healy

JOE: Thanks very much for talking to us, Ryan.

RS: Thanks, JOE.

To find out more about how DropChef can take the stress of cooking a daily dinner out of your life head over to their website here.

Don’t forget you can always get in touch with the guys on Facebook and Twitter.

Photography via Alison Healy