For food businesses to succeed in this pandemic, logistical convenience is a must, especially with all the set limitations. These four brands help make day-to-day chores a breeze.
Chef-designed meal kits
Food Czar founders Czarina Ledesma and Ferdi Salvador turned to their experiences for inspiration when they developed their food tech company’s latest offering.
For Ledesma, it was the challenge of prepping meals every day. Salvador found quiet moments in cooking as a new hobby.
With these ideas combined, and the help of 100 restaurant partners, they developed chef-designed meal kits that people can prepare in the comfort of their own home.
“I found it extra challenging to plan and prep meals while in quarantine, since ingredients are not always available. The meal kit is our easy, convenient and hygienic solution to this dilemma,” says Ledesma.
The ingredients are portioned, lessening kitchen labor as well as food waste.
Best of all, the dishes are items people have already come to love: Kung Pao Chicken of Zong, Corned Lechon of Elarz, Pork Hot Basil of Thai restaurant Nara, Roast Pork Rice of Hawker Chan and the Kare-Kare Rice with Binagoongan Tokwa of Cyma. It takes less than half an hour to enjoy these dishes based on the easy instructions in the kits.
Food Czar, tel. 0947-1577255
Online baking store
The wedding industry was also hit hard by the pandemic. Photographer Jaja Samaniego, florist Pat Pastelero and baker Joyce Urieta teamed up to create the Harvest Basket, an online grocery offering baking essentials.
“We saw during the lockdown that there was a need for an easy and convenient way to get ingredients, as people couldn’t leave their homes,” says Pastelero. “We’re lucky that our commissary and warehouse have live-in staff and so we are able to make this all work safely during the quarantine.”
It’s as easy as visiting their site, clicking on items, checking out and paying. The items will be delivered to your doorstep. Their pantry is loaded—from butter, eggs, chocolate chips and instant yeast to baking tools like pans and molds.
“There was a lack of online delivery service offering premium quality meats and seafood, and gourmet food selections and guilty pleasures such as charcuterie, wine and such,” says Nicole Co.
With Jameson Ong, Co started Delidrop, a specialty grocery store. “Everyone was building websites focusing purely on one category. We want to offer a platform for premium goods and also support local brands.”
They have a wide selection, under categories like meat, seafood, deli, beers and spirits and even vegan. There’s Snake River Farms lamb rack, pork for samgyupsal, roasted eel, Black Summer Truffle Chips, De Cecco dry pasta, jamon Iberico, aged cheeses and Beyond Meat Plant-based sausages.
The site includes nonedibles like household items for cleaning, such as dish soap, disinfectant spray and wipes.
They deliver for free for orders above P2,500.
Family food trays
Family-run Carlito’s Catering had been operating since 2003, until the new coronavirus disease halted business. To support their staff, the owners decided to pivot by doing set meals and food trays. It did surprisingly well.
Maxine Marcelino, daughter of Leilani who started the catering business, says: “We wanted to create something for families who are either sick of thinking what to cook, or have no time to cook because they also work from home.”
Their dishes are varied, allowing customers to enjoy different types of cuisines. They have bopis, Bicol express, chicken teriyaki, Korean beef stew, tomato cream pasta with Italian sausage, and fried spareribs. The menu changes every week.
The food trays come in plastic containers and not aluminum trays that get dented during travel.
They also have a range of cakes—red velvet cheesecake, ube brazo de mercedes, chocolate mousse, tiramisu and other baked goods like cheese roll and ensaymada quezo de bola. —CONTRIBUTED