San Diego entrepreneurs bringing sustainable seafood and packaged meals to local doorsteps
PureFish, In Good Company and The Plot unveiled innovative new programs this month
This month, two San Diego entrepreneurs launched direct-to-customer frozen meal companies that aim to replicate the sit-down restaurant experience at a time when diners are eating nearly all of their meals at home. And Oceanside’s The Plot restaurant has also introduced a reusable food packaging concept for take-home meals.
PureFish, a seafood company selling crates of pre-trimmed frozen portions of fish and shellfish on oven-ready trays, began taking orders for its mixed-seafood boxes on Monday. And In Good Company, which launched Dec. 7, collaborates with San Diego restaurants to prepare and home-deliver frozen family-style entrees in ready-to-cook stainless steel containers.
PureFish was launched by San Diego resident Shahin Mobine, a fishing industry veteran who has been in the sustainable seafood industry for several years. His company has worked closely with ocean fishing companies as well as aquafarms in Scotland and Wales to market all-natural, free-swimming salmon, trout and other species.
PureFish has launched with three prix-fixe box options. Each box is $250 and contains a mix of roughly 6 pounds of fish frozen in two-serving portions. The Omega Box includes high-omega-3-oil seafood, including locally caught Santa Barbara black cod and San Diego-caught Pacific albacore and saltwater stripped bass, Pacific cobia, as well as aquafarmed Arctik-brand salmon and Skye Steelhead ocean trout from the United Kingdom. The Rainbow Box has some of these items plus items popular in sushi, like wild Mexican jumbo shrimp, wild USA scallops and wild line-caught ahi tuna. And the Whitefish Box is a mix of the milder-tasting white-flesh seafood listed above, plus wild Antarctic Chilean sea bass.
The company will ship orders on Mondays to Wednesdays, with the goal of delivery within two days of purchase. For information, visit purefish.com.
In Good Company was launched by Ashleigh Ferran, an advocate for eliminating the use of single-use food and beverage containers. Her former company, Keko Box, made dishwasher-safe reusable packaging. For her new firm, In Good Company, the part-time San Diego resident is packaging frozen meals from local restaurants in reusable stainless steel tubs with latching tops.
For the first “drop” of pre-ordered meals, Ferran worked with five local restaurants — Juniper & Ivy, Galaxy Taco, Ranch 45, Viewpoint Brewing Co. and Luckybolt, which are preparing entrée portions for two to three diners. Options include shepherd’s and pot pies, braised beef stew, Brandt beef lasagna and braised pork and beans. The first planned shipment of In Good Company’s pre-ordered meals sold out in just three days.
Ferran said the pre-frozen packaged meals, priced at $35, return a good profit margin to restaurants, which have been stung this year by the 25 percent to 30 percent cut of sales they pay to third-party delivery services. There’s also no food waste because all of In Good Company sales are through pre-order, she said. Delivery is free with purchase of three or more meals.
The first shipment of meals is scheduled to be delivered to pre-order customers later this week. The next shipment of meals will be on sale Jan. 18 through 23. Besides many of the same restaurant participants from this month, Ferran said she will be adding a seafood dish from Ironside Fish & Oyster, a vegan option from Kindred and a classic French dish from Mille Fleurs/Mister A’s, among others. The new menu will be posted in a few weeks
For details, visit eatigc.com.
The Plot, a plant-based restaurant that opened in Oceanside last February, has introduced a new reusable take-away food container that aligns with its zero-waste ethos.
On Dec. 16, The Plot co-founder and CEO Jessica Waite announced a partnership with San Diego’s reVessel, which makes stainless steel reusable food containers. Customers who order takeout from The Plot can request that their food be packaged in a reVessel container at an additional price of $35. Then, whenever the customer places a new order they can ask for reVessel packaging and can exchange their previous container with the new one at pickup. To encourage adoption of the program, the initial container purchase will include a $15 meal coupon.
“Our shared commitment to finding real-life solutions to environmental waste and promoting community and global health brought us together,” Jessica Waite said of the connection she and her husband, Plot chef and co-founder Davin Waite, made with reVessel co-founders Jessica and Eddie Bell. “We’d long been trying to solve the problem of takeout packaging waste, and while we were using biodegradable to-go containers, we weren’t satisfied; we were still producing waste. When we learned about reVessel, it was a resounding, ‘yes!’ This is what we’d been waiting for.”
Pam Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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