I don’t cook. And by cook, I mean like real cooking. I can grill and get it right sometimes, but I am not a big foodie who can just whip up a Beef Wellington in the kitchen and pair it with the right wine.
I do enjoy eating home cooked meals though, and I do like eating healthy. But it’s hard to fit that into my schedule. I’m guessing most people are like me. I don’t have time to cook, but I don’t want to eat out at a restaurant every night, or use a service like Blue Apron, which still requires a time commitment, or a restaurant delivery service like Postmates, which doesn’t usually result in a fresh meal.
The big question is: How do I make a homemade meal without sapping all my energy or sacrificing precious family time?
Enter Ooshma Garg. Ooshma grew up in Texas and most nights her father would cook delicious food for her family as she was growing up. When she moved away from home to go to Stanford, this suddenly stopped and she started eating unhealthy college food. All along, she kept thinking: there has to be a better way.
It is estimated that working parents get only four waking hours of family time each work day. If the satisfaction of cooking a fresh meal takes even an hour of that time, that takes away 1/4th of total family time! Serving reheated restaurant food does not cut it and may leave some parents feeling guilty about not serving fresh meals to their kids.
Ooshma has found a way to address both these issues. Her first attempt at solving this problem was to have individuals in a local neighborhood cook in their home kitchens and then deliver the cooked meals via courier to customers in close proximity. Not surprisingly, this model did not scale very well. Last year, in her quest to serve working parents, Ooshma switched to the current Gobble model. She designed a flow that delivers prepped ingredients tied to recipes so anyone can prepare fresh, delicious meals in around 10 minutes!
Compare that to other food services. In the case of restaurant delivery services, you receive pre-cooked food that needs to be microwaved or reheated so it may not taste fresh. For Blue Apron, the average cooking time is between 45 minutes to an hour.
Unlike Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, Gobble inserts some food prep into its flow. All the ingredients are prepped in Gobble kitchens BEFORE being packaged. This includes marinating the meats, chopping vegetables, preparing delicious sauces and packaging all this (along with an easy to follow three-step recipes) in a refrigerated box for shipping.
Here is how Gobble’s flow looks like in comparison to other players:
The important distinction is that Gobble does not ship “proportioned” raw groceries like Blue Apron/Hello Fresh, nor does it deliver you a fully cooked meal as with restaurant delivery services. By eliminating the food prep time (chopping, marinating, preparing sauces), Gobble is able to save you time while also allowing you to enjoy the accomplishment of preparing a fresh, hot meal.
I have been cooking Gobble’s dinner kits for several weeks now and preparing a healthy meal, rather than eating out or Doordash-ing, has become a fun, shared activity for my wife and me.
Understanding a problem deeply and coming up with a solution is one thing. Figuring out how to solve it in a scalable way is quite another. So, Ooshma and her team set out to create the “Netsuite for the Kitchen”.
Working with Chef Thomas Ricci, a prodigy of Michelin Star chef Michael Mina, they created hundreds of recipes. Then, they A/B tested them with real live customers to get their feedback and to make sure that they could deliver the promise of fresh, healthy outcomes in 10 minutes. Ooshma herself visited several families every week while they cooked a Gobble meal to observe how it worked out in real live situations, so all kinks could be removed. They then parsed each menu down to its ingredient level creating an “inverted tree” structure for each recipe. Then, their “Netsuite for Kitchen” system defines the “build” for each recipe.
For example, the prep process for a Miso Glazed Salmon with Soba Noodles starts at the bottom of this inverted tree with the sauces prepped first, the edamame prepped next, and the salmon prepped and packaged last so all ingredients can be delivered fresh. This flow also helps utilize the kitchens efficiently. Repeat the above with several recipes a week and tens of thousands of dinner kits and you begin to see why technology is needed to deliver quality meal kits on time while minimizing waste and making thousands of busy people into 10-minute dinner heroes!
Gobble is coming at just the right time. The consumer need for this kind of service is overwhelming and it’s reflecting in the growing demand. According to news reports, meal kit startups delivered more than seven million meals this summer, up from nearly nothing three years ago.
We at Trinity looked at quite a few food tech companies in our search for an investment that would be the right fit. Today we are delighted to announce that we are leading Gobble’s Series A financing round with co-investor Andreessen Horowitz and Rohan Oza, CEO of Idea Merchants Capital who has invested & partnered in iconic brands including vitamin water & popchips. Trinity is experienced in eCommerce brands like Zulily, Blue Nile, Dot&Bo and Bulletproof — brands that build strong emotional relationships with their consumers. We are looking forward to seeing Gobble achieve that same connection.
Welcome to the Trinity family, Ooshma and the Gobble team!