A popular Vancouver-based meal kit delivery service will soon be available to residents in the Okanagan.
Fresh Prep will be available to residents in Penticton, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Vernon as soon as May 6. The service is currently established in the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver Island.
Expanding into the rest of B.C. is something the company has been working toward, according to co-founder Becky Brauer.
“We’ve had comments from people in the Interior about when they’re going to be able to receive our products, so it was definitely encouraging to us and it motivated us to make the move as soon as possible,” said Brauer, who explained that because of Fresh Prep’s delivery model, it takes the company longer to expand than similar services.
|Fresh Prep utilizes local delivery drivers, so their weekly meal kits arrive to subscribers in a reusable cooler bag. (Photo submitted)|
Meal kit delivery services are a growing industry, with popular brands such as HelloFresh and Chefs Plate shipping packages of ingredients weekly to subscribers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Fresh Prep has worked to set itself apart by focusing on sourcing local ingredients, and trying to be environmentally-friendly in terms of packaging and delivery, Brauer said.
“All the big players in the industry have the same sort of model, so they all continually wrap everything in plastic and then package it in a big cardboard box and actually ship it through the mail,” she said. “Fresh Prep actually has our own fleet of delivery drivers, so with every community that we expand to, we hire local delivery drivers there and they actually pick up cooler bags from us and deliver them.
“Because it is a subscription service and we have committed drivers, it actually allows us that extra step that the other meal delivery services don’t have, which is the ability to collect back the cooler bag packaging and all of the plastic as well.”
Brauer said Fresh Prep ensures all the plastic it collects is properly recycled and that cooler bags are reused to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
“Subscribers just put the packaging back into a paper bag and pack everything into the cooler bag, then we pick it up and do all the work recycling it every week,” she said. “So we’re just doing the work for you.”
With the service expanding into the Okanagan, Brauer said they are already making connections with local growers and producers who want to be a part of the service.
“We have a number of local suppliers here in Vancouver and our chefs actually work to create a menu so that we’re able to use as many local ingredients as possible during whatever season,” she said. “Last year we did a really awesome collaboration with B.C. blueberry farmers for example, so it’s a really good and easy way for people to get local ingredients that you could also get at your local farmers’ market.
“We’ve already been in talks with a few different [Okanagan] producers, in fact we have a few wineries who have been interested in doing collaborations as well. So we’re always looking to source ingredients from the city that we’re in.”
For more information about Fresh Prep, visit www.freshprep.ca.
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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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