Just Add Cooking Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

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CONTACT:

Kristen Elworthy
kristen@sevenhillscommunications.com
978 590 0442

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

JUST ADD COOKING LAUNCHES CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN TO MAKE
LOCAL FOOD ACCESSIBLE THROUGH CUSTOMIZED MEAL PLANS

WeFunder Campaign Will Allow Supporters to Become Investors for As Little as $100

 

BOSTON–Just Add Cooking, New England’s only local meal kit company, is launching a WeFunder campaign to raise $300,000 towards their goal of developing an increasingly personalized meal kit that makes local food accessible to their customers. The campaign will allow Just Add Cooking supporters to invest in the company starting at $100, helping it meet its mission of supporting the local food economy while also providing convenient meal options to customers.

The WeFunder campaign is now in preview mode and will launch officially on October 8. Supporters can begin making investments now. More details can be found at Just Add Cooking’s WeFunder profile at www.wefunder.com/just.add.cooking.

Just Add Cooking will use the investment to expand their service in the Northeast and introduce a second-generation, highly personalized meal solution platform powered by AI. The company is developing a crowd-sourced meal solutions platform that goes beyond a traditional meal kit. Dietitians, chefs and food bloggers will provide a wide selection of plans and Just Add Cooking will foster a local product marketplace that will allow artisans and food producers to connect with consumers.

Just Add Cooking’s proprietary technology platform will create a personalized and seamless experience for customers to buy and use local ingredients and use them in a way that makes sense for their lifestyle. Options will include traditional dinners, batch cooking plans, ready-made meals and kids’ lunches. These features will join the new products that Just Add Cooking has launched in the past year: a partnership with Roche Bros. to bring meal kits to retail stores and a marketplace of locally-sourced add-on items that customers can add to their meal kit deliveries.

These product innovations position Just Add Cooking to take an even stronger position in the meal kit industry. Currently, the company exceeds industry benchmarks, with an average order of $92 as compared to $57 for Blue Apron, and 26% retention as compared to an industry standard of 13%. Just Add Cooking triples the first-year average spend of national meal kits, with an average of $1,862 per customer. The company was recently named Boston magazine Best of Boston – Meal-Kit Delivery. Just Add Cooking currently has 700 subscribers and and retail meal kits in 13 stores.

“Just Add Cooking started in 2013 as a local meal kit company with the goal of making customers’ lives easier. In talks with thousands of customers and hundreds of local producers over the year, we have recognized that Just Add Cooking’s service goes even deeper: we provide a connection between local producers and customers and an opportunity to nourish the community,” said Jan Leife, founder and president of Just Add Cooking.

“In our interactions with customers, we have come to understand that dinner is not “one size fits all,” he continued. “This campaign will allow customers and supporters to join us in expanding our service beyond being a meal kit company into creating a local food system for the future, meeting customers where they need us and bringing people together over delicious dinners cooked with ingredients they can be proud of.”

Anyone can invest in Just Add Cooking for a minimum investment of $100, for which they’ll own a real stake in the company.

“We are not just investors in Just Add Cooking, but customers ourselves,” said Lisa Sebesta, a founder and managing partner at Fresh Source Capital, which is an investor in Just Add Cooking. “We’ve been involved with the company for over three years, and have continuously been impressed with Jan and the rest of the team in how they’ve managed through a very competitive environment. They’ve done it by maintaining the highest standards and always improving their product and service.”

For more information or to invest, visit Just Add Cooking’s WeFunder profile at www.wefunder.com/just.add.cooking.

About Just Add Cooking

Based in Boston, Just Add Cooking is New England’s only meal kit delivery company. Just Add Cooking sources and creates sustainable meal kits consisting of fresh, pre-measured, and high quality ingredients from New England that are carefully packed in a box and delivered directly to your home. For more information, visit  www.justaddcooking.com. To view Just Add Cooking’s WeFunder profile visit https://wefunder.com/just.add.cooking.

Delivery Day Changed to Saturday

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After surveying our customers, we are moving our weekly meal kit delivery date to Saturdays. This change beings on October 13th. The meal planner has been updated with Saturday delivery dates. The deadline to skip, cancel, and make menu selections will now be TUESDAY at noon.

Please note, due to this change, there will be no deliveries on Sunday October 7 or Monday October 8th. If you have already selected your meals for this day, please know these selections have been pushed to the October 13th delivery. You may visit your online meal planner to review the changes.

This change is a part of our growth strategy here at Just Add Cooking. This move to a new packing facility will ultimately increase our ability to provide a higher quality product along with more personalized meal solutions. We are actually working on a more personalized meal kit service right now that will give you exactly what you want each week. Stay tuned for more exciting news about this new service – you’ll be hearing from us soon!

We expect that our new packing facility will be able to offer you a fresher and more accurate meal kit–we have high standards and we know you do too!

As always, feel free to get in touch with any questions. You can reach us at customersupport@justaddcooking.com. Thank you!

 

Local Ingredients for the Week of 8/19/18

Cuban Pork & Yellow Rice featuring local ingredients from Fresh Box Farms, Pete's Greens, Kitchen Garden Farm & The Spice Mill

Cuban Pork & Yellow Rice featuring local ingredients from Fresh Box Farms, Pete’s Greens, Kitchen Garden Farm & The Spice Mill

Each week, we strive to include as many local ingredients in our meal kits as possible. This often means we source ingredients just a few days before delivery. If you’re a regular customer, you’ve seen our lists of local ingredients in your box letters. Now, we’ll be publishing the list each week as we source. Please note: ingredient sources are subject to change due to last-minute availability!

  • Baby Spinach from Fresh Box Farms in Millis, MA – Cuban Pork and Yellow Rice
  • Organic Green Bell Pepper from Pete’s Greens in Waterbury, VT – Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese
  • Organic Cucumber from Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland, MA – Lentil Fattoush
  • Organic Easter Egg Radishes from Pete’s Greens in Waterbury, VT- Cuban Pork and Yellow Rice
  • Organic Japanese Eggplant from Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland, MA – Thai Curry with Black Rice
  • Organic Heirloom Tomatoes from Queen’s Greens in Amherst, MA – Lentil Fattoush
  • Shrimp from Red’s Best in Boston, MA – Southwest Shrimp Tacos with Lime Crema
  • Goat Cheese from Vermont Creamery in Websterville, VT – Poached Chicken with Haricots Verts
  • Monterey Jack Cheese from Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT – Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese
  • Sour Cream from Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT – Southwest Shrimp Tacos with Lime Crema
  • Pita from Middle East Bakery in Lawrence, MA – Lentil Fattoush
  • Chili Powder from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT – Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese
  • Cumin from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT – Cuban Pork and Yellow Rice
  • Ras el Hanout from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT – Sweet Potato and Chickpea Tagine
  • Southwest Seasoning from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT – Southwest Shrimp Tacos with Lime Crema
  • Turmeric from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT – Cuban Pork and Yellow Rice
  • Sriracha from Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland, MA – Cuban Pork and Yellow Rice

Local Ingredients for the Week of 8/5/18

Five Spice Pork Tacos from Just Add Cooking, featuring local ingredients from Next Barn Over Farm, The Spice Mill & Vermont Tortilla Company.

Five Spice Pork Tacos from Just Add Cooking, featuring local ingredients from Next Barn Over Farm, The Spice Mill & Vermont Tortilla Company.

Each week, we strive to include as many local ingredients in our meal kits as possible. This often means we source ingredients just a few days before delivery. If you’re a regular customer, you’ve seen our lists of local ingredients in your box letters. Now, we’ll be publishing the list each week as we source. Please note: ingredient sources are subject to change due to last-minute availability!

  • Organic Carrots from Next Barn Over in Hadley, MA. – Quinoa Fried “Rice”, Five Spice Pork Tacos
  • Organic Collard Greens from Harlow Farm in Westminster, VT. – Shrimp Po’ Boy
  • Organic Basil from Green Mountain Harvest in Waitsfield, VT. – Peach Panzanella Salad
  • Organic Dill from The Kitchen Garden in Sunderland, MA. – Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash
  • Organic Scallions from The Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland, MA. – Beef Teriyaki
  • Organic Shiitake Mushrooms from Mousam Valley Mushrooms in Springvale, ME. – Quinoa Fried “Rice”
  • Cage-Free Eggs from Maple Meadow Farm in Barre, VT. – Quinoa Fried “Rice”
  • Fresh Mozzarella from Mozzarella House in Peabody, MA. – Peach Panzanella Salad
  • Sour Cream from Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT. – Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash, Aloo Matar Paneer
  • Ciabatta from Pain D’Avignon in Hyannis, MA. – Peach Panzanella Salad
  • Hot Dog Rolls from Pain D’Avignon in Hyannis, MA. – Shrimp Po’ Boy
  • Creole Spice Mix from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Shrimp Po’ Boy
  • Five Spice from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Five Spice Pork Tacos
  • Hot Paprika from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash
  • Sesame Seeds from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Five Spice Pork Tacos
  • Tandoori Seasoning from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Aloo Matar Paneer
  • Corn Tortillas from Vermont Tortilla Co. in Shelburne, VT. – Five Spice Pork Tacos

Just Add Cooking demo stores schedule!

Just Add Cooking meal kits are now available in select Roche Bros., Brothers Marketplace and Sudbury Farms, right in the refrigerated section!

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  • The convenience of a meal kit, in stores for quick pick-up
  • Get dinner on the table in 15 to 30 minutes
  • Includes fresh veggies, proteins and everything you need, sourced from our favorite local farmers and vendors

Our team has been in the stores sampling the meals and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. We’ve loved meeting our fans and friends, so please stop by to say hello!

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Visit us at a store near you!

Roche Bros. – Downtown Crossing
Thursday, May 17 (5pm-7pm)
Tuesday, May 22 (5pm-7pm)
Wednesday, May 23 (5pm-7pm)
Thursday, May 24 (5pm-7pm)
Wednesday, May 30 (5pm-7pm)
Thursday, May 31 (5pm-7pm)Roche Bros. – Natick
Thursday, May 17 (5pm-7pm)
Sunday, May 20 (5pm-7pm)
Thursday, May 31 (5pm-7pm)
Sunday, June 2 (11 am to 3 pm)

Roche Bros. – Millis
Thursday, May 17 (5pm-7pm)
Friday, May 18 (5pm-7pm)
Wednesday, May 23 (5pm-7pm)
Thursday, May 24 (5pm-7pm)
Thursday, May 31 (5pm-7pm)
Friday, June 1 (5pm-7pm)
Sunday, June 3 (1pm-3pm)

Roche Bros. – Wellesley
Saturday, May 19 (11am-2pm)
Monday, May 21 (4:30pm-6pm)
Sunday, June 3 (12pm-3pm)Roche Bros. – Westwood
Thursday, May 17 (4:30-7pm)
Monday, May 21 (4:30-7pm)
Thursday, May 31 (4:30-7pm)
Friday, June 1 (4:30-7pm)

Roche Bros. – West Roxbury
Saturday, May 19 (12pm-2pm)
Sunday, May 20 (12pm-2pm)
Monday, May 21 (4pm-6pm)
Friday, June 1 (4pm-6pm)
Saturday, June 2 (12pm-2pm)

Brothers Marketplace – Medfield
Thursday, May 17 (11am-1pm)
Friday, May 18 (4:30pm-6:30pm)
Saturday, May 19 (11am-1pm)
Thursday, May 24 (4:30pm-6:30pm)
Friday, May 25 (4:30pm-6:30pm)
Thursday, May 31 (4:30pm-6:30pm)
Friday, June 1 (4:30pm-6:30pm)
Brothers Marketplace – Waltham
Friday, May 18 (5pm-7:30pm)
Thursday, May 24 (5pm-7:30pm)
Friday, May 25 (5pm-7:30pm)
Friday, June 1 (5pm to 7:30pm)

Brothers Marketplace – Weston
Tuesday, May 22 (4:30pm-7:30pm)
Wednesday, May 23 (4:30pm-7:30pm)
Tuesday, May 29 (4:30pm-7:30pm)
Wednesday, May 30 (4:30pm-7:30pm)
Thursday, May 31 (4:30pm-7:30pm)

Sudbury Farms – Sudbury
Thursday, May 17 (11:30am-2pm)
Wednesday, May 23 (4pm-6:30pm)
Friday, May 25 (4pm-6:30pm)
Tuesday, May 29 (4pm-6:30pm)
Wednesday, May 30 (4pm-6:30pm)
Friday, June 1 (4pm-6:30pm)

Try some delicious samples of our new meal kits and say hello :-)

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Introducing Just Add Cooking Meal Kits – In-Store at Roche Bros.!

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We started Just Add Cooking to deliver local ingredients for healthy, homemade meals right to our customers’ doors each week. Our goal was to make it as convenient as possible to eat home-cooked dinner made from local ingredients. In recent months, we’ve begun to expand what that looks like. First, we launched our Marketplace, which provides add-on snacks, quick dinner kits and breakfast foods to the dinner ingredients customers can order each week. This week, we’re taking another step: we’re launching our first In-Store Meal Kits, in partnership with local grocer Roche Bros.!

What is it?

Our Roche Bros. grab-and-go meal kits are very similar to what you’re used to in your Just Add Cooking box. We provide a kit with locally sourced ingredients and a simple recipe; you bring it home and cook it in 20 to 30 minutes. Instead of bringing a recipe to the grocery store and hunting down ingredients, or buying a pre-made or frozen meal, we make it easy to pick up everything you need and get going with dinner.

These meal kits start at $9.50 per serving and each kit serves two people. You can buy a single kit for one recipe and one dinner, or pick up a few to have throughout the week.

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Where can I find it?

Just Add Cooking meal kits can be found in the refrigerated section of select Roche Bros., Sudbury Farms and Brothers Marketplace locations. You can find an updated list of locations here.

What recipes are available?

We’re providing some customer favorites for the launch at Roche Bros., including:

  • Asparagus Risotto
  • Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta
  • Beef Stir-Fry
  • Chicken Marsala with Polenta
  • Irish Smoked Haddock Chowder
  • Tandoori Chicken with Roasted Chickpeas

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Do these kits support local farmers?

Just Add Cooking remains committed to supporting New England farmers and artisans, and these kits are no different! You’ll find the freshest New England ingredients available, just as you do in our delivered meal kits. Some local farmers in our Roche Bros. meal kits include:

  • Kinnealey Meats, Brockton, MA
  • Bianco and Sons, Medford, MA
  • Boston Smoked Fish Co., Boston, MA
  • Maria’s Gourmet Pasta, Malden, MA
  • Maine’s Grains, Skowhegan, ME
  • Cabot Creamery, Cabot, ME
  • Sidehill Farm, Hawley, MA
  • Fresh Box Farm, Millis, MA
  • Pete’s Greens, Craftsbury, VT
  • The Kitchen Garden, Sunderland, MA
  • Queen’s Greens, Amherst, MA
  • Atlas Farm, South Deerfield, MA
  • Warner Farm, Sunderland, MA

Whether you’re new to Just Add Cooking or just need a dinner filled in one night of the week, we hope you’ll give our Roche Bros. meal kits a try. Enjoy!

Local Ingredients for the Week of April 22, 2018

 

poachedhuevos-heroEach week, we strive to include as many local ingredients in our meal kits as possible. This often means we source ingredients just a few days before delivery. If you’re a regular customer, you’ve seen our lists of local ingredients in your box letters. Now, we’ll be publishing the list each week as we source. Please note: ingredient sources are subject to change due to last-minute availability!

Featured Vendor

MEM Tea Imports – Watertown, MA

MEM Tea is a local tea purveyor that you may be familiar with, without even knowing it! They supply high-quality tea for many Boston-area restaurants and have a retail store in Davis Square, Somerville. Now, you can get their delicious teas delivered right to your door though our Add-On Marketplace (order directly in your Meal Planner). MEM was founded in 1999 and the products can be purchased either loose leaf or as tea bags.

MEM operates locally but sources tea from the best purveyors from around the world, from China to Crete. Domestically, they source herbals like Elderflower and Chamomile from Karnak Farms, their own farm in Saco, ME. Owner Gilbert Tsang and his team maintain strict sourcing criteria on three pillar principles: (1) Flavor and palatably; (2) good economic value, and (3) brew-ability. More than half of their offerings are custom blends.

This Week’s Local Ingredients

  • Lettuce Mix from Fresh Box Farm in Millis, MA. – Shaken Beef
  • Lettuce Mix from Lef Farm in Loudon, NH. – Pasta alla Puttanesca
  • Organic Shallots from Blue Ox Farm in Enfield, NH. – Shaken Beef
  • Organic Yellow Onions from Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, VT. – Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash, Red Lentil Sloppy Joes with Broccoli Slaw, Poached Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo, Pinto Bean Tostadas
  • Organic Potatoes from Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, VT. – Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash
  • Chorizo from Bianco and Sons in Medford, MA. – Poached Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo
  • New England Caught Fresh Fish from Red’s Best in Boston, MA. – Miso Glazed Fish with Lime Beurre Blanc
  • Butter from Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT. – Miso Glazed Fish with Lime Beurre Blanc, Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash, Shaken Beef
  • Cage-Free Eggs from Maple Meadow Farm in Salisbury, VT. – Poached Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo
  • Monterey Jack Cheese from Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT. – Pinto Bean Tostadas
  • Sour Cream from Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT. – Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash
  • Hamburger Buns from Nashoba Brook Bakery in Concord, MA. – Red Lentil Sloppy Joes with Broccoli Slaw
  • Crushed Red Pepper from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Pasta alla Puttanesca
  • Cumin from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Pinto Bean Tostadas
  • Paprika from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Hungarian Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash
  • Smoked Paprika from The Spice Mill in Manchester, CT. – Red Lentil Sloppy Joes with Broccoli Slaw
  • Corn Tortillas from Vermont Tortilla Company in Shelburne, VT. – Poached Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo, Pinto Bean Tostadas
  • Fresh Spaghetti from Maria’s Gourmet Pasta in Malden, MA. – Pasta alla Puttanesca

Help Decide What’s Next for the Add-On Marketplace!

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We’ve recently begun offering our customers an Add-On Marketplace, full of local grab ‘n go items, snacks, fresh fruits and veggies, sides and more to help you solve meals all week long! These items can be added to your meal kit order, and we want to know which local items YOU would like to see next. Take our 5-minute survey to add your voice, and we’ll send you a $5 gift to be used in the Marketplace next time you order!

Just Add Cooking Add-On Marketplace

 

Just Add Cooking has introduced an Add-On Marketplace! Check out our curated selection of delicious local products, from veggies and proteins to quick lunch or dinner kits and pantry staples. You can order your Add-Ons when you select your recipes right in your Just Add Cooking Meal Planner.

Here’s the current selection:

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Breakfast / Snack Pack
88 Acres Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt bar,
Green Mountain Creamery Greek yogurt,
Carlson Orchards Apples
$21.99
FreshZen & Salmon Kit
10 0z salmon, 1/2 cup FreshZen Ginger Scallion Sauce, 16 oz broccoli florets
$18.99
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88 Acres Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Bar
$2.49
88 Acres Apple & Ginger Bar
$2.49
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88 Acres Triple Berry Bar
$2.49
Green Mountain Greek Yogurt
$7.99
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Vegetable Soup Kit
16 oz vegetable broth, 1/4 cup orzo,
diced vegetables
$11.99
Chicken Soup Kit
10 oz chicken breast, 16 oz chicken broth,
1/4 cup orzo, diced vegetables
$15.99
cauliflower broccoli
Cauliflower Florets
$5.99
Broccoli Florets
$5.99
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Five Way Foods Vegetable Broth
$5.99
Five Way Foods Fish Broth
$7.99
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Five Way Foods Chicken Broth
$7.99
FreshZen Ginger Scallion Sauce
$7.99
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Pain D’Avignon Multigrain Bread
$6.49
Pain D’Avignon Sourdough Bread
$5.49
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Stone and Skillet English Muffins
$5.99
Vermont Creamery Butter
$5.99
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North Country Smokehouse Bacon
$11.99
Pete & Gerry’s Certified Organic Eggs
$6.49
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Sweet Potato Fries
$6.99
Broccoli Florets
$5.99
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Coleman Natural,GMO & Antibiotic Free Pork
$3.99
Allen Family Farms All-Natural,
GMO & Antibiotic Free Chicken Breast
$5.99
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Niman Ranch All-Natural, GMO & Antibiotic Free Ground Beef
$5.99
Red’s Best Maine Raised Salmon
$9.99

Order Your Add-Ons Through Your Meal Planner Now!

An interview with Just Add Cooking’s CGO Amanda Mayo

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What is a CGO you ask? It’s a Chief Gastronomic Officer! And that’s what Amanda Mayo is at Just Add Cooking. She is also the company’s Spokesperson. Outside work, you can find her in the kitchen with her two tiny partners in crime, AKA her kids, Audrey and Henry. She has a background in both the academic and culinary sides of the food world. As a professor she taught in Boston University’s Gastronomy Masters program, and in the meal kit industry she co-founded Pantry, a meal kit style shop that once operated in Brookline. Not many days go by that she hasn’t brought a bag full of goodies for the staff to snack on. It’s all about the food! We sat down with her (over a meal of course) and chatted about Just Add Cooking and being an entrepreneur in Boston’s food world. Keep reading to get to know her better.

 

Why did you join JAC?

I met Jan before joining the company when I was working at Pantry. He kept trying to bring me on and I kept refusing [laughs]. Finally, I left my partnership at Pantry and joined him at Just Add Cooking and I am so glad I did. I am very passionate about this company and everything that we are doing. I also love the team that I work with. Jan is thoughtful. He is not the kind of leader that talks at someone, he lets you make your own decisions.

What is it like being a part of the entrepreneurial community in the city of Boston?

For all of its old ways, Boston is a city of innovation. People are thinking outside the box here. It’s a big college town. The kids who are not from here fall in love with the city and have to start something. It’s hard being an entrepreneur anywhere, but there is a great support system here.

What is the past and future of meal kits in your eyes?

Although meal kits have been on the market in the U.S. for over five years now, the industry is still in the nascent stage. There has always been innovation in America when it comes to getting food into the home. People are always looking for an easier, more convenient way to get food into their houses. This is just another step in that evolution of bringing food into people’s homes. Will it go away? I don’t think so. There will always be an evolution of how food comes into the home and I think meal kits are here to stay. That being said, I think that the meal kits with the best practices when it comes to sourcing and sustainability, such as Just Add Cooking, will be the most sustainable over time.

Tell me what it’s like being the face of JAC.

I have always been a talker. I was in my first speech competition at five years old and I watched my grandmother become became the highest ranking telephone operator in Nebraska. She believed that the way you speak and present yourself is the most important thing, and I agree. I’ve always been a horrible actor but I can communicate anything. When I was on the debate team growing up I learned to talk to anyone. What I like about being at JAC is that I get to do just that — one day I am talking to millionaires and the next I am talking to fishermen.

I get to communicate something I believe in to a wide range of people. Dinner is hard. I have two kids. I’m in the 2% if the population with the skill set of throwing food together, and I know that if I am having this dilemma, other people are too. I am not just a spokesperson for radio and newspapers, I am the spokesperson for building relationships.

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What is the significance of being a part of a company that supports local farmers and producers?

Our farmers and producers aren’t just vendors, they are our partners. We want success for us both. Ultimately, we are doing this to make a better food system. We want to help them, so to us it’s important to spend time with them. Time, energy, money, it’s all worth it.

How do you follow through on sustainable practices in your own life?

Most of the time, especially in the office, I drink out of mason jars. I also keep a cloth napkin at my desk always at the ready, since I’m always snacking on something. I was raised by an immigrant mother, so to me, sustainability is not an initiative, it is part of who I am. Growing up we canned, raised animals, and grew our own food. We don’t waste food in my family. My husband is an immigrant and we don’t believe in waste.

What kind of relationship do your kids have with food and how have you tried to shape that? How is JAC involved?

I’ve always had my kids in the kitchen. I gave Audrey her first nylon chefs knife when she was two and when Henry’s in the kitchen he gets a bowl of ingredients and is always on a stool next to me. I wish I had more time with my kids. Every minute I’m at my job I’m missing my kids, and when I’m with my kids I miss work. This is the burden of a working mom.

At home, where I have to do mundane tasks I like to include my kids so that we can turn it into quality time together, such as cooking. It’s important to get kids into the tactile sensation of cooking. Audrey, who is almost four, can make almost a whole meal kit alone. It takes her longer than 30 minutes, of course. She made the Jambalaya recipe all by herself.

When it comes to Just Add Cooking, Audrey sits on my lap and picks the next week’s meals and she also picks one meal to cook herself. Henry brings the box into the kitchen and Audrey unpacks the bags and names ingredients. This is a great learning activity that incorporates spelling, recognition, texture, and counting. Cooking with kids is not just about getting them to eat better it is about teaching them skills, textures, etc. When kids cook food they want to eat it, it gives them a sense of pride. To me, cooking with kids is one of the best parts of this company!

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What is the first meal kit recipe you ever developed professionally? What is your favorite JAC recipe?

The first meal kit recipe I developed was Miso Glazed Fish with Lime Beurre Blanc. Meal kit recipe writing is a completely different animal than any other kind of recipe writing and developing. There are a lot of parameters to be aware of and work within. Generally, recipe writing is an art but also like writing music, it’s never fully original. My favorite recipe, which is also a family favorite in my house, is the Poblano Pork Stew. My husband, David, didn’t even put this meal in the fridge when it arrived last time, he made it right away. Audrey gets to choose her birthday meal every year and she asked for this stew for her 3rd birthday!

Follow Amanda on Instagram and Twitter!