The business idea was to prepare high quality, healthy ready meals, deliver them to consumers’ homes in a short time and keep all their properties and taste unchanged when reheated in the microwave. You have to work.
That minimal viable product They did it in their own kitchen, the same one they shared with three other students in an apartment in Madrid. They would also be responsible for issuing the stews permit or not. After passing the test, the next challenge was to package and preserve the food correctly. This was the first investment involving the purchase of a small packaging machine €180 What have you got Efren Alvarez after passing the competition master chef.
It took three months of testing to come up with the concept of cook & chill (Cold Line Cooking), which consists in cooking the product, packaging it while still hot and rapidly lowering its temperature to minimize the proliferation of microorganisms. The system didn’t apply to all dishes, so they applied the technique of cold packing and then pasteurizing the food to others. They received the first orders and took care of the logistics themselves in order to obtain information directly from the consumer.
Successful product but impossible to start a business from home infrastructure. Efrén Álvarez quits his job as a chartered accountant at PwC and Andre Casal, the other shareholder, leaves his position as CFO in a textile company. Between the two, they manage to reunite €50,000 They buy machinery, including a €9,000 packaging machine, and they rent a warehouse off the M30 in Madrid. This is where they now spend most of their time preparing dishes, on the premise that they will be reheated in the microwave. “We calculated the impact of this device on its properties in order to maximally preserve the product’s organoleptic properties,” says Andrés.
Another of their practices is to calculate and measure everything that they have studied business and management for a reason. They are subject to what is called in French mise en place, that is, doing all the work in advance, “which allows the kitchen to have most elements of a dish ready and only finish cooking the main product before serving it on the plate”. Efrén learned this during his internship in a haute cuisine restaurant.
To create the menus they used a survey conducted in Google Docs, menus that are renewed every week on their website. You buy groceries in a medium-quality supermarket; Each dish, averaging €5.80, contains a 500 gram portion, lasts 10 days in the fridge and must be cooked in the microwave to achieve perfect cooking. Orders from an amount of 20 € to be transferred can be placed on Wednesdays and Wednesdays until midnight single delivery It takes place on Sundays between 6pm and 10:30pm, although they usually limit the time slot to two hours.
like a mother
You have perfected it Packaging and they’ve set aside the logistics, which they delegate to a refrigerated trucking company, to focus on what really interests them: “cooking with a mother’s care and the technique of a haute cuisine restaurant.”
They are already receiving orders from all over Spain and although they have only been in business for a few months they are confident that this year they will achieve sales of €120,000.