It feels like 29 October 2008 all over again. But this time instead of loading a food truck hoping to sell 20 sandwiches at MIT I’m launching something completely new for Clover: At Home Meal Boxes.
Available for order starting today: Clover Meal Boxes include 3 full meals, 1 hearty snack, and 2 desserts. You can order a box sized for 2-people ($85) or 4 people ($140). If you’re dining solo, a lot of the components freeze beautifully. Pick-up or delivery available Saturdays and Tuesdays. Choose your favorite starting point:
Each box includes 3 full meals (entree and salad), a hearty snack, and 2 desserts. The Breakfast Box includes 5 breakfast meals. Boxes are sized for either 2 people or 4 people (each meal will be enough for your party).
- Classics Box — Make your favorite Clover sandwiches at home. Think Chickpea Fritter Sandwiches and BBQ Seitan.
- Mediterranean Box — Riff on our favorite Middle Eastern meals. Think silky hummus, Impossible Kofta in Chickpea Tomato Stew with Middle Eastern Rice Pilaf and cauliflower pesto salad, our own Babaganoush and Sumac Shortbread.
- Post-Meat Box — What does the post meat world look like when you’re a meat lover? This is the box with your favorite Clover Impossible Meatballs. This time in our made in house marinara served over a pasta that’s made locally (you boil the pasta). Mayor Menino’s Soy BLT sandwich.
- Breakfast Box — Think Clover Classic Breakfast Sandwich, Popovers, our killer Maine Blueberry Muffins hot out of your oven.
Want to see for yourself? My kids helped me make some unboxing videos.
We’re starting with 100 Meal Boxes for sale. I’m hoping they go really quickly. We’re offering them for pick-up at CloverHUB (1075 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138) between 11am and 3pm this Saturday or delivery within about 30 miles (roughly the I-495 beltway around Boston).
If the 100 sell out fast enough we’ll increase the next pickup (Tuesday) to 200, then the following Saturday to 300, you get the idea. Help us spread the word and grow this super fast. I think this will be a new business for us. We Beta tested last week and the responses were AMAZING. Now we’re all really excited.
We want to turbo-charge your kitchen. You know when you order something amazing at your favorite restaurant? It comes out pretty quickly. Why? The sauces are made, even if from scratch, in prep for the day. Complicated components are ready to go instantly when they’re needed. Sure there’s a little heating here and there, some assembly, etc. But it’s the “last mile” that’s happening then. Most of the journey is complete. Voila: the most delicious food in a few minutes.
This isn’t Blue Apron. We’re not going to give you a bunch of perfectly measured portions in a bunch of packaging and have you make a meal from scratch. It’s not frozen pizza or a pre-made lasagna that you throw in the oven. These meals will take 2-10 minutes to throw together. And they’ll taste amazing. I’m posting videos with tips and tricks. Some of these you can actually make much better than we can at the restaurant. Check out In Ayr’s Kitchen to learn how.
We’re trying to err on the side of being generous. In part because we want you to love these and make them a part of your routine. And in part because we want there to be plenty extra to load your pantry. This is meals+.
To order the boxes you need to use the Clover app. You can download for iOS or Android on their respective stores. Or click on that link above. We ask for the absolute minimum of information and set-up is a breeze.
We built a very slick curb-side pick-up feature into the app. So when it’s time to pick up your box you can do so without any contact at all and very effciently.
We’re offering delivery. That’s going to be $20 flat rate if you’re ordering less than $120. And if you’re above $120 it’s free. We’re going to be delivering to any address within 30 miles of CloverHUB (that’s roughly within the I-495 belt). We’ll be doing self delivery. I might even take one of those shifts myself. Porch drop with digital confirmation. contact free.
So why Boxes instead of just opening the restaurants up? Don’t worry, we’re working on that too. But I’m really committed to moving slowly and carefully to reopen. I don’t want to put staff at risk, and I don’t want to put customers at risk.
It feels to me that this model is really about as controlled and safe as could be. These are boxes that you order online, that we have very good Massachusetts-State-Licensed-Commissary-level controls around (because that’s how we’re making these, at our commissary). Then we place these in the trunk of your car, or on your porch, or on a table outside that you can pick up from. Zero contact. Zero transmission. Limited control points with good management.
We’ll ease into restaurants soon enough, but I want to take this nice and slow, one foot in front of the other. The boxes, if they’re the hit I’m feeling they might become, will help put Clover on solid financial footing as we face the unknown ahead.