Chef Tran makes his Munchery debut today with a dish that’s knocking our socks off in both the looks and taste department. Young’s Ancho Stewed Pork will surely sell out so we’ll give you a moment to pop over to our website to stake your place in the dinner line before filling you in this brand new addition to the kitchen. All set? Let’s continue!
Chef Tran’s fondness for food dates back to his childhood when he would diligently help his grandfather tend the family garden. His favorite memory of this time involved picking and preparing baby lettuce for dinner. Fast-forward to today and this little farmer is all grown-up with an organic garden of his own. Here he pays tribute to those nostalgic days by fertilizing his plot with home-cured compost and even plants a very unique variety of heirloom cranberry beans.
Young has both volunteered and worked in a large array of local kitchens including Chez Panisse, Oliveto, Gather Restaurant, and Acquacotta. That’s a lot of chefs to please! On the subject of chefs, when asked which celebrated ktchen denizen he’d most like to cook with, Tran indicated that Paul Bertolli would be his top choice and he’d love to butcher an entire hog and make homemade prosciutto with him. Perhaps Chef Tran and Chef Bertolli could then serve this special meat at a jointly thrown dinner party?
When we asked our newest chef whom he would most like to invite to this imaginary dinner party (they could be real or fictional, alive or deceased) he promptly listed a group consisting of writer C.S. Lewis, President Obama, Michael Pollan, and Rembrandt. Chef Tran further elaborated that he would cook grilled rack of lamb with roasted heirloom carrots and kamut for this eclectic crew. Wouldn’t you like to observe that party reality TV style?
After Young tackles the farmers markets for heirloom tomatoes, chicories, figs and stone fruits he likes to rock out in his kitchen to Switchfoot where, if he can help it, he rarely uses celery.
Chef Maggie Lawson has been working as a personal chef and nutrition educator in Berkeley and Oakland since 2004. Maggie joined the Munchery team last summer and made quite the impression with her self-proclaimed signature dish of Shittake Meatloaf. A meal that was inspired by a recipe her mom made when she was little but now, admittedly, is crafted with more upscale ingredients like Rosie’s organic ground chicken, Niman Ranch ground beef, and locally grown mushrooms. Now that’s a meatloaf to write home about!
Maggie’s love of food and cooking began at a young age. She very fondly recalls her mother creating meals on many occasions during the busy week so that they could share food together as a family. Coincidentally, Maggie’s culinary prowess may have also been influenced by her very much alive and healthy 102 year-old great grandmother from Ohio who once lived down the street from Marion Rombauer Becker. Becker co-wrote many editions of the classic cookbook The Joy of Cooking with her mother Irma and this wonderful tome is now one of Chef Lawson’s most treasured references. Especially significant to Maggie’s family is the recipe for Cincinnati Chili in the book. Maybe if we leave lots of encouraging comments we can talk her into making a batch one week?
When Maggie isn’t in the kitchen, crafting fantastic healthy meals for her customers while dancing around to Shakira, she can be found scouring the famers markets for seasonal asparagus, enjoying brunch at Aunt Mary’s Cafe, or giving us recommendations on German foodie films. Soul Kitchen, anyone?
You can order meals from Maggie each week and also follow her adventures online via her website, blog, and Facebook account. Chef Lawson also currently has a Kickstarter campaign running. Check out the details here, and learn about her pop-up restaurant experience happening in June.
Where Meals Are Delivered
We have always had a good hunch where our customers were located. But enough of gut decisions; we wanted to confirm it.
For the past year Munchery has served thousands of meals across the beautiful city of San Francisco and we wanted to take a closer look at the data. Here’s a peek at what the order geography looks like today:
We are thrilled to report that we have fulfilled orders from every possible ZIP code in San Francisco, including Treasure Island. Honestly, we didn’t even know that Treasure Island was officially part of San Francisco when we first started Munchery.
To satisfy our own curiosity, we overlayed the previous order chart with the distribution of our customer base across all the neighborhoods. We want to see which neighborhoods have a larger customer base than others, and check whether there are any big discrepancies (such as a small percentage of customers ordering a lot, or a large percentage of customers making few orders). The below chart shows that for the most part, percentages of orders and customers align.
SOMA is King
Currently one neighborhood dominates in the Munchery statistics: SOMA. It’s a large one too. Random urban trivia for today: SOMA has not one, not two, but three separate ZIP codes: 94103 (“classic” SOMA?), 94105 (towards Embarcadero), and 94107, which overlaps with Potrero Hill! See the map below if you are not familiar with the area. In reality the bar chart for SOMA would be off the charts if we were to combine these three zones together.
As many of you are aware SOMA is one of the top areas in the city for new business growth. It has plenty of modernized office space at reasonable prices, plus it’s near many transportation hubs including Caltrain, BART, Muni and freeway access.
Munchery’s early adopters are busy professionals, many of whom are startup entrepreneurs working long hours that left them little time for shopping, prepping and cooking food. They were screaming for an alternative to greasy takeout. Knowing that our delicious meals bring joy to the people hatching bold, new ideas positively gives us goosebumps! The additional added convenience of online ordering, reliable delivery, and affordability over almost any other similar option makes us a no-brainer mealtime decision. We sincerely thank these early adopters for their continued support.
Of course, we are quickly spreading out from SOMA. There’s recognizable growth in Russian Hill and Nob Hill, followed by the Mission and Bernal neighborhoods.
The Delight of New Parents
Customers from Noe Valley make up another key group: many of them have young children (yup, this fits the family-friendly stereotype that Noe has). But of course we have parents as customers all over town. In case you didn’t know, San Francisco is not a family-dominated city. Only about 58,000 households have children (versus 265,000 households that don’t). Out of these 58,000 households, we are delighted to serve this group since they arguably need our service the most (our gift cards are also a super popular gift for new parents).
Who Tips And How Much
This is a sensitive topic for everyone. Shortly after we provided customers the ability to tip our delivery drivers online via their credit card, we took extra measures to ensure each customer is treated with the highest level of service, regardless of their tipping rate. Our billing system ensures that we are blind to that data on a per-customer basis. But as an aggregate, we couldn’t help but take a peek at how the tipping data we do have aligns with geography. Here’s the complete chart with the median tip dollar amount per order.
Keep in mind that this data only accounts for credit card tips, and does not include cash tips that many of our generous customers also give out. Nevertheless, we just think it’s interesting to look at the aggregate data (we’re all geeks). A typical credit card tip is about $3 to $5 per order.
So, how else do we interpret all this data? It’s interesting, but I think that’s about it. It’s not something we want to over-analyze or come to any hasty conclusions about. As we look at the geographical distribution, it only emboldens our efforts to democratize the personal chef experience.
We are pleased to announce a partnership between Munchery and STUDIOMIX, a new locally owned health club here in San Francisco. The Eat Well. Live Well partnership furthers the wellness balance that Munchery customers already receive from our meals with the convenience of an all-in-one health facility.
STUDIOMIX is not your average gym. Along with all the amenities of a traditional health club, the main focus of this 30,000 square foot complex is on offering classes all day, every day. It is San Francisco’s largest group of studios under one roof. Classes include Barre, Boxing, Boot Camp, Cross Training, Dance, Kettlebells, Martial Arts, Pilates, Studio Cycling, TRX®, Yoga, Zumba®, and many more, not to mention classes on a three-story climbing wall! They also offer detailed amenities such as towel service, steam and sauna, complimentary WiFi along with personal services such as massage and bodywork therapy, nutrition coaching, expert personal training and child care.
Special for all Munchery customers: a reduced rate of $95 per month (down from $135). No initiation fee or contracts required. As well, STUDIOMIX members receive 10% off all Munchery orders and can elect to have their meals delivered directly to STUDIOMIX in the evenings.
For more information go to www.studiomix.com
To get started, please email the STUDIOMIX sales team with “Munchery Customer” in the subject line or feel free to contact them directly with any questions.
Starting today, March 21st, we are launching a limited test of a new subscription model, called Munchery VIP that will include amazing perks to our frequent customers. It’s entirely free and to kick off the program, we’re giving 10% off every order. Not just your first order or second order. It’s for every order, folks. No minimums, no commitments. But you have 30 days (more on this later).
Enrolling in this limited VIP program requires a Facebook login and is available for both existing users as well as new users.
To sign up for the Munchery VIP Program:
Once you’re signed into Facebook, your account will be upgraded to VIP status (aw yeah). You will start receiving 10% off all your orders.
There are no commitments with this VIP program, and you won’t suddenly be charged some fee out of nowhere.
The VIP Program is a limited test we’re running. The program will only be active for the next 30 days, after which we will discontinue the program and figure out if this beautiful thing will work in the long run (read: we’re not afraid of trying crazy ideas). Any order you place while you have VIP status will receive 10% off, so there really isn’t a reason not to sign up.
So go for it, become a Munchery VIP. You’ve got 30 days to milk it.
Chef Starkey may have only joined Munchery in February but he’s already made his mark on your meals with artfully presented and full-flavored dishes such as Rum and Pepper Tilapia, Chipotle-Honey Barbecue Pork, and Pollo Cubano with seriously tangy mint spiked slaw. Trust us. Try this slaw!
Bi-Coastal Cooking Adventures
Fletcher began his career at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and externed on the beautiful Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vinyard before making his way across the country to California. Prior to becoming a West Coast fixture he used to spend a lot of time (willingly we might add) harvesting produce from his family’s organic vegetable garden in Vermont. Fletcher recalls that the peas, corn, and asparagus used to create weekly epic meals, were some of the most flavorful he’s ever had.
Digging in the Dirt
This love of digging in the dirt of course translates well to Chef Starkey’s farmers market trips and he’s looking forward to getting his hands on piles of bright red strawberries and bunches of vibrant asparagus in the coming days. He’d also like to encourage you to not be afraid of putting these two seemingly very different foods together. With a little help from a drizzle or two of aged balsamic they’ll get along just fine.
How About You Grate This For Me?
Fletcher valued his time training at CIA and keeps his copy of New Professional Chef close at hand in the kitchen. The recipes always yield food that is absolutely flawless — even if he does have to grate cheese. A task which earns the badge of being his least favorite cooking related activity.