Two trends in the world of food that have run adjacent in recent years have been the increasing demand for nutritious, sustainable whole foods alongside a steep decline in the amount of time people spend in the kitchen. Popular meal-kit delivery services like Chef's Plate and Hello Fresh, which promise healthy meals ready in just 30 minutes, have already capitalized on these lifestyle changes.
Now, Whistler's top caterer is getting in the mix with the launch of its meal and grocery delivery service, Fridge Full.
"Everyone's on the go," said Whistler Cooks GM Alistair Cray. "We're in an area where, whether it's locals or tourists, everyone wants to make the most of their time here. This is a really positive way for people to get access to great food through an easy way rather than having to do it themselves."
Fridge Full builds on Whistler Cooks' existing meal delivery service by adding a selection of dairy, meat, fish, bakery, produce and dried goods from its roster of local suppliers, spanning from Pemberton to the Lower Mainland.
"For us, it was just another add-on for guests to allow for that one-stop shop for them. Obviously there are some great local grocery suppliers in town, but we wanted to make it easy for guests," Cray said.
The ready-to-go meals, which will rotate seasonally, are divided by breakfast, lunch, dinner and après options, and include things like charcuterie boards, salads, a range of hearty soups and curries, smoked beef brisket, lasagna, and both vegan and vegetarian offerings. "It's more the stuff that everyone wants, the essentials," Cray said.
Fridge Full comes at a time when fewer people are cooking for themselves. According to a recent survey commissioned by LG Electronics, 64 per cent of the Canadians polled wished they could enjoy more home-cooked meals. In a fast-paced town like Whistler, with its myriad distractions and ample dining options, you have to imagine that number is even higher—particularly for visitors, who make up the bulk of Whistler Cooks' delivery clientele. "There's definitely opportunity there to make it easy for people—and we do," Cray said. "We have some people who are up here quite a bit, second homeowners and stuff, and it's really popular with them already."
Outside of your standard pizza offerings and Whistler Dine In—which will deliver Fridge Full products nightly after 5 p.m.—there's also not much variety in Whistler when it comes to food delivery, a niche that Whistler Cooks was eager to fill.
Fridge Full is part of the catering company's continued growth over the past few years, including the opening, in 2017, of its busy flagship Main Street eatery and taphouse, Hunter Gather. And yet for all the expansion, Cray said founders Grant and Hilarie Cousar are adamant about maintaining the company's intimate feel.
"By bringing on products like Fridge Full, like Hunter Gather, it's just really allowing us to show off that brand stronger," he explained. "Yes, we've seen growth over the last four, five years as Hunter Gather has taken off, but we still have that family feel. We still all sit down for lunch every day. That's still core to who we are and we will continue to do that, and hopefully show our guests that same sort of experience."
To learn more and view the full delivery menu, visit fridgefulldelivery.com.