We’re on a 15-city tour to discover what people’s EatLove is – the perfect moment of food, family, and friends. So far, we’ve visited 7 cities and learned so much about how people interact with food, what dinner-table happiness means to them, and tips to make more time for home cooked meals. EatLove is a trusted source for personalized, well-balanced meal plans built for families with optimal health, efficiency, nutrition, and affordability in mind.
Key features that make EatLove different to current meal planning solutions:
- Our meal plans are dietitian-approved to meet specific health needs
- Our patented-technology incorporates efficiency so that every ingredient counts
- We provide smart grocery list, advance prep schedule, and daily reminders
For more information about EatLove, check out our press kit.
Here are a few highlights along the way:
First stop, LA. Hope Wintner and Ted Meisel hosted our kickoff in their beautiful home. Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn and one of our investors, was also available to join in on the fun. We talked about how people never did live demos, but we killed it. We learned a lot about what people expected and how we can add features to fit everyone’s needs.
We were also able to attend IACP 2016 (International Association of Culinary Professionals) to support our content partner Shauna James Ahern, popularly known online as Gluten-Free Girl. She spoke on the panel “What Teaching Cooking Looks Like Now” and was a 2016 IACP Cookbook Awards finalist for her cookbook Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented. While in Los Angeles, we had the opportunity to sit with Nicki Sizemore, another EatLove partner, and Shauna to talk about how they make cooking fun at home.
Shauna said, “Simple is the best. The faster the dinner is on the table, the more time there is for dance parties!” Nicki said, “We all have the same goals. To eat together with our families and to have fun doing it.”
West of the Loop‘s Emily Paster, EatLove content partner, was also at IACP 2016! We got a chance to enjoy the wonderful lunch exhibition while we discussed her new initiatives and how EatLove can help with those goals.
In Lewiston at the Atrium Bates Mill, we hosted a demo that brought together professionals from the health and wellness industry. An attendee said, “There is no harder working group of folks who love their community. We are at the tipping point of a renaissance and having folks bring very hip, modern things here is vital.”
In Boston, we had a conversation with Alexandra Drane, Founder and Chair of the Board of Eliza Corporation, and Lynn Barendsen, Executive Director of The Family Dinner Project, about the importance of family dinners and how to prepare them in the least stressful way. Alexandra Drane said, “Radical transparency is the best communication. Tell your family why it’s important to eat together as a family.”
The predominant reason people stated for not having as many sit-down dinners as they’d like to was, stress. The stress of thinking about what to make when your family members have different diets and preferences, the stress of grocery shopping, the stress of spending hours preparing meals to only have your family reject what you made, and so on.In New York, we had a discussion with Julie Morgenstern and Leanne Brown about how planning your time and budget for a well-balanced meal can reduce your stress. Julie Morgenstern, Oprah’s time management guru, taught us that when we don’t plan in advance, we are doing and deciding at the same time which is mentally hard on us. She says that EatLove helps you delineate between the two and brings people to the dinner table without the stress.In order to enjoy cooking and mealtime, we need a delineation from work and home. Leanne Brown, NYT bestseller of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, said that “When cooking and cleaning falls on one person, it becomes a chore. When it’s everyone’s responsibility, it can be fun.”
We also had a Vitamix giveaway at our NYC event! When asked what she is most excited to make with it, our winner said, “I love smoothies. I can get my vegetables and fruits in the morning, but I’m really looking forward to making more soups so they can be more of a meal.” Thank you Vitamix for sponsoring us and being such a supportive partner.
While in New York, we strolled around Central Park asking people what their EatLove is. This couple said, “My EatLove is when I have my family surrounding a nice table with a huge spread prepared. I want to enjoy and savor every moment.” Just because people come from a particular country, doesn’t mean they always want to eat the local flavors. A couple visiting from Mumbai said that some of their favorite cuisines are Mexican and Lebanese. Stay tuned for our video that includes all of our interviews!
At Temple University, we had an eye-opening conversation with registered dietitians about the tools that are currently available to them We found that across all cities, they need tools that provide accurate nutrition data, allow them to build meal plans efficiently, and offer options for any kind of diets and restrictions. Many dietitians in Philadelphia noted that building plans for their patients or clients is often a tedious process done by hand.
Great Expectations Together is an inclusive community in a charming town in Pennsylvania called Narberth. They create an open space and offer numerous programs that fosters social inclusion of people with disabilities and their families, friends and loved ones. We had a discussion with mothers about the challenges they face in their homes to have more sit-down dinners. The stress of being a short order cook for their families made mealtime nearly impossible. They worried about catering to all of their family members needs and could not enjoy food together. EatLove focuses on personalization so that every meal plan fits their families and they can reclaim sit-down dinners.
Anyone who works at a startup must be open to and inviting of feedback. Our dinner demo in Baltimore was insightful because we met with an insightful and diverse group of people in different industries of the food world. These attendees included a registered dietitian, a user with celiac, a public health worker who promotes healthy lifestyle behaviors, and a software engineer. They brought up ideas about how to reach those with allergies and other specific dietary communities with few resources. EatLove is currently building meal plans that are free of what FDA identifies as the most common allergenic foods, the Big 8: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.
In Washington DC, we met with a powerful group of women in public policy, health and wellness, and medical fields, to discuss how EatLove can be integrated in different facets to help achieve targeted goals. A helpful resource that was brought up by a few of the attendees is Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding. Ellyn says that, “When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers.” EatLove helps families enjoy mealtime again while reassuring them they are cooking and eating simple, nutritious meals.