Food.ee delivers green, tasty meals to downtown foodies
The idea for Food.ee came from its CEO, Ryan Spong's, experience as an “overworked, pizza-fuelled and very unhealthy investment banker.”
He noticed a lack of healthy, high-quality and affordable food available to busy corporate staff. So in 2013, Spong combined his passion for local slow-food, environmental sustainability and collaboration with local partners to launch Food.ee, a web-based restaurant delivery service.
His goal was to create a greener and tastier alternative to the usual catered fare delivered to offices in environmentally unsustainable packaging.
“At Food.ee, we bring the city’s best restaurants to corporate offices,” says Spong. “We also work within a farm-to-farm cycle, so everything is compostable, and we try and focus on zero or no emission delivery.”
Food.ee's restaurant partners are also committed to local sourcing and compostable packaging. “We partner with folks that have a similar value system, so these are slow-food advocates, and collectively we form a kind of virtual catering system” adds Spong.
In keeping with its commitment to source locally, the company always looks for local products and services, so 100% of inventory purchasing and non-inventory sourcing is local.
Food.ee’s collaborative local partnerships include working with Shift Delivery and using car sharing for food deliveries, promoting Growing City (a local office composting service) and working with restaurant partners to help them become more sustainable.
We had a chat with Saadia Sayed at Food.ee to learn more about what inspires Ryan to help other businesses.
Question: What inspired Food.ee to help other local businesses—both your restaurant partners and your corporate clients—to greening their operations? What specifically do you do to help them?
Answer: Coming from a restaurant perspective; our CEO understands the environmental impact of restaurants and tries to find ways to reduce the impact of waste materials. We ask that our restaurant partners use compostable packaging for Food.ee deliveries, and we will provide them with compostable packaging if they are not already using it. Some of our restaurant partners have now switched to compostable packaging for all of their take-out meals. We also work with our clients to help them develop greener business practices by composting food waste. We do this by promoting the services of Growing City Composting, a local office composting service.
Food.ee by the numbers
Food.ee is an employee- and investor-owned company (20 per cent employee-owned, 80 per cent investor-owned) with 20 FTEs. Its headquarters are located in BC.
100 per cent locally owned sourcing (non-inventory)
100 per cent locally owned (inventory)
92 per cent of investors (11/12) are BC-based
80 per cent employees (16/20) are BC-based
216 per cent annual growth rate from 2013 - 2014
55 per cent of contractors are local
Question: What are some of the social and economic impacts of Food.ee’s focus on local sourcing and partnerships with local owned businesses?
Answer: The restaurants we partner with are getting more business, which means they are busier and can employ more local employees. It also means the restaurants are purchasing more food from local growers and suppliers, which in turn means that local farmers and food producers are getting more work. We also partner with other local suppliers and service providers, such as SPUD and SHIFT, so the money we spend is being reinvested into our local community. Promoting the services of Growing City Composting also helps to grow that business while helping our corporate clients reduce their environmental impact.
Question: What inspired Food.ee to join LOCO BC?